Sunday, July 27, 2008

Old Times

Today I have been looking through Elizabeth's thousands of pictures, trying to find good ones to make copies of and send to Sam on his floating city. It has been such a fun experience. Almost every time I have come to visit Elizabeth's house in the past I have gone through her entire collection of scrapbooks and albums at least once. They are just so fascinating! They range from the old G.O. days to the early IHOP days to our family gatherings to her wedding... I love seeing all the faces and places and memories. Some of the memories are mine and some aren't; those that aren't are still fun to see. I recognize or know some of the people in them, even though I didn't know them when the pictures were taken. The pictures that are my memories remind me of specific sounds or smells (seriously, I do remember how that Winnie-the-Pooh waterbottle I had smelled). Like, I remember that morning that we took Sam to the airport after church, sending him back to Annapolis. Or that time we were at the friend's house and I fell asleep while everyone was watching Runaway Bride.

But today I have especially loved seeing the photos of our family. There was one particular year (fall of 2005-summer of 2006) where our family saw each other an incredible amount. Ariel was born in September with MAS and everyone flocked to Tacoma to meet her (praise the Lord she went home a few days later! :), Sam and Dorothy got married in December and we celebrated Christmas and Peter & Liz's engagement in South Carolina; My grandma died in February, so we were all together at her funeral in California; then in May, Elizabeth got married.

Part of this whole good-memories remembrancing started last night, seeing lots of pictures of when we dropped Sam off at the Naval Academy. I was so little, and it was before anyone was married or had babies and it was just us. Something about it seemed so pure -- we were purely together. Don't get me wrong...I love the additions to our family -- Peter and OJ and Dorothy feel as if they are ones of us, as if there are eight Petersons instead of five. These pictures remind me that there is something so special about our family dynamics; I'm pretty sure no other family has it. (just kidding...I know other families have it...but nobody has our specific dynamics). I laugh hardest when my family is home. I cuddle the little ones and understand the jokes (actually, I don't understand a lot of them...but I laugh anyways). It makes me kind of sad that we don't get all together more often. At this point, we don't even have a holiday where we know everyone will be together again next.

I've never quite understood other people's families where everyone is in one place. I have never lived in the same city as an aunt or an uncle and I've only met my cousins at most three times each. Half of my family lives seven thousand miles away in Hawaii, and the other half just got back from living in Europe. Suffice it to say, my family doesn't all stay in one place. And that's interesting for me because I'm the little one. The older ones did have that cohesiveness of living in the same house for a good chunk of time with everyone else -- but it was kinda before I was born.

I guess this whole picture adventure of looking through the memories is leading me to another memory of who I am. In almost every one of the pictures I see that features me, I think to myself "I was SO little!!!" The odd thing is, I'm just know learning that that's okay. For a long time, there's been a reflex in me that criticized myself for being little. (Why in the WORLD didn't someone keep me from wearing that outfit... =P) I hope that is changing, though. This morning the Lord spoke to me about seeing it not as a handicap but as a gem. Like, you look a diamond ring and you know it's a diamond ring...and wow, that's a nice diamond ring. But then, you look at that diamond and the way it shines and is brilliant and you say "WOW that's a diamond ring!!!" Like, maybe the fact that I didn't come as part of the pack (in terms of years...I totally feel like I belong in my family) is a sign -- a huge blinking arrow sign that points me to that fact that I truly can believe that Jesus sees me as significant. Like, that big clue that helps the detective solve the case. It was like this morning Jesus pointed it out to me as proof: "See! Look how important it is to Me that you are on earth. Look how I planned you so specifically. You didn't come just as one of the children. You were that surprise. That one where I said "I need an Anna just like this in My creation." and I made SURE you got there."

This is just part of what the Lord is doing in me right now. I hope this made sense and I very much hope to soon be able to articulate more of my crazy journey with Jesus that is happening as I type... Now, however, I am off to get a baby up from a nap and escort her to a barbecue.

Happy Sunday! :) Much much joy to.

No comments: