Dear Haylee & Megan,
I know you’re not really supposed to say “thank you” for a thank you note, but I don’t care. So….
There’s just something about a hand written note. It’s so personal. I love getting to do what I do. It’s fun for me and an honor to be able to take your photos. But getting your thank you notes in my mailbox (which honestly sees way more bills and junk mail than fun mail) feels like a little part of you just showed up at my house to give me a hug. It’s things like this that make not just my job, but my life an absolute joy.
It made me think about the people I am thankful for. Do I show them enough? How can I let them know how much I appreciate them? And it sure as heck makes me want to write more notes so the people I love can experience that “hug in your mailbox” feeling too.
And this may sound corny, but how can my life be a “thank you note” to the One who has given me life and has given it to me more abundantly than I could have asked or imagined? Or what about the times when I feel like God hasn’t listened and things aren’t turning out at all like I hoped or imagined? What then? I read this in Shauna Niequist’s book Cold Tangerines this morning and I think this is a good answer to that question and a great thought to meditate on this weekend.
“Celebration when you’re calling the shots? Easy. Celebration when your plan is working? Anyone can do that. But when you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that’s when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebration.
“When you can invest yourself deeply and unremittingly in the life that surrounds you instead of declaring yourself out of the game once and for all, because what’s happened to you is too bad, too deep, too ugly for anyone to expect you to move on from, that’s that good rich place. That’s the place where the things that looked for all intents and purposes like curses start to stand up and shimmer and dance, and you realize with a gasp that they may have been blessings all along. Or maybe not. Maybe they were curses, in fact, but the force of your belief and your hope and your desperate love for life as it is actually unfolding, has brought a blessing from a curse, like water from a stone, like life from a tomb, like the actual story of God over and over.”