One of my dearest friends brought up one of my all-time favorite movies in one of her recent posts—“You’ve Got Mail.” Joe (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen (Meg Ryan) are corresponding via AOL (oh, how thankful I am for DSL) and he says:
“Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
While I don’t live in New York, I do have some weird affection for fresh, new school supplies. Notebooks, spirals, pens—my occasional journey through Office Depot is like a kid in a candy store…Yes, I like school supplies and yes I know it’s weird.
So I’m sitting here on this first day of the week, the first week of school, sipping my coffee and thinking about this brand new semester. My mom came to Louisville for a visit a few weeks ago, and treated me to a new skirt from Coldwater Creek. As I was putting it on this morning (of course you have to save new school clothes for the first day of school!) I couldn’t help but wonder at the transition. I can still remember my mom helping me with my new, snazzy denim Osh-Kosh B’Gosh jumper and brushing my hair for the first day of school. And now I’m here. I’m 24 years old, and rather than a new wardrobe consisting of Keds, jumpers, and the biggest hairbows you can find, I’m wearing a skirt from Coldwater Creek. (And it’s a very pretty skirt I might add.) When my mom and I went into the store, I still felt like a kid in some ways. There are certain stores I have and will always associate with my mom, so when I start finding things in the very same stores that catch my attention, I know that something has changed. When did I become a woman in my mid-20s? When did kids I babysat start entering their church youth groups and others even graduating from high school for that matter? And on top of that—I’ve realized more than ever that I really don’t have my brother’s metabolism! There was a day, much longer ago that I often realize, when I was off the walls on my constant sugar rush. If you don’t know me…yes, it was constant. For those of you who do know me…thank you for being my friends.
The point of all of these ramblings on this early Monday morning is to say that I am thankful for where the Lord has brought me. Although it’s hard for me to take it all in at times, how much has changed, how much I’ve grown (and considering the growth I still desperately need), the Lord has been faithful. My desire is for others to see His faithfulness in and through me. Here at my workplace, and even on a seminary campus, it’s very easy to blend in and go about your business. But that’s not enough. I don’t want to settle for that. I don’t want to be noticed for my own sake, for my own words and achievements, but may He use me as a vessel of His mercy and grace. He has afforded me much, and much more than I could ever deserve, earn, or hope for. There was so much going on last school year, what with the transition of living in another state, my own medical issues, and other details in between, much of it now is a blur. However, as grateful as I am for where the Lord has brought me, I hope in His future grace. My eyes are not to be fixed on the past, continually reminiscing over things that once were, but rather looking ahead to what He has in store. This doesn’t make me less grateful, but actually increases my gratitude. We don’t run this race looking behind us, but instead we press on, looking to Him, the Giver and Sustainer.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:1-2