Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Assigning Value

Funny, isn't it, that while doing some hard drive spring cleaning I'd come across this photo and that it would make my heart jump into my throat? How could such a mundane photo cause such emotion? Let me attempt to explain.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, witnessing the end of George's life on earth has profoundly affected me. Not only has it affected me but it's given me a perspective that I was overlooking previously. What do we know of life? For one, it's temporary. Two, it's God-ordained. Three, the days of our lives are numbered. But most sobering for me, life is brief, it's but a breath!

Last summer our entire family embarked on constructing a paver patio and the project lasted nearly the entire summer. It was grueling, at times frustrating, and most definitely a labor of love. More than all this, however, it was a family project! See those three green, red, and blue specks in the background? Those are our hooligans. Even they were allocated duties and put to work (what do you mean kids aren't intended for forced labor?)! And the funny thing is, they LOVED it.

I look back at this photo and it says to me the following:

1) This summer project is one that we will never have the opportunity to embark on again. Well, unless something should go terribly wrong with the design. But shhh, don't even tell Zack I mentioned that. In no way am I insulting his engineering skills! :) Hi honey, just a little shout out to you... No really, there will probably never again come a time when we will work on a paver patio as a family for the entire summer. This was a precious time.

2) This summer, while enjoying the fruits of our labor, we can fondly look back on the good, the bad and the ugly of this project knowing that we, as a family, completed it.

3) And here's the kicker: When it comes down to assigning value, what is it that holds value in your rating system? For me it's family. For my father-in-law it was family. At the end of his life, George seemed most concerned about where he was at in his relationships with each and every member of his brood. It wasn't about his to-do list, it wasn't about how much he had accomplished, it wasn't about how he looked or the condition of his body. It was about family. Period. This patio project, and this photo in particular, represent to me the most valued way to redeem my time - as a family. I will look back on this photo fondly, knowing that the five us worked together, shared together, and grew together for the duration of the project.

What a precious gift!

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