(Before you read the blog, I just want to draw your attention to the beautiful header on my site and the logo you’ve been seeing. A huge thank you goes to my very talented friend, Ben Guse who designed it for me! I love it! Thank you Ben!)
Now here’s the blog:
I was on a quest this morning. The boys had been asking about old class pictures. I couldn’t find them. After a major move, when you can’t find something you start to get a little worried. Either it eventually turns up or it’s gone.
After another conversation about the said pictures last night, I made it my mission to find them this morning. Closets, bins and boxes were searched. Where were they? I knew I had not knowingly thrown them out. I went back to the only place I could think they would be even though I had looked quickly in the bin already. The scrapbooking bin. I haven’t really touched it in five years!
I pulled it out into the light and started sorting through it. Eureka! They they were halfway in. Breathing a sigh of relief I put them aside but kept going through the papers and pictures. I was having some fun looking at some of the treasures I hadn’t seen in a while.
Besides the class photos, I found a few things I wasn’t expecting.
Friendships. Some have endured and others have not. But every single person in those pictures brought something to my life. Friends are like that, right? Some really are for a season but it doesn’t mean their impact is any less. It was so good to see some old friends smiling up at me. We had some really fun times together. We really don’t have any idea how we make an imprint on other people’s lives. When we don’t have those relationships, we become barren and dry.
Hope. As I sorted and remembered I was filled with hope. Some pictures were of experiences and relationships that were hard. Some were awesome. That’s life. I realize sitting here, that if we let the bad go, the good does endure. Through it all, as I remember, I believe that nothing happened that surprised God. That every step was taken with Him present. Many in the different places we have lived, have moved on and grown. Some of the journeys have been very difficult but here we are. Still standing. For some of us, we’re leaning on others but we are still standing. There is abundant hope in that.
Healing. Pictures of little boys smiling. Eyes dancing. They made me think, “We did have some fun, those boys and I.” I wouldn’t have said that a few years ago or even some months ago. For a long time I could not look at photos of the tiny boys because they made me sad. I didn’t like the person I was at that time. All I saw was a bad mom. Today I didn’t see that. I saw the good. Forts and campfires. Endless days of Thomas. Play dough. Days filled with play. Yes there were some really hard days but they are starting to fade. Today I found some truth to hang onto. A realization that it wasn’t all bad. Today I believe that.
Gratefulness. I found some thank you notes for serving in ministry. Reading them made me feel grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to do some pretty amazing things in ministry. I feel grateful for the many fabulous people I’ve worked with and gotten to know. Their belief in me when I didn’t have faith in myself, was such a gift. It pushed me to do things I would have run away from. We had some fun. Boy, did we!
Purpose. Those thank you notes also opened my eyes to the fact what we do makes a difference in other’s lives too. It’s easy to forget. We often don’t realize how our actions and words can make a positive difference to someone else. How God takes our gifts and uses them in ways we can’t even imagine. Too often, and I’m so guilty of this, we like to hide our gifts and ignore our purpose because it’s just easier to do so. We can’t give in to that. We make a difference in our spheres of influence. Big or small.
Goodness. I found some tickets and conference notes. Pictures of new places. I was blessed to be able to go to some really good conferences back in the late 2000’s. MOPS near Dallas, National Pastor’s Conference in San Diego and Just Between Us Pastor’s Wives’ Conference in Nashville. All three had significant impact on my life at that time when kids were little and leaving was hard. But worth it. They were gifts to me. Gifts of friendship, of learning and of travel. The gift and hope of seeing a better future. In some dark times, these were good things.
I hadn’t planned on taking a walk down memory lane today. Sometimes we find ourselves in unexpected places. It might be a chance to remember and reflect about what has played out in the past and what we hope for the future. Maybe you are at that place. It’s time for you to take a little trip of remembrance. Or maybe it’s time for a new perspective. Time to see the good and give thanks. Wherever you are today, I hope you remember the good and it fills you with hope for a better future.
Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
Isaiah 46:9 NLT