The “Different” Was Still Precious! 

Family 2015Being “Home Sweet Home” has (and I’m pretty sure it will always be) bitter sweet to me. I know my “Home” is in VA with my family, but a piece of my heart will forever remain in MI with my family as well. 

This vacation was jammed packed with lots of things to do together. We strategically managed to do them all and we repeated our favorites more than once!

In the midst of fun it was still very “different” for us in many ways… We were living in very close quarters for the nine of us, had to fight off Mosquito’s, had our 2 yr old grand daughter who needed naps and woke with the sun everyday and we did not have some of the conveniences that our previous vacations have consisted of.  Did I mention the killer Mosquito’s?!!?  lol 

But….Those “different” things were just not of importance to me this trip….this vacation wasn’t about me or any one of my children. It was about the importance of Family!!! 

We made do with the space…and even the very hungry Mosquito’s! And for the most of us….most of the time…LOL The inconveniences didn’t matter either. The most important thing about this trip was being together, celebrating my parents and making fun and sweet memories with everyone! Because that’s what families do!! Or should do more often!

None of us can plan the time that our family could be significantly changed or when it may be our last time together with someone. So, we should all practice embracing moments and special times together with those we love the most…..our families! 

This vacation was the first “fun trip” back to MI since my brother died 9 months ago. That in itself made this vacation “different” and difficult emotionally. That kind of “different” is much harder to manage than a small space to live in for a week or a few inconveniences. The “different” that a loss creates in a family is big, takes time to heal and is harder to accept and adjust to. 

Nothing can fill the missing piece of a loved one in a family…but a family can still move on and “be a family” by the grace, strength and comfort that comes from God alone.

My brother and I, in the midst of his physical battle and last days had conversations about how we should celebrate my parents 50th wedding Anniversary. The most important thing to him was to “honor our parents, to celebrate their love, and for our families to spend some quality time together.” And yippee!!  All of these things were accomplished. 

He’d have approved! 🙂

And….I know He was with us! 

We lit a candle to signify his presence at the party we had for our parents and although I (we) missed him greatly, I (we) felt his love throughout the whole week!  This “different” was still precious!

But still…The “different” on this visit was because I missed him! I missed his wit, his bear hugs, his smile, his wisdom, advice and laughter. His presence among us!

Tonight my heart is warmed by the closeness my families shares. Taking family vacations with our 5 children ages 23-10, our 2 yr old grandchild and our sons girlfriend would have its challenges no matter what we did or where we stayed….that’s life with our big family!
Being “all together” as we were, was extremely priceless and something I will never take for granted. 

So, I accept my exhaustion this morning….after a busy week, many early mornings, and a long drive home. (And I may scratch and itch for a few more days) but I went to bed forgetting about anything “different” that has occurred. I went to bed extremely thankful that our family is so close….and blessed….and knowing that ALL of our times together are precious! 

I suggest you….Hug your family members…speak life into them and enjoy the moments together no matter where! Or what! 

Because Life is precious. 

Life is short. 

Family is everything! 

And because… Life is full of many “different times” that we will all have to face…

How we choose to live through them as a “family” Is what matters most!  

Make your “different’s” precious…..

This Picture Day Was Different

A great day for some pictures! So We Thought!

Sunday was a beautiful day out!  Amanda and I set out to take some Country shots of Kayleigh. Like many other times, her mom got her ready and we headed out with a goal in mind.

But….this picture day was different!  

Maybe, just maybe, this picture day was different because Kayleigh is now TWO!  Nothing comes too easily with her these days. She has a mind of her own and a little stubbornness mixed into all that sweetness of hers.

We were in a quiet area with nothing around us for distractions…..Yeah right!!

It was much different in the eyes of a two year old!  She wanted to touch, throw, walk through, sit in, and even EAT the snow that consumed her attention.  She found mailboxes to open, a fence to climb, sticks to play with, and puddles of mud to walk through….And Yes!!!  We were exhausted after only ten minutes!!!

She only peered into the camera with an actual smile ONE time that day…..

But later that night, while working on the hundred plus shots I had, I came to the conclusion that I actually liked the candidness of our adventure. One picture stood out the most. I couldn’t help but reflect on this scripture:

Psalms 25:4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.

As she grows, the world will have many distractions. Like the sticks, mud puddles and mailboxes did this day.  There will be things that intrigue her just like the beautiful, cold, white snow she hadn’t experienced before. Things may draw her attention away from where her focus should be. Too many roads could bring her too many choices that may cloud her thoughts or actions.

I’ve decided that I’m not only keeping this picture…but I am blowing it up!

 Just for Mimi’s sake!

Kayleigh scripture

It will always remind me to pray this scripture over her in hopes that she can one day tuck it into her own heart. That she grows up loving the Lord and seeks him first for guidance and direction. That her path will always remain straight and narrow.  

So when life presents her with obstacles (and it will) and throws her some distractions (and it will) she will always remember to Ask The Lord to Show Her His Ways, and Teach Her His Paths.

A Picture Day Mess?

No Way!

It Was A Picture Day Success!