The old making way for new, this thought has been uppermost in my mind this week. Prompted by the Dare to Live Fully I went looking for ‘something worn’ and ‘something new’ and I didn’t have to look far. The dare made it easy to see the obvious. Spending a week helping my eighty-six year old father-in-law, hearing the news that our daughter had given birth to her firstborn, seeing fresh growth as I cleared away dead growth in the yard, watching dogs play – all these observations made the seeing of gifts even easier. I’ve been watching and thinking and as I do joy increases proportionally to the thanksgiving.
Back home now, I reflect still more about how the worn lives of others weave in and out of our own lives bearing fruit. The ‘worn’ offers wisdom because this whole process of ‘wearing out’ gives us wisdom. Isn’t this intertwining of lives significant in the whole process of sanctification? In this season of life I think often of my deceased grandparents and how much I learned from them, from their experiences in life. Sometimes it is wisdom in hindsight, sometimes not. I think of my own parents and father-in-law and the impact they have had not only on me but also my children.
The fabric of a family is a beautiful gift that God has given. I never really understood the sheer magnitude of this until I began to become ‘worn.’ Within the safety of family we learn agape love, that beautiful unconditional love that loves despite the faults we each carry in our flesh. We learn the love that 1 Corinthians talks of, the love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.’ We learn how to forgive when wronged because love is always present although at times it seems to have grown dull deep for each other, it is still deep within. We learn these things sometimes quickly and at other times slowly, but each at our own rate which is quite fine. Why? Because the family is made of fabric that can weather and withstand the test of time. And a Christ-centered family is the strongest and most durable of all fabrics.
118. A gift seen as a reflection – the colors of fall foliage kept vibrant beneath the reflecting pond water. Dead but colorful leaves reflected in beauty. Pondering how I reflect the image of my Creator. 119. The surreal reflection of Brownie, my father-in-law’s dog, watching Kenzie standing beside me as we are both on the opposite side of the window. The window reflects the fence behind me making me smile at the confusing image. Pondering how my life is sometimes a confusing jumble but resting in that jumble because the Master photographer understands what He sees and and has a master composition planned.
120. Another gift seen as a reflection – the sun reflecting off the pond on a warm Texas afternoon in February.
122. A rose budding from drought damaged leaves – an ugly-beautiful gift.
123. A rusted gate post opening to beautiful acreage – an ugly-beautiful gift.
125. An impatient Westie, a new gift, pulling on his pant leg and barking to let him know he is going too slow.
126. Old pan made do, it works fine just the way it is.
127. Thankful that the home my mother-in-law lives in to treat Alzheimer’s disease lets her shop for jewelry every Wednesday after she is paid with play money.
128. The joy of seeing past and present mingled all together as I watch my husband and father-in-law. 129. Voices of father and son working together in the house carrying back in time to when the father helped the son – grace, joy, thanksgiving. 130. Rejoicing in the miracle of life and the birth of our first grandchild. 131. Thankful for a quick delivery free from complications. 132. My heart singing in joy as I hear joy in my firstborn’s description of her firstborn.
I think about the birth of a grandchild, this beautiful baby with newborn skin. I haven’t met her yet or touched her or held her but I’m almost certain she has that new baby smell, all sweetness, pink and rosy. With her birth, it dawns on me that I will be one of those ‘worn’ people in her life weaving in and out.
133. Thankful for the playful ways of Kenzie making me laugh and then ponder as she weaves in, under and around.
I ponder my role in the life of my grandchild and wonder if I will weave sweet memories into her life just as my own parents wove themselves into the fabric of my children’s lives.
134. Thankful for a father and son working side by side.
135. Seeing the son reflected in his father’s gentleness.
136. Seeing the son reflected in his father’s quiet ways.
Older generations stacked and mingled in with newer generations while the in-between generations watch knowing the clock ticks and it will soon be their season. The baton will be passed, yes it will.
137. Thankful for an early morning email letting us know that the little family made it through their first night at home together.
138. Thankful for rosy baby cheeks calling to be kissed.
139. Heart filled to the brim in joy and thankfulness seeing baby all swaddled warm and cozy and all over purple. 140. Thankful that our freedom has been preserved through the duty and honor of men such as these; a father serving in the first war and a son serving in the second. 141. Thankful for the men women serving right now to protect our freedom.
Counting ONE THOUSAND GIFTS today and daring to live fully right where I am.