There was an immeasurable amount of objects carefully arranged, a plethora of chandeliers, wood furniture, glass shimmering on light fixtures, brass, mirrors and metal creating an overwhelming display. This past December the firm I was working at had the Christmas party in an architectural antiques shop. I could have walked for hours in the aisles discovering all the items, layered and arranged. There was such a warmth to the evening being surrounded by a sea of chandeliers on the ceiling, and old wood furniture at the edges of the room. I wished I could know all the stories of where things came from, who owned it, and if there was any significant story behind the array before my eyes.
Keeping a journal has been a constant habit in my life since I was thirteen years old, I'm now on my 21st or 22nd one. I like to think of my life like that antique shop in many ways, layered, arranged, filled with moments and experiences large or small. It's fun to look back and see what places or people are highlighted or shine the most. The biggest thing I see when I look back is all those who have built into me over the years to help me become the person I am today. Another quote from Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson stood out to me when I read the book earlier this month.
"Everything God does through you is a testimony to those who have parented you, mentored you, discipled you, coached you, and loved you."
From my bosses at my first job teaching swimming lessons and life guarding, to my parents, my pastors, design firm principals, professors, teachers, and certainly parents I would never be able to reach an exhaustive list of those who have influenced me. There are those I know by name, and then those who I never met face to face like the people who created scholarships so I could study abroad while at university. I have been challenged, critiqued, encouraged, and built up by all those great mentors, bosses, coworkers, friends and family members throughout my life. Without them I wouldn't have had the boldness to step out I think into this season of fully trusting in God.
I am again being poured into by speakers and the leaders of my Ministry and Leadership Development school. Our theme is Follow. Grow. Remember. Like I mentioned in the last post, God brings us right where we are supposed to be as we trust in Him, that is the following. The growth comes along the way. At the end we look back and remember all that God has done, just as I look back and see all who have built me up throughout my life.
Maybe take a moment to walk through your 'antique shop', whatever way you collect and remember the moments of your life. Think of who has influenced you, shaped you, and helped you become who you are today and take a moment to thank them.