I am

I am made of summer bike rides down a dusty road, patted out cakes of sand decorated with leaves, and the sweet taste of honeysuckle nectar on my tongue.  I am made from the bleating of sheep at the first morning light and the rule about no bare feet until May 1st.

I am made from faded 4-H ribbons, honor roll certificates, and every adventure of Nancy Drew. I am made of time spent practicing the old Baptist hymns played on a slightly out-of-tune piano for sweet Miss Ella Mae and of Vacation Bible School cookies and Kool-aid. I am made from the wiping down of tables in the Terry coffee shop, watched over by Gracie with the golden tooth to ensure I didn’t miss a single spot.

I am made of my father’s laughter and my mother’s quiet observations, my grandmother’s whisk, and of hours upon hours spent reading the Bible to Ma as I sat next to the crackling fire. I am made of Sunday brisket eaten around the long table at the Big House, of grilled cheese sandwiches cooked in butter, and of just a little too much sugar in my coffee milk.

I am made from the white stockings all bunched in the toes of my red buckle shoes, of itchy lace stitched along the hem of the Easter dress my grandmother made, and from tracing the wrinkles on the thin skin of my great-grandmother’s hand as The Word of God was preached every single Sunday morning of my childhood.  I am made of Thanksgiving breakfasts and of Spring Ridge Sundays, of old family photos and of vacations spent traipsing through abandoned cemeteries to find that one ancestral grave we had never seen before.

I am made from fingers dry with chalk and red ink marks, and more lesson plans than I care to remember. I am made from large stacks of homeschool curriculum and unreasonably high library fines. And I am made out of 235,000 mini-van miles, most traveled with five kids crammed into the back asking “Are we almost there yet?”.  I am made from living in six states, and from owning an empty passport.

I am made from the midnight prayers over sick babies. I am made out of my decision to welcome children from hard places into my home, from loving them as much as I loved my own blood babies, and from the tears of having to give them back. I am made from learning how to feed an anorexic child.

I am made out of pencils without a point, ink smeared words on loose leaf paper, and random blog posts. I am made from the strong desire to tell the tales my ancestors once told just so I can remember how the story goes.

Who am I?

I am all of these things, and yet so much more. For I am made in the image of the Great I Am, created only for His glory. I am made for His plans and purposes.

The events and people that shaped me are not the sum of who I am.

I am made for Him.

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. ~Colossians 1:16 (ESV)