Sunday, September 13, 2009

Left Behind in Boxes

That life was left behind in boxes. A life when my older two were little kids. That life of being a small family of four, two dogs, a cat, two horses, two birds, a bunny, some fish, and a gecko. Those boxes were taken down from the shelves and opened. Unwrapping a part of my past that had me smiling. They made me pictures all the time saying "I love you mommy", or "you are the best mommy ever", and I have kept these in the boxes of all the hundreds of other pictures. Pictures of a little boy, a little girl and a husband of the past.

Last night I went through boxes that had not been opened in over ten years. It's been about 10 years since the demise of my first marriage. David and I would take these boxes and put them in the attic, or on a shelf in the garage and I kept saying something like honey I need about a day to go through these boxes. Who has a day with a busy household. If I have time to myself I am on long walk, meeting with a friend, or just cozying up next to David as the day comes to an end. Not digging through boxes.

Last night after putting the boys to bed I took inventory of the next 8 hours of my time. I realized that I could put 8 hours into these boxes and accomplish quite a lot. It would make for getting to bed around 2am, but it is the weekend and the boys are easy enough that I could force my eyelids open the next day to care for kiddies.

I was so blessed by all the photo's, the notes, the pictures that the kids had made, and sat in the middle of the floor just smiling. I told David that the day I took time to do this would either bless me or take me through more healing of my past. I have to say I was completely blessed.

When there is divorce and the ending of something so important it is painful for everyone. The pain is validated by the terrible stories we can tell about the other person, their part in the hurt, and thus gives credence to our own process and pain. Yet when I looked at these years of pictures unfolding and that life I was reminded of the fun. Come on people we did not marry ugly people, we kind of turned into that in our own inabilities to figure life out with each other. So do I look at the pictures with hurt, with hate, with pain. Absolutely not. There are two pictures I knew I would find that I wanted to save. One with my dad and me walking down the Ilse of my first wedding. And one with my ex and me at a happier time in my life. David can embrace why I would keep these two pictures. My ex is the father of my amazing children and in all the years of being a part it has been my prayer that we could at least get along and continue to parent our children together.
I know kind of a pie in the sky dream and prayer, yet to be answered, but David and I still have that hope.

As I sorted and sifted I was able to put together a special box for my ex with many pictures and the same kinds of notes and pictures from the kids. I have to be honest here. I am human, human, human and my flesh was conflicted for about two minutes thinking...why would I even give him the joy of these...HMPH!!!! And then I just prayed that God would take away that "HMPH" moment and know that if I was blessed he too should be blessed because you know no matter what exchanges of the past there are, these are just as much his.

Forgiveness is not just a decision it's an action. Actions are what we say and do, our behaviors. Forgiveness has worked it's way into my heart over the years. Not just one big "I FORGIVE" moment. Events unfold, emotions let go, realities are faced and each time praying and forgiving. When our actions follow with grace and humility it's a positive step towards the healing in the hearts of the past, the healing in my heart. I had this genuine sense of God just pressing on my heart to bless the ex. (That sounds funny)

It's so cute to look at the kids and just smile over the passing of time and who they are today. Thanks God for the blessing of my past.


  1. sigh- so sweet- and cute picture of the oldest kiddos!

  2. Elizabeth- I always look forward to reading what you write. I love the way you think and I couldn't agree with you more about "Forgiveness is not just a decision it's an action." Sometimes it's so hard- but that's the whole reason we are in relationship with Christ so that we can lean on HIM and to do the seemingly impossible... like forgive an "unforgiveable" person. I always remember that I, myself, am so undeserving- yet Christ forgives and loves me... kinda makes it hard to hold a grudge for too long.

  3. This post touched me on a deep level, as DH and I are coming out of a rough time and healing our relationship, with the Lord's help. It reminded me that I would not want him to become my ex or our life together to be boxed away. Thank you for the touching reminder. Your blog is such a blessing.

  4. Photographs are so precious, am glad you have them! PS still waiting for drapery pictures!!

  5. Elizabeth I just put them up, now to purchase that new camera I was going to buy last week.

  6. Elizabeth - Wow! What healing to ask God to get rid of the "hmph"! Thank you for sharing your moments of blessing...

  7. Being a child from a divorced home, stories like this are still such a dreamlike shock for me to read. It is a blessing you give to yourself, to your ex, to your kids and even your grandkids to be able to have those converstaions with yourself and with God and for Him to be able to work such beauty into what was such ugliness. xoxo


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