A couple of years ago I wrote this piece on Abounding in Thanksgiving and I cannot help but nestle back into it again. In case you missed it the first go-round. Check it out.
I thought I’d be festive on this Throwback Thursday with six days before Christmas. As I share this photo though I am reminded that this is the only photo of me with Santa Claus…with the exception of this one that my sister and I did for our mom three years ago.
The more I look at these photos the more I think on the fear I had as a child of Santa, and how fear, once we’ve overcome it, looks ridiculous in hindsight. We see the irrational level we let fear get to and control us. We see the opportunities we miss out on because of fear and the obstacle we see it as. I missed a ton of years of getting to tell Santa what I wanted for Christmas because I was afraid of his vastness, his bigness, his all-knowing.
And now, as a child of God, the very characteristics that caused me to fear a fictional man in a suit are the things that bring me the greatest comfort. It’s funny how fear has a way in changing us. But it’s all in how we let it control us or exact control over it.
Every once in a while I share some photos and stories on Throwback Thursday. Today I wanted to share this photo. That’s me at my college graduation…ten years ago. It amazes me that it has been that long. As I return this weekend for Homecoming at UT (the real UT people…we were established first), I have been growing quite nostalgic this week.
I found my journal from Senior year and the year of my internship. It is crazy to me to see the changes in my life from that time, and some things that haven’t changed. I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculously boy crazy I was then, and the extremes of emotions at that time of great transitions in my life. It was a little comforting (and alarming) to see my emotions have been such a staple of what I write about for years. Maybe that’s the healthy outlet for them after all.
I laugh when I look back at my graduation picture because I remember certain parts of that day. Most vividly I remember my sister being 7 months preggo with my oldest nephew, and her having to sit during the whole ceremony since my college was one of the largest. I remember the nursing students being wild at graduation, and rightfully so. I remember being terrified of what was next for my life. I never shared that with anyone, but I see in the photos the scared eyes of uncertainty…of a life not quite sure where it was going…but a girl determined to figure it out for herself.
I am definitely not who I was then, but there are pieces left. The diehard, alma mater loving Vol. She’s still there. The cook in the basement of Melrose, experimenting with different recipes. She’s still there. The student who went to find herself, and got so much more in return. She’s still there.
Over on Instagram, today people are posting old pictures of themselves. I tend to postsome rather embarrassing ones because I actually have a good self-image and frankly it was the early 90s, we all looked bad. If you have Instagram, find me over there and request to view my photos…
So in the spirit of that I wanted to throwback to a topic I had addressed early on in this blog. I talked alot about a servant’s heart and the need to be doing for others in order to feel fulfillment. In order to contribute to the loving of others.
Lately I haven’t been serving, and it’s been bothering me. I did not renew my leadership position with the small group I had in the spring, as I am at a new church. But now I feel that tug to serve. To be in the midst of loving others so much that I put off my own concerns and carry the burdens of others, just as Galatians 6 calls us to do. I can say I am too busy, but the fact remains that I control my schedule for the most part. I choose what does and does not go on there, and for a while now giving time, energy, and love to others hasn’t been blocked out on my Outlook calendar.
So that’s my challenge on this Throwback Thursday…to find exactly where I need to serve and do it. I challenge all of you as well to get out from behind the computers, put away the busyness and the hustle for a couple of hours, and serve. Serve in your community, your church, your neighborhood. Be someone who extends the love outward and pours it out on others…as I said yesterday this world is filled with far too much ugliness already, as Christians we are called to reflect His love, whether we feel like it or not.
Somehow “Throwback Thursday” got started via Instagram a while back. In honoring the awesomeness of social media, I started throwing some of my old school photos up there for people to enjoy. I would then post them on Facebook just as a joke. It seems many people enjoy seeing me as a child, with really bad hairstyles and the best clothing choices of the 80’s.
I thought today I would give you some Christmas greetings on this Throwback Thursday with two early photos of me. They are my Christmas gift to you this holiday season.The first one you can see the utter fear I have of Santa in my eyes. This is (I believe) the only known photo of me with Santa as a child, as I feared the man. (Note: I still clench my hands like that in stressful situations) My mom tells the story of when I was two, upon seeing him walk towards me in JCPenney I started wailing at his knees and was in a full blown panic attack (kiddie style) by the time I reached his beard. It’s taken some time but three years ago, my sister and I got our photos made on Santa’s lap for my mom as a gift. The second photo is actually from my very first Christmas. I was such a cute chubby baby.
May your Christmas be filled with memories as glorious as my outfits!