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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Truly Amazing Experiences

My dad said out of the blue this morning, “You know, I’ve experienced four amazing things.”

Naturally, why wouldn’t I, his princess, his little girl, his one and only super awesome daughter be one of the most amazing things he’s experienced? And my brothers too. They’re OK. For brothers and all that.

So, me, being the grown up that I am, said, “I KNOW! ME!!! I'M ONE OF THOSE THINGS! And Brandon and Austin. Those are three things.”

But there’s never a doubt what the top thing is to my dad: my mom.

He smiled and said, “You and your brothers are three of the four. Number one is when I saw your mother on our wedding day.” He did an exaggerated cartoon double take, “She was beeee-u-teee-ful.”

I gotta admit, it makes me feel happy and squishy inside to hear my father say that seeing my mother on their wedding day was the most amazing thing he’d ever seen.

He got me thinking about the most amazing thing I've ever seen or experienced. I haven't had the privilege of getting married or having children, so it made me wonder if I've ever experienced anything truly, truly amazing.

But I realize I have.

Five years ago, I got to travel with Compassion (an organization that focuses on the spiritual, physical, economic and social needs of children in poverty) to Quito, Ecuador. It was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity. I experienced poverty - real poverty - up close and personal. What made it so amazing was experiencing the joy these families had in spite of their circumstances. It was humbling to me, and I was challenged to think about where I find my joy.

AwakeningThree years ago, my grandfather slowly succumbed to heart failure. Watching my grandfather go from a big, strong, proud man to weak and bedridden was one of the hardest things I've ever experienced. But what was amazing was being able to serve him in his final months and moments. God could've taken him in an instant, but I firmly believe God gave us the opportunity to heal hurts that needed to be healed. Our family - pretty much every person who loved him - was there when he took his last breath.

Last year, I spent one week with my best friend on a cruise ship traveling from Miami to Nassau to CocoCay to Key West and back to Miami. We went kayaking in the waters of the Bahamas, reclined in hammocks suspended between palm trees, got dressed up for dinner each night, and were treated like ladies. Experiencing God's amazing creation - vast oceans, beautiful palm trees, cultures - was absolutely amazing.

So those are three truly amazing experiences that I can think of off the top of my head. How about you? What's something truly amazing that you've experienced?


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