Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Threads of Thankfulness

Usually this time each year, I write some "random thoughts of thankfulness."

This is appropriate because all of my thoughts, thankful or not, do tend to be somewhat random.

(no big surprise if you visit me here often)

But this year, I am calling these thoughts "threads."

Here we go:

Obviously....these kids....who are quickly growing up to be not-so-much kids.

The one on the left, hiding behind the shades, is my baby.  Still and always a reminder that life is moving faster than I would like, but so blessed to be a main character in her story.  Tookie is a unique combination of all of the characters she gets to look up to.  Feisty, sweet and conscientious.  Fun, a worry-wart and she takes things quite literally.  (a challenge for those of us who like to talk in figures-of-speech) 

And she is a tree climber.

The next little sweetheart is the one with her tongue sticking out.

I tolerate this in photos from her.
Because I know it could be worse.

 She LOVES girl scouts, church camp and the Miracles Can Happen Boys Ranch.

This photo is from the boys ranch.  She left there and told me that someday she would like to work at a place like that.

Here she is at Church camp.
When I look at this girl, I see someone who represents everything I see in myself.  Good and Bad.
I am humbled, grateful and reminded, again, how time does not stand still.  I can be an influence on this kid...good and bad.  Humbling.

This girl is the combination of brains


 and heart.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Adding all of that up...these 4 are worth 4000 words.

And the writer in me is having trouble coming up with any that would actually do justice the the heart, attitude, beauty and brains that are all wrapped up in this one sweet young lady.

My sweet sweet sweet first-born girl.
Another reminder of how life keeps on moving whether I am ready or not.

Speaking of life and the speed of it....This young man looks exactly like his uncle.

And he has characteristic traits just like him as well.

Conscientiousness and a little bit afraid....
but not to the point of letting any of that stop him
From being who God made him to be.

 Football photo:  An example of calling plays, executing them and being a leader.
That is who he is.

 Football photo:  And example of what we thought was a concussion.  But it wasn't .  Feel free to visit the blog archives to read the full story.
But the story behind the story
Which is often the difference between what the world sees and what is really going on
(a theme for, like, everyone...I'm guessing)
Is that there were some major medical issues going on behind the scenes.
Phone calls.
Blood transfusion.
Bone marrow biopsy.
A few days of tests enough to scare us to death
And scare us to life.  

Because there is something about being scared to death (or about death) that makes every day of life there-on-after so much more meaningful.

And fortunately for us, we are all reminding of how fragile and fleeting life on earth is.

As my Wildcat would say:  "YOLO."  (you only live once)

His story this last year is a direct reminder that "YOLO" is true.  We all only live once.  A reminder to me that I want to make each day...each moment count.  For eternity.

Because we may only live once while we are here.

But we will all live forever in heaven.

Other things of SUPREME importance of the threads of thankfulness:

This kid.

 Brian's first born, Ty.
In his Junior year at Upper Iowa University.
An excellent student.
An inspirational camp counselor.
A football player.

A man that I am so glad that my younger kids look up to.

   Brady.....moved to college this fall.
I've always been a fan of this kid.
(oops....I mean young man)
He moved the farthest away from home.
And is doing work.
In the classroom and in the weight room.

I feel like I have watched this kid grow up over the last year.
A weird and surreal feeling.
Maturity does that to people.

I remember when he graduated from jr. high.

another weird feeling.
And a reminder of how this thread of my life is inspired, grows and intertwines with all of the other threads.

Brinn:  Brian's daughter.
I've loved her since I first met her in kindergarten as a classmate of Marisa's.

They were best friends.

This picture represents something else that I am thankful for, and apparently a lesson that God is working on with me:

Love no matter what.

It is okay if this girl does not love me back.
Because I love her, no matter what.

 It is love without response
Love without pretending
Just because.

I am hoping that this story will change in the next near future.  But even if it doesn't, it is another reminder from above of what I need to know about love and thankfulness this year:     I love this kid, am thankful for her and it is okay if that is the way it has to be.

Because that is how God has and continues to be with me.

The ultimate definition of love.

Then there is this guy.  Admittedly, it is not the best picture of us this year.  But is is us....together this year.
We have been together....through tons of ups and tons of downs for almost 5 years.

We've seen the best and we have seen the worst in each other.

We belong more and more to each other and our life together as each day, each chapter and each story unfolds.

And we continue to hold on to each other's hands and hearts  in both of our stories.

Stories that seem to weave together like threads.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for each and every thread that is a part of my life.....and
I am finding that how I braid and re-braid each thread of family, love, and adventure all seem to work together in the story that God has let me be a character in.

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