Family, Aspirations, and An Abundance of Ice Cream

I just want to clarify something before I begin.  Perhaps it’s more of a confession.  My reasoning for titling each post with a list of seemingly unconnected thoughts that I later address in my post is not to be clever or to catch your attention so that at least someone reads my musings.

No, the real reason is so that I don’t forget what I was going to say.

whew.  Now that that’s off my chest, we can move on.

The power of a relationship in one’s life is incredible.  The varying types of relationships (healthy or diseased, fair-weather or persevering, surface level or heart connection) make it possible to maintain the connections without getting completely burned out.  Let me just tell a little story to illustrate how strange and beautiful a relationship can be.

Once upon a time, I was one and a half years old.  I met my cousins: Brittany, Bryar, and Ridge for the first time while visiting my grandparents.  My sister Brooke was $, so she actually has vague recollections of this meeting.  I only have pictures to tell me what it was like: I rode in a wheelbarrow with Ridge and Bryar and on a horse with my dad.

Then we left and didn’t see them again for 16 years.  Three more children were added to their family in that time, Brittany got married and had a baby.  And this weekend we finally saw them again.

It wasn’t a reunion, more of a first meeting.  How much more of an awkward situation can you get? Um, hi.  We’re related, but I have absolutely no clue who you are.  I haven’t seen you since I was a baby.  I haven’t made any attempts to know you because I thought I was content not knowing.  I don’t know if I should hug you because I know that family does that but I don’t feel like we’re family because I don’t know you.  The thought cycle begins and ends with “i don’t know.”  The uncertainty caused much anxiety.

We couldn’t have been more wrong about the whole situation.  God has shown that His timing is the best timing; if we had met before, we wouldn’t have had as much in common as we do now.  Brooke and I spent the car ride back to our hotel each day marveling over how much we loved them already and how sweet they all are.   Now Brittany, Bryar, Ridge, Hannah, Noah, and Justice are all as dear to us as the cousins we’ve known our entire lives on the other side of the family.  We just regret that we didn’t know them sooner.

Thank you, Jesus, for the sweet time spent with these precious people and for the years to come.

Aspirations.  I like this word far better than dreams.  Dreams to me seems cliche and sappy. It’s vague and mystical and fits nighttime visions better than visions of the future or of what life could be like. I’ve got this dream that someday after I grow up I’ll have sixty kids and they’ll all love bunnies and we’ll skip together through cotton fields and sing kum-bay-ah.

I know that people usually don’t mean that, but my connotations scrounge up pictures like that!  Now, a word like “aspirations” sounds loftier, more like the attainable goal, the idealistic result of the life of a person with a good vocabulary.

I have aspirations.  I want to inspire people.  I want to be a better writer (hence, the blog.) and to write about the things that stir people’s hearts to actions of love and compassion.  I want to use my gifts (not to say that I’ve got the writing thing in the bag, but I love it so I’m going to say that it’s a gift) in ministry, serving the God who has laid missions and a global perspective on my heart.  Doesn’t “aspirations” fit that goal so much better than “dreams”?

Obviously, I think so.

Now, to end my post on a lighter note: I think I’ve eaten almost too much ice cream in the past few days.  (that is, if that was possible I would have eaten too much)  Good thing there is no such thing as an excess of ice cream.  Just an abundance.



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