What are you thankful for from your childhood? Think back, on things big or little, and ponder how God was with you as a child, shepherding you, and nurturing you, with his loving care.
Growing up in a lovely, old neighborhood in a mid-size town in Oklahoma, I had a childhood pretty much like many other Americans. Dinner at the same time every night, regardless of whether we were hungry or not, watching Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart on TV on Saturday nights, playing on the "jungle-gym" in an elementary school yard.
I certainly had nothing to complain of, well-fed and clothed.....except for one thing. I lived on a dead-end street where there were no other children to play with. Because there weren't any other kids around, I learned how to entertain myself. I played with all the neighbors' dogs that I could, and if the grown-ups were outside working in the garden I'd pester them to death until they let me join in their activities.
One neighbor, in particular, was very accomodating. She and her husband allowed me to have free reign in her backyard, which was wonderful. They had a double lot, with the back part being a wide open field. Her property was filled with unusual trees, shrubs, and flowers, a perfect setting for a magic kingdom. Of course this made for endless possibilities for my imagination. I spent many hours being a fairy princess reigning over her subjects: all the plants, and animals, especially the dogs!
The most wondrous thing about this particular neighbor, however, was the basement in her house. It was filled with childrens' books, old hand puppets, and all kinds of tchotchkes to catch the interest of a nine year old girl. I spent hours down there in the summer, soaking up the stories in the books, from Russian fairy tales to "How to take care of your Pomeranian."
Most of the time, I was a regular kid, just trying to get through school, (and figure out how to get out of my chores!) Not much power over her life. But at my neighbors' house I was transformed into Wendy or Dorothy or whoever I wanted to be. Those childhood experiences have shaped me in ways I never imagined. Today, I still love to read and escape from the humdrum of life by writing and reading.
What about you? Do you have a special place or memory of your childhood? Even in the most difficult times the Lord will provide a light for us. What did He provide for you? Remember and be thankful to him. God can use our experiences, no matter what they are, to grow and mature us to be more like Him.