It takes a special movie, a very special movie (Toy Story 3 to be exact), to get the tears flowing, and flowing, and flowing – until I’m in all out ugly cry mode, and my children are disturbed (and slightly amused) by the fact that I can’t catch my breath and I’m pinching my nose until I think I might explode to try and stop the floodgate.
It happened at the theater 3 years, 2 months and 5 days ago when we took the family to see it on Nate’s 13th birthday, and the thought of him turning into Andy and leaving for college seemed far too close for comfort. That seems like yesterday.
It happened again tonight when Anna E., Luke and I watched it, and I realized in less than two years this would be my reality.
Although I wanted to crawl in the bed, pull the covers up over my head and pretend this will never happen (quick disclaimer – if Wayland were in the country and able to pick Philip up from his friend’s house tonight and give Luke his breathing treatment and put the kids to bed, I actually might have done this), I have instead decided to let my emotions out by pounding on this keyboard and giving some time to this poor neglected blog, which is actually quite therapeutic to my soul.
I say it over and over – maybe because I still don’t understand it, but how is it that at one time in my life months seemed to pass like decades, and now years pass like days?
At the end of July, our family was incredibly blessed to be able to experience a true family vacation. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some incredible trips together visiting amazing places and dearly loved people – mostly long weekends that we tacked on to Wayland’s work schedule, or trips back to Texas to visit family which is wonderful, albeit a bit exhausting. But to actually take an entire week, get on an airplane – all six of us, and fly across the country to one of the most incredibly beautiful and serene places I’ve ever been??? That was a first. And it was every bit of incredible that you can imagine it would be. We laughed, we learned, we experienced, we marveled and we made wonderful memories. Wayland and I were both overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude that the six of us were able to have this experience. At one point I remember thinking, “I wish this could last forever…” and about that time Philip upset Luke, or Nate upset Philip, or Wayland upset me, or Anna was upset because Ruby wasn’t with us, and I realized that it’s far more important to live and enjoy the moments…moments that are meant to be wonderful for a while, but will eventually change. Moments you’ve maybe waited years for…that come and go. I’m learning to not mourn their passing, but to store them up in my heart and ponder them – just like the bible tells us that Mary did. (Luke 2:19).
One day, Wayland and I will go back to Oregon with no children in tow, and we will have an amazing couple to welcome us, spend time and make new memories with. My cousin Emily and her husband Mark took our trip from excellent to outstanding with their amazing hospitality and genuine friendship. They are easy people to love.
Home only a couple of weeks from our trip, and I had the opportunity to do some more “treasuring and pondering” as I sat watching my husband being ordained as a pastor on August 18. The thoughts kept scrolling through my mind: “How did we get here?…How did we get here?…We serve an amazing and incredible God whose plans for us far exceed our own limited ones…I just witnessed a dream come to fruition…I JUST WITNESSED A DREAM COME TO FRUITION!”
A few times during the service, Wayland and I locked eyes and we both shared those same thoughts with one another, and our eyes filled up with tears until one of us had to look away, and I was humbled, and honored, and more in love with my husband and my God than ever before. It was a very powerful and emotional ceremony (it reminded me in many ways of a wedding), and the fact that both Wayland’s mom and dad, his sister and our three nieces, and his brother were here to witness and experience it with us, made it incredibly special.
The days we had before and after the ordination to reconnect with family and make some awesome memories were great. Even though they occurred smack dab in the middle of the start of a new school year, and there were 13 of us squeezed into our house all sharing 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, it was another opportunity to live and enjoy the moment!
No sooner did we get the Thompson and Riddle clan safely back to Texas, than we packed Wayland up and sent him off to India where he has been the past week. I will be happy to have him home soon and look forward to hearing the incredible stories of how God is rescuing, redeeming, and restoring lives there just as He does all over the world. Something else I can treasure up and ponder…