Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My husband has been building our 21-month-old grandson a rocking horse for Christmas. The project took several hours in a freezing garage, but he loved every minute of it, for it was a labor of love. And let me tell you, it is a WORK OF ART, absolutely BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL, from the handmade tail and mane to the leather saddle; from the engraved brass plate on the platform to the several layers of shiny stain. (I'm going to attempt to post some pictures of the horse up here so you can see what I'm talking about.) Anyway, it is so well-built that it will be an heirloom, passing down from one generation to the next, I'm certain of it. In fact, I envision it holding our great grandchildren someday, and perhaps our great-great -- who knows? Regardless, it will be rocking some precious little loved one long after we are but a faded memory, a photograph on someone's wall.

Heirlooms. They are priceless treasures, the sort of things that live on, that remind us of what once was and sometimes what will be. They can be material possessions or something as simple as a quilt, a journal, a Bible, or a baby's christening gown. Perhaps someone's yellowed wedding gown lay neatly folded in one of your bottom drawers. (My daughter has my 95-year-old mother's gown, which was far too small for either of my daugthers or me to wear.)

This rocking horse has got me to thinking. What other heirlooms are we passing down? I'm not talking about "things" that might be considered treasures by anyone's standards, though; I'm talking about heirlooms of the heart--the kind that help build character, point our children and our children's children in the right direction, the kind that teach them the truly important things in life.

It is our deepest, heartfelt prayer that our example of faith and trust in a loving God will continue on for generations to come, that as our family grows and marries and multiplies, we won't be remembered strictly for the rocking horses, or the homemade cookies and cakes, or the games we played, or the laughter we shared--but for the Christ who lived in and through us.

That is our prayer. That is the kind of heirloom that lasts into eternity.


Tim and Wendy said...

I love the rocking horse. Uncle Cecil did a beautiful job in creating it. You know, instantly it reminded me of the rocking horse Kendy, Krissi, and I used to ride as kids at your house. It's a simple toy but we seemed to find endless pleasure in it. I hope Dylan enjoys it as much as we girls did.

Rich & Darcie said...

Cecil did such a great job! Dylan is going to LOVE it. I can't wait to see him ride it. How fun!

See you Friday night for the Tisdel/Mac/Jack/Brady Christmas.


dylansmommy said...

I can't wait to see Dylan's expression when he opens that horse on Christmas Eve. I told Terry we are going to have to make room in our trunk and sacrifice bringing our own presents home because Dylan will have to have that horse. Dad, you did an amazing job. It's more beautiful than I had even pictured. Thank you for the gift. We will treasure every moment of Dylan and his brother/sister playing with it. Imagine, someday their kids will ride on it too.

Dorothy said...

I have a child's rocking chair that my grandfather built for me for my second birthday. My girls both used it, and I am sure when my new grandson comes to visit, he will also. It is amazing to me how we pass down much more than we realize when we give gifts of the heart. I am sure your husband's heart went into that beautiful rocking horse!

Sharlene MacLaren said...

OH, DOROTHY, that is so cool that you still have the rocking horse your grandfather built for your second birthday! Now I know for sure my great-grandchildren will also ride on it.

Oh, yes, Cecil heart (and soul) went into building that horse. It's a treasure.

Thanks for stopping by, Dorothy. So good to talk o you every now and again.


Shar said...

Hi, Hodgins, Jacksons, and Kendy! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can't wait to see Dylan's face when he sees that horse. He'll have to open it last or he'll never want to open the rest of the gifts. haha. No, what am I saying? When he sees presents wrapped up just for him, he'll climb off that horse so fast it won't be funny.

Did you guys read Wendy's "Menopause" story?

Love and Hugs,

Gwen said...

Beautiful rocking horse! Oh, the joys of being grandparents.

I love the words of Psalm 78:1-7 . . . "we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord" . . . read on and you'll find "so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born."

Merry Christmas to both of you.

The Mihalek's said...

That is such a beautiful rocking horse! Dylan is going to love it. Please tell Cecil he did a wonderful job! What a great gift that will be passed down from generation to generation!

Merry Christmas! Enjoy this special season with your family!