Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from the Roque family

On my other blog, I posted my New Year’s resolutions.

The first one is:

Disconnect to Reconnect

In Colorado, I saw a neat little flyer. It stood out to me. It said, “There is no wi-fi in nature. But we’re sure you’ll find a better connection.”

As I’ve been praying about the New Year, I feel that I should to take a break from blogging and Facebooking. I’ve heard it takes about six weeks to build a new habit or to break an old one. So I’ll be going offline at the beginning of the year, for roughly 40 days, to disconnect from some things in order to connect (or reconnect) with others … and hopefully regain perspective of the most important things.

Wishing you and your children a wonderful New Year! Enjoy it together with them. They grow up so fast. I heard from a friend whose children are grown, and he spent Christmas alone. I told him that I’m dreading the day when my kids are “all growed up.”

So, in this New Year, I wish you deep and wonderful connections with your children, whether they are grown or still children. A few suggestions for resolutions this year:

Create memories.

Give them the gift of time.

Enjoy life by slowing down and seeing it through their eyes.

Smile, laugh, and hug.

Reason with the faith of a child.

I look forward to writing and connecting with you all again soon. Happy New Year!


His First Banker Experience

A Story Told to The Annual Pennsylvania Community Bankers Association

By Charlie “T” Jones

I’ve never written and only rarely tell of my first banker experience.

It happened in 1936. I was nine years old and the Depression was still in full force. We came from Alabama and settled in Lancaster County in a little row home, which my father managed to rent. It was getting near Christmas and my dear dad had nothing to spend for Christmas for his five children ages 1 to 9. In desperation, he went to the bank to try to persuade them that he was a safe risk for a small loan. He explained his predicament: no job, no collateral, and 5 small children with Christmas approaching.

As he should have known, the banker would have to decline his request, but he had an alternative offer for my dad to consider. He explained that if my dad could postpone celebrating Christmas a day or two, the children wouldn’t know it and everything would be reduced in the stores, and he would only need half the amount he was requesting. He said if this was agreeable, he would approve the loan for a smaller amount. Of course my dad gratefully accepted his offer.

I have experienced many Christmases, but this was the one I remember the best. Christmas Eve after we were all tucked in bed, the downstairs front door slammed open. There was a lot of noise and footsteps, and my father rushed down the stairs to see what was happening.

I followed a few minutes later, and saw him sitting on the bottom step with his head in his hands. I couldn’t understand why he was weeping. When I reached the bottom step, I could see no one in the hallway, but the hall was lined with boxes. There were boxes of food, clothing and candy. There was a riding fire engine and a four-foot folding white paneled dollhouse. We never had a Christmas like that and we never knew who or why they did it. We didn’t belong to a church, and the friends we had were as poor as we were. My dad returned to the bank to repay the loan. The banker surprised my dad by telling him that there was no record of his loan.

I only understood that Christmas experience years later when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. How blessed some of us are to see God’s love working in and through His children. John 3:16 is where it begins, but those unknown servants were practicing 1st John 3:16. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, how He laid down his life for us: so we ought to lay down our lives for others.”

A Living Example

Today my kids made me proud … and they put me to shame.

I posted this on my Facebook wall today, as I’m trying to post something I’m thankful for each day leading up to Christmas:

I’m thankful for my kids’ generosity. It actually astounds me. They have been saving up coins for over a year. Nearly two years, actually. Faithfully dropping pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into their blue piggy bank.
Then, when the typhoon tore through the Philippines, I suggested sending something to them. Since then, they have been trying even harder to save up, putting every coin in the piggy bank. Even Aiden kept talking about how full it was getting and how we would need to send it to the Philippines soon.
Today we went to a store to get the money counted. The kids saved up $44.40 and not a single one asked to keep any of it for themselves.

I was at first feeling good about my kids … and myself. Raising them to be aware of people in need. About time to pat myself on the back.

But then I thought, “Hold on. They’re not following my example.” I don’t know that I’ve ever given up a year’s worth of savings for the cause of missions.

I’m actually not a very generous individual. Money, perhaps, is not such a big issue for me. God will always supply in some way.

But I’m selfish with me. With my time. I consider time very important … probably more important than it should be. I hate wasting time. More than once, I’ve gotten on my kids’ cases for “making me waste time.” I’ve also gotten on their cases for wasting their time.

But seeing them today, so freely giving away something that has taken them time to earn and save humbles me. Makes me want to be a little more generous … a lot more, in fact. With my time, with my money, with anything that could make a difference for the better in someone’s life.

To be a living example to my kids. As well as let their living example change my heart and life.

via A Living Example.

They Decorated the Tree


Christmas TreeThe kids decorated the tree all by themselves this year. It hadn’t been my first option but my daughter reminded me that last year I told them I would choose the ornaments for the tree, and that they could put up whatever they wanted this year.

I thought to myself that, after they had a blast sticking ornaments on the tree, I would sneak out later and “fix things up.” After all, the tree needs to look good, right? But after they finished, I didn’t have the heart to change anything. In fact, it looks better than I thought it would. Maybe it’s a little fuller than it was last year, every branch ornamented in some way, and maybe two identical red baubles hang side by side.

But they did it themselves. And in my opinion, it’s better than last year. It’s better than ever.

Become a Child Again

Childhood Memories