This past Labor Day weekend I witnessed a mini-miracle. My side of the family, the McGills, held a family reunion on Amelia Island, Florida. This area is one of those less discovered places in Florida, where the oaks with Spanish moss, palmettos, and Bermuda grass come close to the edge of the beautiful, sandy beaches. Our family has come here for small get togethers as well as weddings. This weekend was planned in the Spring and the word went out to everyone. Phone calls and emails started coming in from all over the country. This sounded like a great idea! Before we knew it, all 29 kin, from 85 years old to 4 months, were planning to show up.
In some families this might not equate to a miracle, but it does with our family. Living in California, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Florida made the trip challenging for some. Included in the pack were four small great grandchildren and one pregnant mom. My sister-in-law, Teri, commented that if one person had been missing it would not have been the same. She was right. It was a small miracle and a big blessing for everyone, especially for my Mom and Dad.
While we were there, the nine grandchildren shared memories of their grandparents. There were lots of laughs as well as happy tears. There were funny stories: Grandad insisting that Christy, a student at the University of Florida, and her college roommates should ride on the Lake Butler Rotary Club Christmas float; his teaching the little ones how to do double front flips off the diving board frightening lifeguards to death. They all loved trips in the RV whether it was going on a camping trip or riding in it to the airport to catch a plane; art lessons by Grandmom; helping in gardens with vegetables and fruits; coin collections; card games; dominoes; and “side” educations received on every visit. There was respect and admiration communicated for the integrity, kindness and generosity that they had seen in their grandparents. Along with these accolades, all acknowledged the fact that their grandparents had “shown up” at their life events: games and performances; birthdays; graduations; weddings; staying with them when their own parents we’re away; showing up for no other reason than that they were loved.
“Showing up” communicates. It communicates worth, value and dignity. It is more than a bodily presence. It is a spirit and soul connection. It communicates to a family member or a friend that, “I care and you matter to me.”
Sometimes I feel like I have to get my act together first with bringing a small gift, saying the right words, finding the perfect time. When I wait, I miss the opportunity of letting someone know their value to me. When I do “show up” for people I love or people I see needing extra encouragement, I find that I am the one who benefits. Blessings and grace happen in my own life. There are times when it may be easy to be there for someone. There are other situations where this is not the case. It may be caused by life circumstances or how we perceive they feel about us.
I am thankful that The Lord values me and that he wants to show up in my life. I can step out and “show up”, when it is easy or when it is challenging with others, because He values me and asks me to follow His lead. This is not merely obligation, it becomes a blessing for me. “Showing up” demonstrates to a broken world that we love one another.
Like the rest of my family, I’ll be living off this mini-miracle for some time. It is a reminder of the love and value we have for each other. It is also a reminder for me to show up in the lives of others, whether they are old friends or someone new on my path. This always comes back to bless me!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds….let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
8 thoughts on “Showing Up”
Lindy, you most definitely have the gift of encouragement. I am uplifted each time you share the ways God shows up in your life. He is always so faithful. How neat that your family reunion was held in Amelia Island. My best friend lives there. 🙂
Forgot to say: you are blessed with lovely parents who have been such good teachers.
What a special time! Lindy. Thank you for continuing to “show up” in life and faith and relationships, and on this blog…not just when things are good and when there’s lots of love, and life makes sense…. but also when things are hard, confusing and lonely. You are a brave and beautiful woman, and i think your family is beautiful too! vicki paxton
As always, so beautifully expressed!
Beautiful, I could almost touch the spanish moss and smell the salty air.
Beautifully written tribute to a beautiful family
Lindy, Jeanne shared with me your blog! What a special gathering ya’ll had! Blessings to the McGill Clan !!!
Wow! It is so wonderful that you could get them all there, but the memories that poured out from the young ones, that is priceless!! Knowing your Dad and Mom and enjoying a camping trip or two with y’all myself, plus endless other suppers, spend-the-nights, ice-cream chunings, backyard adventures, etc., I totally remember the great influence and kindness of the McGills. I always felt welcome to step over Doc, the dog, and come on in!! (Whether y’all were home or not….Doc, one of the great McGill dogs….:). Love you. Thanks for “showing up” for me many times.