Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Humble Beginnings...

My parent's took off nice and early for the airport this morning; they're headed for Okinawa, Japan. Man, I can't tell you how happy I am for them. I didn't grow up in a family where we traveled to amazing places or crossed continents so this is super huge for them. I have a younger brother in the United States Marine Corp. Ooohrah! Gosh, gets me every time! I can't talk about him without welling up. I'm just so gosh darn proud! Anyhoo, he is stationed in Okinawa with his wife Lisa, my niece Alyssa, and nephew M.J. (Murray John Young III, I know, amazing).

Both my parent's worked growing up; we were a typical working class family. We spent our winter and Easter breaks off school at the babysitters house; not Disneyland. I know, I'm so deprived, right! Actually, no. My parent's spent every dime they earned to clothe us and keep us in the extra curricular activities we chose like soccer, football, and dance. They attended every soccer and football game and as I got older and became a cheerleader they'd come watch me cheer and wouldn't dream of missing a competition for dance or cheerleading. We didn't travel much and when we did, we camped. So packing up the family, being allowed to bring a friend along, and stay a few days in Chicago for a dance competition was incredible. We didn't stay in hotels! And who cares if we brought along my loud cousin who was so proud of me you can hear her screaming my name in every single video. And who cares if she used to come with my mom to pick me up acting like a physically handicapped person to embarrass me. Not that being physically handicapped should be but I hope you get my point.

I couldn't appreciate just how much of themselves they put into giving my brothers and I everything we wanted. In last week's sermon, Pastor talked about how when you buy something you are giving a piece of yourself and your life away for it. You are trading a part of you to own something in return. Just like Christ did for us, he paid with his own blood for our salvation. They put their blood, sweat, and time away from us into their work in exchange for a paycheck then put all of the money they earned into giving us everything we needed, wanted, and then some. I truly didn't fully understand that until this morning thinking about how much this trip to Japan must mean to them. Not only are they going to visit their son and family whom they haven't seen in nearly two years but they are leaving the continent. That's just crazy to me.

I'm sure both my brothers would agree that our favorite memories of growing up include our camping trips and next in line is probably dinner time. We drove my mother crazy but we laughed until some of us peed or fell out of chairs. Sadly, mealtime with my own children is much the same, only, what's sad is it totally drives me nuts! You shouldn't screw around at the dinner table! And, wouldn't you know it, Dad is still the ring leader of the circus.

My bond, respect, honor, and appreciation for my parent's has grown leaps and bounds in recent months. I can't even articulate my thoughts properly. As a parent myself, I know now how much of themselves they have vested in us. Looking back, I've been a pretty ungrateful brat. And yet again, they have opened their hearts and home to us. Not do we just live here, but they insist it isn't their home but our home. And you know what, it is home. I know we are exactly where we are supposed to be for this season and there is so much grace upon us. Who knows mom and dad, you just might become born-again Christians! Yes, they believe in God but not religion, not that I blame them. I don't believe in religion either.

So it's no wonder that when my husband and I had to chose between our annual trip to Florida in March and a handful of weekends of camping this summer, we chose camping. The kids chose camping. Florida is amazing, it's my favorite place. Standing on the shoreline of the ocean in the warm air, and the sun on my face is absolutely my favorite place. It makes me so happy just thinking about it. Walks on the beach every morning, spending the day with the kids in a pool that has a temperature set at 90 degrees, sunsets, eating out, shopping, sand castles, and watching the kids play in the waves, and sadly the kids smashing the sand creations that others have left behind. Man, it's a priceless week. But this year we're going the humble route and we'll have just as much fun and create the kind of memories I have from my childhood.

Out of everything we've endured and lost and learned over the last 8 1/2 months, the camper is one thing we've held onto. The kids truly love it and the time we have in the parks away from home, tv, and video games. Not to mention, the marshmallows! It's been 8 1/2 months since our family has had some time to just hang out alone so Faith was kicking and screaming after my parent's left. She'll miss them but is really excited to see what it will be like with just our family in the house. Karli was in tears, Mallory and Hailey were just excited to get ahold of the markers they got yesterday, and Tyler I think was walking in his sleep. We all can't wait for them to arrive safely so they can call us on the web cam and we can see em' hanging out in Japan with my brother and his family. You know what else is really funny, of all the things my brother could have planned for them to do during their visit, they are going camping! My mom doesn't yet know she'll need some leaves and to search for the hole in the ground that serves as a restroom but oh well...kidding!

Murray, Lisa, Alyssa, M.J. - miss you and love you guys so much! Have a fantastic couple of weeks and soak it all in! Mom, Dad, be safe and may the Lord's protective angels keep you surrounded! Love you guys!

And I have to say to my brother Kevin and sister-in-law and friend Erica, that after what I've endured I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything will be okay! I'm equally as proud of the two of you. The Lord is faithful and all your dreams will come true! If I spend the rest of my life lifting you up in prayer, you will have it all! I love you both!

Muah! xoxo - Kari

5 drops of sunshine:

Todd said...

GOD's grace is upon you in everything you do. Your writing is always a tear jerker in a fantastic way. Love You!

{Erica Young} said...

You have me in tears over here (but I've been very emotional the last week). You and Todd have always been there for Kevin & I. You provided a home for us when we didn't have one, you always gave us advice and never took ones side over the other and have always provided love when we needed it. Even though we never show it we appreciate and love the both of you. I thought with us moving closer we could hang out more but everyone is just so gosh darn busy these days. But summer is just around the corner so plan on seeing us alot more :)

If you guys wanna do pizza this weekend or something call us.

Elizabeth said...

i totally understand about humble beginnings. we didn't have "vacations" in disney world or anything like that...we went to my relatives in delaware or stayed home for spring break...i wouldn't change my childhood for the world. :-)

and since i've been married we've had to choose to pay larger amounts on bills and infertility treatments instead of any getaway time for Esquire & me...but, it's worth it... :-)

Melissa said...

How special to write such sweet words about and to your parents...you all are blessed. I hope they have a fantastic memory filled trip!

Tabbie:) said...

You never cease to blow me away with the things you write. I love your deepness!! I hope your parents have a great time in Japan. And I hope your family has an incredible time hanging out just you guys! You are so awesome!!