I've got sunshine....

8:21 PM

...on a cloudy day.  I love that song. In fact, why don't you go ahead and scroll to the bottom of the page and play it, just for fun, while you read the rest of the post. 

   Why do I have sunshine on a cloudy day? Because I hopped a plane from cold, windy, blustery, dreary Oregon, and flew East to a slightly less cold and windy PA for my cousin's wedding, and then traveled on south to a sunny, balmy, and as Mary Poppins would say, "practically perfect in every way" Florida. 

   In spite of flying the dreaded red-eye flight, (left Portland at 11:30 and landed in Chicago at 5-something am, and 2 hours later flew on to PA) Jocelyn was a gem.  I am sorry if I'm bragging about my darling daughter, actually I'm not sorry.  She has been an incredibly flexible, laid-back, go-with-the-flow child, and I can "brag" all I want because it's really not bragging at all, because I'm NOT taking the credit for her personality.  I am bragging on how all-knowing and awesome my God is to bless me with a child like that, because I'm pretty sure He knows exactly what I need, and my way-faring, wandering, travel-hungry soul may have withered up and wilted a bit with a child who fell apart if we left the house.  So praise God, I have a daughter who doesn't seem too fazed by travel, red-eye flights, 18-hour road trips, strange houses, vacations with strangers, and never knowing exactly what might come next. I. Love. That. Girl.  I hope we continue to go on adventures our whole lives long.

   So I guess this song is dedicated to the Florida sunshine, my girl Jocelyn, and the happy couple that walked out to it last Saturday.  What a simple, lovely, meaningful wedding.  I loved their written-and-memorized vows, which are the way I think vows should be, personally.  I loved the song he wrote and sang to her, about "Keeping the King first" and how in their love and marriage they must remember to always keep Christ first.  You could see the love shining from their faces, and it was so genuine, so real.  What a beautiful day.

Congratulations Ryan & LaBreeska!  I wish you many, glorious years.

    And to think I almost missed it.  There were just SO many reasons to stay home.  I don't like being away from Randy for longer than it takes him to go to work for the day. :(  It's nice to save money, rather than spend it.  And we all know how much STUFF it takes to pack up a child and take her across the country for a week.  But, I bit the bullet, threw caution to the wind, and went.  I am so glad I did.  No regrets.

   After the wedding, it was a long 18 hours down to the sunshine state.  Boyohboy were Jocelyn and I both ready to get there!  
   And since we have, it's been nothing but blue skies and sand between our toes.  Talk about confirmation that you've made the right choice.;)

   We have a pool in our backyard, and when we're not busy eating or lounging around, we take a trip to the beach or go on a bike ride.  Rough life, huh?  But in all honestly, one of the best aspects of this whole trip has been discovering things about my own family, both immediate and extended. 
   I am a firm believer that a person cannot fully understand themselves until they understand their family.  It is so much more than just the woman that gave birth to you, the siblings that happen to look similar to you, the aunts and uncles that look like your parents, the cousins that share a special bond or the grandparents that started it all.  It runs so much deeper than that. 

   Your family is like a tapestry, and you are a thread running through it.  Pull that single thread out, and that's all you have. A thread.  Maybe it's yellow.  Maybe it's blue.  Maybe it's straight and thin, maybe it's crooked and wide.  But looking at that single thread, you can't tell very much.  Not much at all.  But stepping back and looking at the tapestry?  Now THAT is a sight to behold.

   Suddenly, patterns take shape, and colors blend.  A design emerges and whether the end result is beautiful, ugly, or just slightly strange, it makes sense.  It's a picture of a whole unit, made up of many smaller units.  And so much of who you are, and why you are the way you are, seems to slip into place.  Into a place that no longer feels foreign and mysterious to you, but known.  Familiar.  

   And trust me, it's not always a good thing.  But that's the beauty of seeing the tapestry for what it is.  You can thank God for all of its beauty, and you can cry out to God for wisdom to changes the parts that have snagged and torn, and are maybe completely unraveling.  And the most incredible part? HE CAN.  He cares about your thread, your single, seemingly insignificant, tiny thread.  He cares about it's part in the story.  And He wants to trade the worn, faded, torn, stained parts, for the rich, luxurious, fabrics He intended to use in the first place.  It's never too late, it's never impossible.

   I am so thankful, for the picture He is painting, and that I'm starting to see more than just the individual threads. 

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  1. This is a really neat blog! I love your thoughtful posts. Keep up the great work!

  2. Not sure if I ever really introduced myself on here but I am your SIL Amy's cousin. (Did you follow that??) Anyway, I have been enjoying your blog for several months now and in case I haven't properly introduced myself, here is my hello! I really enjoy your blog and appreciate your heart after God!
    Btw, unless I missed my guess, you were in my area for that wedding. Small world...:)


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