So Mondays are a little crazy this month and I’m a day late. No one’s counting, right? 🙂 This was a week of exuberant thanks, and a bit of lip-trembling thanks too.
This past Saturday, my little brother, the fifth of us out of eight, graduated from high school. And while we were all so proud and a bit gushy over him, I could sense the bittersweet heartache that everyone in the family was battling. Yes, over his proud achievement and that he’s nearly ready to stretch his wings. But these happy times also bring our broken family all together. Our divorced parents sitting on opposite ends of the bleachers with their new spouses. Times like these are full of the bitter-sweetness of a wedding or a graduation, or some other happy event. And while you try to process all that goes along with those sort of beautiful familial milestones, the being proud, the immense love, and the letting go – the brokenness of the family is also made glaringly obvious. You’re rather forced to accept the new look of the family on some heart level. At one point on Saturday, I couldn’t hold back the tears of pain, but neither could I hold back the exuberant laughs of a graduation day. It all came out in one, strange-sounding, tear-ridden, soppy, happy mess.
“Mama, why are you laughing and crying at the same time?” Firefly asked.
How do you explain that sort of thing to a three-year old? Little children only seem to feel one thing at a time. Side-splitting laughter. Gut-wrenching sobs. Maybe that’s part of the growing up. The feeling more than one thing at one time. Mourning and rejoicing all rolled into one. Sometimes, it is overwhelming, isn’t it?
But isn’t that the beauty of this believing life? That He comforts us in all of life’s reality, and fills us with the hope of all His glorious, exquisite, redemptive work? He is enough for our heartache. He is enough for our joy. He is more than enough to take all the beauty and pain that this life brings and transform them into something beautifully creative. Something that only He knows. Only He could form. The mysterious beauty of joy made more complete, more perfected – through pain, redeemed.
So I try to process while still trying to go on with life. All I know to do is pray. Write. Give thanks.
#533 little sister, Sarah, back in town, bringing her crazy sense of humor
#534 that she is happy where she is
#534 uncle arriving, always, for every boring graduation ceremony 🙂
#535 friends who care so much
#536 sibling pictures, the littlest brother outstretched in all our arms
#537 my “little” 6 foot, 3 inch brother
#538 that somehow, I feel him stretching and growing and suddenly this always-the-oldest sister feels like she has the big brother she’s always wanted
#539 Firefly, skipping down the hall, through the store, skipping, skipping everywhere
#540 Her hair, swaying back and forth with every skip
#541 Dove and her jumps off the ground and her dimple-framed smile
#542 my sweet husband and how he humbles me with his love
#543 sitting down, writing out love for my little brother
#544 homemade cinnamon rolls
#545 Him helping me organize my thoughts
#546 two new mamas-to-be
#549 prayer for the waiting
#550 coming home
#551 how hard it is to say good-bye
#552 spray n’ wash and borax and their miraculous stain-lifting properties 🙂
#553 that there was only ONE crayon in the dryer
#554 that his love drives me to learn to love
#555 a bathtub full of My Little Ponies
#556 Dad-grilled hamburgers
#557 that He knows every heart
#558 that His grace is enough for them all
#559 red caps, flying
#560 that He holds our hope
#561 that He is our Redeemer, our Restorer . . . that He is making all things new
Joining the gift-thankers