Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuscaloosa Tuesdays: Rainey Ranch

Since everything is better when it's alliterated, Tuesdays seemed like a good day to document pictures from several gatherings we had with friends and family before leaving home.  It's a bit encouraging to hear myself call Tuscaloosa home.  It didn't always feel like home, and I'm not really sure when it started to feel that way, but it reminds me of the cumulative effect of time and memories, outings and people, and how they all add up to make a place feel like home. 

I've already had two moments where my subconscious called Boroughbridge home.  Once, when we'd been here only 3 1/2 weeks, and I undertook my first solo driving mission to the IKEA in Leeds.  Because IKEA is like a black hole where time stands still, it was late and dark by the time I left, and I found myself feeling tense and nervous driving in the dark, and when I made it back to the sign directing me into Boroughbridge, I breathed a big sigh of relief, and said, "I'm so glad to be home."  And then I smiled that I was already thinking like that.

At the beginning of October, sweet church members who have a really wonderful place invited us over to enjoy the animals and each other.  When I first started pulling up pictures it all felt really bittersweet and far away, and I wasn't sure if I could handle writing about it this morning.

It made me think about how short seasons of life are, about memories with my own family growing up, and then I felt shocked to realize KJ and I were TEN YEARS into our own family.  Life is really short, y'all.  (Side bar:  I'm very conscious now of how often I use the word, y'all.)

Sometimes thoughts on the brevity of life make me feel sad, but this morning those thoughts ended up making me feel hopeful because if this life really is a vapor (and it is), then there's absolutely nothing else I'd rather be doing than following where Jesus leads us, because my heart really believes Him when He says, "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."  And the blessed truth is that our families are the ones who passed this gospel of Jesus to us, and we know that all the time we give up here, we get back with them forever and forever and forever.  These truths buoy up my heart.  Feel free to remind me of them when my heart flags.

So now looking at these pictures I can just feel a lot of thanksgiving.

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