Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

4.23.2013

The Changing Kaleidoscope

"Isn't it funny how day by day, nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different..."
{C.S. Lewis}
 
waiting for the train to black and whiteville
 
I remember over a decade ago sitting in our yet-unremodeled dining room (carpet in a dining room with kids? Not a good combination)--I probably had braids in my hair, because that was my gold standard for hairstyles back then. And as a youngster of ten, I had an epiphany about the passage of time while eating my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. "Mama, Mama! In ten years, Micah will be ten, and Susanna will be twelve, and Melanie will be SIXTEEN and Lauren and I will be TWENTY!" Oh, the unfathomableness of twenty.

I little dreamed that God would bring another little brother to join our family. Or that terrorists would hijack planes and run them into buildings I had never heard of before. Or that I would teach violin and piano--and love it. Or that God would speak to me and reveal Himself to me in such precious ways, constantly drawing me to Him and sanctifying me for His good purposes.

Life is funny that way. All your plans vanish in the face of the unexpected. And then, one day, you gain that thing they call "perspective," and you look back with gladness at the forks in the road and the unforeseen events. (Though, admittedly, my perspective is quite trivial and my experience short with only 22 years of living!)
 
When I look back to compare then with now and find everything different, I am filled with a yearning to make everything the same. To have all four sisters sleeping in the same room, Lauren and I talking until late at night about all our plans for a woodland fort, Melanie and Susanna eavesdropping and conspiring to cause a ruckus. To have Jonah toddling around and actually enjoying the kisses I bestow upon him. To go for our annual shopping trip at Fred Meyer to procure the essential saltwater sandals (wear them at the beach! church! and everything in between!). To have Micah carefree and eager to go out with me in the dark night to collect eggs from the "bak-baks"--he didn't know it, but his happy presence was what kept my heart from pounding, my adrenaline from coursing through my veins, and my imagination from terrifying me about things that go bump in the night.
 
All these precious things are forever gone. I cry at the realization of it.
 
Then I look around. Susanna, taking the phone from Jonah just to say hello during a break in my day. Lauren, with me wherever I go as we teach and play and help a friend pack and sit through board meetings and so much more. Jonah, asking just two weeks ago to have a slumber party in my room after a year-long hiatus. Melanie, finding science experiments for my latest project, and taking advantage of kitchen duty together to talk a blue streak. Micah, meeting me at the car to carry up my things and playing with me during the church worship service.
 
Precious.
 
On the eve of my 12th birthday, I wrote in my journal,

"Here is a list of things I'll try too [sic] do when I'm an adult;
  1. If I have any girls I'll try too [sic] do a tea party a year.
  2. I won't spank when I'm angry, nor will I spank more than 7 times.
  3. I will try to sew most of the clothes we wear.
  4. I will not accquire alot [sic] of junk. (ie after getting a happy meal toy we will throw them away etc.)"
How on earth I came up with such a motley assemblage of resolutions, I have no idea, but it provides both amusement and inspiration now that I seem to have reached this adult stage.

Where will I be in ten years? (I'll be THIRTY-TWO!) Where will my family be in ten years? Ten becomes Jonah so well. How could the years possibly march on and turn him into a twenty year-old?

In the spirit of my twelve year-old self, I give you four new resolutions to provide both amusement and inspiration:
  1. I won't fret over what others think of me.
  2. I will love my family and those around me unconditionally as Jesus did--not based on performance, but based upon their preciousness in the sight of God.
  3. I will read a book a month.
  4. I will not buy my children happy meals. (Solves two problems in one! No junk toys and no junk food! Do you know what's in those things?)
Ten years...it's a long time. Only God knows what it will bring. When I look into the eyepiece, expecting to see the path ahead magnified, I realize I am not looking through binoculars--I'm peering through a kaleidoscope. The view is colorful and bright, but indiscernible and unpredictable. It's going to be a beautiful, wild ride! And, meanwhile, I am more determined than ever to savor the preciousness of every relationship.



C.S. Lewis quote taken from Prince Caspian
Photo Credit: M. Jeremy Goldman

15 comments:

  1. **wiping away tears**

    I said I felt awkward leaving comments on your blog because after all, I'm pretty old....

    But this, this post was so poignant, so sweetly reminiscent, I had to write a comment.

    I loved this post so much, and I'm so privileged to be able to get to know you on your journey!

    And I look forward to seeing the next part of the journey as God leads!

    ((love you dearly))

    From Mrs Gilchrist

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    1. Awkward? Old? What are you talking about?

      Thanks so much for commenting and for being a part of my life's journey and for letting me be a part of yours!

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  2. Oh Mika...sweet, beautiful, and smacking of that longing Lewis calls "joy" - that's what this post is.

    Your new resolutions are wonderful ~ Point 4 made me laugh. Brilliant! :)

    Hugs!!

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    1. Thank you, dear Sarah. I'm glad you enjoyed my somewhat tongue-in-cheek resolutions. ;-)Now I am sure that I have solved the world's problems! Ha!

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  3. Replies
    1. M--thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  4. Thank you so much for this post, you seemed to share exactly what I'm going through right now, with such a sweet perspective. Trying to figure out how time passed so quickly, and trying to see beyond what I can see in the future has been challenging and confusing. But, what a precious reminder to have the promise of eternity, and the blessedness of an all powerful God controlling everything!

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one, Elanee! ;-) And I'm so sorry and sad we didn't get to chat at the concert. I was edging my way toward you, but the thing about living in one town your whole life is that you know EVERYONE, and trying to talk to 500 people before they leave becomes an impossibility. Hopefully we'll get to chat this weekend!

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  5. I like this. I know what it feels like to think ahead 10 years. When I was 13, I wrote myself a letter to open 10 years from then! I said what I thought I would be doing then, where I might be, etc. I'm excited to open it!

    I also love how you are living in the here and now. It also saddens me to think of the years that are gone, but I also need to be looking ahead to what is in my life *right now*! and to be thankful in it!

    Blessings!
    ~Emily

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    1. Exactly, Emily. There will always be wistfulness for days gone by (which only increases, I think, the more days have passed!), and excitement for days ahead, but most importantly, we must be grounded in the reality of TODAY!

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  6. Are you guys coming to this years Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference in WA?

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    1. Absolutely, Madi! Although Lauren and I will be all over, you'll be most likely to find me behind the registration table, and Lauren at Cyndi Ringoen's booth in the vendor hall. We're also doing a round table discussion during one of the lunch hours. Please introduce yourself if you spot us!

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    2. Oh phooey...I saw you a few times but you were always kind of busy. I'll probably see you again sometime since we both live in the same area and then I can say hi. :)

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  7. Aww, I was just thinking on this subject last night as I watched the sunset and then the darkness slowly take over the sky. Everything (clouds, light) changes so gradually at sunset that you totally miss the beautiful in-between-ness if you aren't VERY STILL and totally in the present.
    Lovely to read your thought on this! (:
    Lydia H.

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  8. I've had lots of moments like this over the years (in ten year's time I'll be TWENTY EIGHT!!) and it's special to look back and see how I've changed over the years, but also, how I haven't changed. I'm still me. But on the other side, over the years God's sanctified me more, I've grown in character, I've stepped outside my comfort zone, and I believe things slightly differently. And you're right - life is like looking through a kaleidoscope, and it's an exhilarating adventure.

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