My path to the grocery section changed as I veered sharply to the left.
The teenage boy at the snack register smiled and rang up my usual, popcorn and water. From the cart, Cole mumbled something about Legos.
But he waited, understanding.
I can’t resist freshly popped popcorn. There’s nothing more delicious than it’s salty, buttery taste, and the movie theater experience just isn’t the same without it.
When I think back to my childhood, I think of…well, popcorn. Popcorn balls from my parents’ hometown in Ohio; popcorn strings encircling our Christmas tree; maneuvering the huge orange Hoover vaccum and the crunching sound from wayward popcorn kernels; the large containers of popcorn sitting on the kitchen counter.
Popcorn is as much a part of my childhood as the New England woods that towered over our house. It’s my parents’ go-to snack and a part of our family. We ate popcorn at Gaither concerts, on summer trips to visit family in Ohio, and at the Town Park Pool for a day in the sun.
I picture my mom in our brick red and brown Connecticut kitchen, standing over the stove, sometimes reading, other times talking on the corded kitchen phone, shaking the kernels as they sizzled in the hot oil.
It was, and still is, her favorite way to make popcorn.
I passed the bag of buttery deliciousness to my boys and thought about my childhood.
My parents took my sister and me to church each week, we prayed before meals and talked about God, and there was usually an open Bible somewhere in our house. My dad lead Pioneer Clubs, taught Bible studies and had Bible commentaries falling off shelves while my mom served through children’s ministry and through her love of cooking and baking for those in need.
All very good stuff, but…
…the strongest memories come from the real stuff – the daily living. The nuts and bolts of life that mean the most in childhood…the consistency in my parents’ words and actions…their unconditional love…their desire to serve others above themselves…the faithfulness to their church family and friends through prayer and support…the unshakable foundation in their lives that came from Jesus and His Word.
They lived out His perfect love through their imperfect lives, and in doing so they blessed us with kernels of faith.
I realize that my parents dropped kernels of faith during our childhood, kernels covered in Jesus’ love. They became an important part of who we are, today. Because once the kernels of faith were heated in the soul-scorching oil of this world, we popped for Him.
Our adult response to the boiling oil of the world was an unknown during our childhood, but that’s part of faith – trusting our Heavenly Father with everything in our lives, while learning to love others with His love.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5-7
My sister and I were blessed to have living, breathing examples of Deuteronomy 6:5, examples who placed tiny but powerful faith kernels in our lives, which then popped into a love and devotion to God that’s being shared with another generation in our family.
I pray we’re able to drop kernels of faith into our boys’ lives, and that those kernels will pop for Him.
For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. Psalm 71:5
(LOVE YOU, Mom and Dad.:)