Getting started on Little Guy’s scrapbook made me decide to organize my photos that have yet to find their way into an album. I’m using the word “organize” loosely here. Actually, I’m just dividing them up into photos from when I was a kid, photos from when I was a teenager, photos of my wedding and first few years of marriage and photos of my kids. I’ve got another small stack of photos of my family that were taken before I was born too. (Am I the only one out there who finds it hard to believe that my parents were kids once?) I managed to get them sorted in a morning, and the kids and I have enjoyed looking through them.

In taking a look back, I’ve learned that my fashion sense, or lack thereof, is nothing new. I could probably blame the plaid patchwork pants on my Mom since I was just a kid, but I’m the one who bought that really awful yellow polo shirt that looked terrible on me. Not to mention the neon tie-dyed t-shirt and matching shorts. At least I’d outgrown wearing shorts with tall athletic socks pulled up to my knees by the time I hit my teens.

I laughed when I came across the photo of my sister wearing the “Here Comes Trouble” t-shirt, and laughed even harder when I saw the photo of me wearing the same shirt a couple of years earlier. Apparently my boys are not the first kids to wear the same clothes that their older sibling did!

There were a lot of photos of Mom’s family on the coast. We used to go to Schoodic Point every summer. We’d pack a picnic lunch and stop at a particular spot to have lunch. All of us cousins would go down by the ocean and wander around on the rocks. Then we’d head over to Schoodic. The waves crashing on the rocks there is like nothing else! And I’m pretty sure that the seagulls saw us coming. Grammy and our mothers always made sure that there was bread on hand to feed the birds. One year they even got treated to some stale Oreos! Now I look at the photos and wonder how our mothers managed not to have heart attacks just watching us kids climbing on the rocks. I mean, we could have fallen into the ocean or something! In any case, we all survived to treasure the memories.

I’ve really enjoyed the photos of my IT staff as a kid. And wouldn’t you know it; there is a photo of him in front of a computer among those childhood photos! It also strikes me how much he looks like his Dad did back then. Will someone look at our family photos thirty years from now and think that my boys look so much like their Dad did?

Some of the photos have been bittersweet. I found one of my Mom and one of her sisters. They were re-united in Heaven on Resurrection Sunday this year. I have to admit that the photo of the two of them laughing filled my eyes with tears. How I miss that laughter.

I look at the photographs of myself as a little girl and later as a teenager and realize that my life is absolutely nothing like I had thought it would be back then. I have to admit, I’m glad it’s not. I had dreams, I had a plan, but I’m really thankful that God had one of His own for me. I look back over a lifetime of photographs, and there are so many memories there. The good, the bad and the ugly clothes. Looking at the individual moments, I don’t immediately notice God’s hand in all of them. But when I step back and look at the decades those photos represent… it’s unmistakable. I see the fingerprints of my Creator all over my life. All of these people, all of these moments, all of it is being woven together by Him. And I’m awestruck to realize that He saved me from my own ambitions and chose to make me a part of this tapestry of His design. It’s a tapestry of grace. None of us will see the completed picture in this lifetime, but I’ve no doubt that when revealed, we’ll find it utterly breathtaking.