Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Family Tapestry

Last week was the annual Nesdahl family vacation. And while we were there, we made a family tapestry.

Part of the yearly trip is a family talent show. This year I rocked out a solo dance to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” In homage to the late 80s I pegged my jeans and wore a side ponytail.

Confession: I made up a dance to this song on the hill in my back yard when I was growing up and for some odd reason I still remembered most of it. But hey, it has now officially served me a purpose.

While the talents varied, my mother-in-law, who is great with word pictures, took a more sentimental approach and created this family tapestry. To do it, she took out a big sewing hoop and several types of ribbon. We all chose ribbon that we thought somehow represented us. Then we cut enough for our ribbon to span the hoop both directions and weaved them together. Lastly, she took out three separate ribbons to represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The idea is that we are all unique yet woven together in God’s love.

I’m not going to lie, this brought tears to my eyes because it so perfectly defined us.

This year’s trip took place in the beautiful Palisades State Park. We all stayed in one beautiful lodge cabin and made many new memories.

Since we were in a state park known for gorgeous waters and breath-taking rock formations you would think that I would come prepared.

I didn’t.

So, when we ended up on an “adventure hike” instead of the kids playground like I thought, I panicked. First of all, I’m asthmatic and the air was VERY muggy. Without moving I felt like it was hard to breathe and when I saw the hilly land and was without my inhaler, I was fearful of an attack. Second, I was in slippery sandals and shorts. If I’m going to be by long grass and trees, I’d prefer to be in long clothes because I don’t want to be bonding with any bugs or other creatures. Particularly the types that hang out in long grasses.

I froze inside.

And my family knew it. My brother in law who was videoing the family experience probably has footage of a frozen Melissa looking like a deer in headlights.

But, I didn’t want to be a buzz kill so I tucked away my fears and followed the group.

In that moment, the "unique yet woven together" came out. I looked uncomfortable (think Shelley Long Troop Beverly Hills-ish) and they, being nature lovers, were right at home. But they didn’t make fun of me or harass me. Rather, they walked at my side and went on a short, flat trail.

Their strengths and my weaknesses coming together to encourage and experience something incredible with one another.

And then we stopped and saw this.

It was like God was saying, “Look at what I made. Think of what you would have missed.”

It was absolutely gorgeous. When combined with the sound of the flowing waters, it relaxed me to the core.

I loved it.

I’m so thankful to have married into a family so dedicated to one another.

Our tapestry isn’t just beautiful hung on the wall. It’s vibrant in the heart.

What a wonderful week.

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