Thankful, On Purpose

For some reason, the term ‘on purpose’ is amusing to me. When our kids were little, they used to say ‘I did it, but I did it on an accident’; their adaptation of the opposite of ‘on purpose’. These days, I’m Thankful…On Purpose. I chose the timing of this post intentionally, because I feel I’m standing in the middle of a bridge between the past and the future. I can look back over the bridge and see so many wonderful blessings from our time in California. When I look forward, I really don’t see anything (well, other than ALOT of snow). It would be easy to be thankful once I know what wonderful things are in store for us, but right now I don’t know what our time in Minnesota holds for us ~ I don’t know how long we’ll be there, I don’t know what kind of memories or friends we’ll make, I don’t even know where we’ll live yet. But I am standing in the middle of the bridge and I’m choosing to be thankful for all of it. Thankful for the scary, thankful for the difficult, and thankful for the unknown.

Right now, I’m keenly aware of some of the aspects of California I’m really going to miss. Instead of dwelling on how much I’ll miss them, I’ve chosen to heighten my sensitivity towards them and genuinely enjoy each little gift. Here are some that are particularly fresh for me:

Our house and our yard. The construction project turned out beautifully, and we love the outdoor kitchen and pool area. We’ll miss it greatly, and will cherish the memories from Kristen and Cooper’s wedding party and volleyball parties, and even the few impromptu barbecue gatherings that we hosted here.

The weather. Hands down, in my opinion, the weather is the single greatest advantage to living in the Bay Area of California. It’s never too hot, never too cold. If you could ‘feel’ this photo, you’d feel 70 degrees in late January with a blazing sun that warms your skin. Simply spectacular. And as a special gift, God has somehow allowed for us to have 10 straight days of record-breaking heat and no rain before the kids don their winter coats and boots in a few short weeks.

The flowers and the fresh fruit and vegetables. When we first moved here, a friend of mine promised ‘you’ll never eat another canned or frozen vegetable again.’ And she was exactly right. I have never taken for granted the beauty and availability of the year-round harvest here. There is always something blooming and the markets are brimming with beautiful fresh, juicy produce.

It would be incredibly easy for me to look back and long for what has become comfortable and predictable. I happen to prefer comfortable and predictable, especially in the VERY unpredictable life of the NFL. But in order for me to be open to the blessings that God has for me on the other side of my imaginary bridge, and he DEFINITELY has blessings for us, I must intentionally let go of what I’ve come to enjoy back in California. So, I find myself looking for things to appreciate and enjoy in our last few weeks out west. Thankful and grateful. On Purpose.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous Reader says:

    It’s not that the weather in Minnesota is too cold. No, it’s that people are insufficiently dressed for the cold.

    Best thing about Minnesota? Having a United States Senator with a sense of humor (Al Franken) that could do this when he was younger:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_mwsDFm7bQ

    Seriously though, the best thing about Minnesota is there will be a championship team there shortly. Go Vikings!

  2. Booooo Football says:

    Football is a culture of violence and those who promote it, play it, coach, it, benefit from it directly, and support it are either guilty of being outright thugs (college educated or not) or “aiding and abetting” thugs. It’s violence for the sake of money and using the body in that manner is less than prostitution.

  3. Kim says:

    Not sure why you’re so angry, but I respectfully disagree with you.

  4. Emily says:

    WOW- Boooo Football, I can honestly say I have never heard that argument! A little off the wall if you ask me… 🙂

    Kim, Minnesota is a WONDERFUL place! We used to live in the Bay area, but I was raised in MN. There are lots of great things about it- though this winter is definitely a rough one for them! I still have family that lives there- and they are Vikings fans. Here are a few of my favorite things about MN:

    -Cafe Latte (on Grand Ave in St. Paul)- delicious, cafeteria style restaurant! Calling it cafeteria style gives you a mental image that is probably not correct though… They have GREAT desserts and scones, salads, soups, etc… I eat there multiple times when I go back to MN to visit!

    -Mall of America- huge indoor mall. Enough said. Going shopping there during the winter can help beat the winter blues.

    -The North Shore (Duluth, Two Harbors, Grand Marais)- only a few hours from the Twin Cities and a fun weekend getaway. In the fall, it’s BEAUTIFUL! Lots of beautiful fall color. In Duluth, don’t miss Canal Park. Two Harbors, don’t miss Betty’s Pies!, Grand Marais, don’t miss “The World’s Best Donuts”. Lots of state parks, hiking areas, some waterfalls… The whole area is breathtaking- and a testament of God’s creation.

    -A few other good things about MN: Lots of good churches. LOTS of friendly people! A family environment. LOTS OF LAKES! 🙂 Lakes in the summer=awesome!

    Praying that it will be a smooth transition for you and your family- and that God will bring you to the right home, church family, schools, etc…

  5. Lisa Van Vorce says:

    You are such an inspiration Kim. Thank you so much for honestly sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.

  6. Willing To Compromise On A Flag or Touch Football League Instead says:

    CNN (Concussions are a No-No) report…

    “Footballer: ‘Are you OK with destroying a kid’s brain for this game?”
    Video and article:
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/02/04/tackle.technique.concussion/index.html?hpt=C2

    Yes, I know the joke so I’ll save you some time: “There is a professional touch football league already. It’s called the CFL (Canadian Football League).

  7. Minimize The Harm says:

    Books Coach Singletary should read unless he’s already read them before:

    “Head Games, Football’s Concussion Crisis” by Chris Nowinski.
    ISBN-10: 1597630136
    ISBN-13: 978-1597630139

    “Play Hard, Die Young: Football Dementia, Depression and Death” by Bennet Omalu, MD
    ISBN-10: 0980039509
    ISBN-13: 978-0980039504

    Surely, you would at least agree that more should and could be done to minimize the long and short term damage done to football players, Mrs. Singletary. I hope we can agree on at least so much as that.

  8. Kim says:

    Yes. I can agree that much should be done to minimize the damage. I will tell you, however, that the solution is not to ban football altogether. This issue is so multi-faceted, but at the root of it is the ‘win at all cost’ mentality that has permeated both the NFL and the NCAA. There is a pulling away from the teaching of the fundamentals of tackling and weight-lifting/body strengthening that would prevent the vast majority of injuries. Fathers that coach their young sons at the Pop Warner level aren’t necessarily teaching them the proper way to tackle. Then the young men grow up without proper technique, and you can see where the difficulty lies. They also need to strengthen their necks, instead of just their upper bodies.

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