We hadn’t been back to Chicago to visit family in quite a few years. There always seemed to be a reason we couldn’t make it – including a few years due to COVID. Needless to say, it was a trip that was long overdue. Our kids also came into town to join us in this adventure, which was an incredible blessing. During our time together, we visited with family, talked about how everyone had grown so much, and remembered the many memories that seemed to rush to the forefront of our minds endlessly. We also drove through the old neighborhood and stopped at some of our favorite spots – including our favorite pizza place! So much seemed familiar, and yet so much changed.

Having so many beautiful memories that we can reminisce about is such a blessing, but it’s too easy to long for the old days. Of course, I miss the days when my kids were just young small children – and when I was younger too. I would love to relive those days, appreciate them more than I did back then, and maybe live them a little better. But those days are gone. My kids are grown and living on their own, and we can’t go back – and that’s okay. God truly blessed us over the years. Yes, there were many challenges, but the good times have allowed many of those tough times to fade into the background.

As much as I appreciated the time to reminisce, one thing became crystal clear – the neighborhoods, homes, stores – and even the pizza place – did not make the memories. It was the people I shared them with that made the memories so wonderful. It’s about relationships. Without my family and friends to share them with, there would be no memorable memories.

The memories of the past have a special place in our hearts, but they are just that – in the past. Today, God is blessing us with new unforgettable memories. So let’s enjoy today! God’s love is all around us. Besides, we can’t recreate the past. If we fail to see the good around us today, then we are failing to see God.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10