Before I begin, try to imagine this scrawled on college ruled paper and folded just so…
Hello again ~
I knew going into this Christmas greeting that Matti would not agree with my photo choice. She does not fancy the fervent animation beaming on her face, but I adore it. In fact, I love everything about this picture. I love how well it captures the ineffable intensity that defines her. I the love natural buoyancy in Ashlyn’s caper and the fact that Hadley has ‘jumped the gun’, her little toes already anticipating the collision with the pavement while ours are still in flight. I love how Chasey seems to be gauging his jump against the others and how my expression mirrors the kids’, in an almost ridiculous explosion of pure and utter joy. I love how it shows Mikey’s compulsion to keep his eyes set on the road before us and that brilliant little smirk sitting so gently on his face, as if he knows something we don’t. I love the shadows dancing in our wake as we leave the world behind – six incredibly intricate individuals, all strung together as one ~ blissful and impervious.
In mere seconds we will hit the ground running into a world teeming with distractions, threatening to steal the joy found in simple quandaries such as these and Ash is sitting at the edge of my safety net. She’s dangling in a mess of tweeners armed with cell phones, compressing their thoughts into acronyms – being cheated of the purest pleasure of passing a note, scrawled in a number 2 pencil and folded into a neat little rectangle, that could one day be dug out of an old box just to make her smile. It may seem small but I fear it is only a taste of what is to come. There is a plethora of gadgets at our fingertips, allowing us access to everything, all the time – at any cost. And I can’t help but think that something is being lost.
It may be foolish, but I want my kids to somehow evade it all. To save the screen time for moments void of wonder. Because when life is exploding all around us and God’s precious people are in our midst – we should be present. To SEE. To BE. And to BELIEVE that the best things in life really are free.
I know it’s more conceivable that technology will save one of their lives rather than pilfer it away. But it sits amongst a myriad of deceptions with the capacity to numb them, compressing ‘them’ into acronyms and stealing away the purest pleasure of knowing who they are and what they were created for. The distractions life has to offer will only get heavier as we go along. The act of living will only get crazier. And I can’t help but fear this place my Hohnies are merging into – where I am losing my grip on their perfect little hands and having to watch them spread out into the big wide world where I can no longer protect them from its disarray. There are perils out there capable of paralyzing them, lies adept at smothering the light that shines within them, blinding them to the beautiful gifts they are and the miracles in their midst. I long to unplug from the mess of it all and draw them near so I call tell them again and again what they are worth. To inscribe it on their hearts so they won’t forget who they are. To find a way to protect them.
I love this picture of us floating in the street, because in that one precious moment, as we are suspended in the air with our shadows dancing at our feet, all the crazy distractions and uncertainties of the world cannot touch us, and it reminds me that there is a way. In that one lovely frolic with freedom my heart recalls God’s gift to us, a love note composed in His own hand and folded into a perfect little manger long ago, while angels hovered near. A note that cannot be erased or torn in two ~ whispering to the world that we are loved beyond measure. Promising He’ll never leave us or forsake us. And that is where I find my peace on this uncertain earth. In knowing, when I am not enough ~ He is. And where I cannot go ~ He can.
There is a hope that is found in the discovery of that undying, undefeatable love that cannot be expressed in words. But, the euphoric expression plastered across my silly face, as I linger in the air surrounded by all that is good and right in my life, begins to hint at it. In it I am certain that Matti’s intense spirit can transcend all of life’s obstacles. That Ashlyn’s buoyant disposition will allow her to float above the paltry things of this world.. That the enthusiasm oozing out of Hadley’s every breath will take her places I have never been. That Chasey’s ‘measuring’ allows him to see the greatness God wove into the souls that surround him, as well as his own. And that, one day, Mikey will find himself in a place where he no longer has to brace himself for impact. And that, that resplendent smirk lighting his face, is just proof that he knows it too.
I am enamoured by this picture because it so perfectly captures the whole mess of us rejoicing in God’s love. The love He has sewn into each of us. The love we have for each other and in each other. As well as the precious love of life; the opportunity He has given us all, to walk this way. Because there is so much beauty even in the midst of all the craziness.
This Christmas I pray you are able to unplug from the abounding distractions the world has to offer and to let go of the heavy burdens it places upon your shoulders – SEE the beauty that surrounds you and remember you are not alone. BELIEVE in God’s love letter to the world. Fold it up and store it in your heart. Let it remind you of your worth. Breathe that truth into the ones you love. And if it helps, grab someone’s hand and blissfully leap into the air. Hover between heaven and earth, if only for a moment Rejoicing in His Undying Love and BE impervious. Trust me, you’ll love it:)
Love ~ Tris & Her Peeps
Spread the Love ~ Scrawl a Note ‘Old School Style’ and Pass It On:)