Vintage Valerie: Lawrence, Kansas

Today is “Throw Back Thursday”, so I’m throwing it back to 2004. Here are a few random photos I uncovered of our time in Lawrence, Kansas. 🙂

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My little Lauren and Mitchell, ages 5 and 2, with their first snowman! How small they once were!

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Mitchell “reading”. 🙂

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Out cold and covered up.

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Look at those smiles!

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For some reason, Mitch always smiled this way, with his eyes squeezed shut!

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After my dad died, I sat sobbing on my bed one day. This fella, barely age two, went to where Terry kept the handkerchiefs in the dresser, opened the drawer, got one out and toddled over to where I sat. He handed me the hankie for my tears. For me, it was one way God was showing me that I had not been forgotten.

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Lauren is…baking? 🙂

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I’m sure there is a story behind this photo, but I can’t remember it!

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Lauren with a toy basketball. I think the net is just out of the frame.

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Mitch fell asleep at lunch time!

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There’s that smile again. He has always been the happiest little, and now tall, guy! He is rarely ever grouchy, even today.

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Enjoying some nice Kansas weather.

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Believe it or not, Mitch was letting her tie him up!

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My beautiful babies, who are not babies anymore!

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Lauren in the grass. I loved all the yellow flowers. Yes, they’re just weeds, but they were pretty weeds!

When I think back to our time in Lawrence, one positive thought emerges: I met some amazing ladies in the church we attended! The other thoughts are pretty negative: we lived in a ghetto, this ghetto was the last place I saw my dad alive, we suffered another unspeakable tragedy while there, and I really, truly thought  (I’m ashamed to admit) that God had forgotten me. It’s so silly to think that now, some nine years post-ghetto, as I sit in my own home with the sunshine streaming through the blinds practically falling all over itself to cheer me. If only I could go back in time to that 26 year old girl and share what I know now! But life doesn’t work that way. Someone said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” How true that is. I didn’t understand it back then, but I did keep living. I kept taking steps forward when I just wanted to give up.

Looking back, the lessons I learned in Lawrence have led me to the belief in the sovereignty of God that I have now. I learned to laugh when I just wanted to cry. I learned to cling to God’s promises, to cry them out to Him, and wait on Him to answer. I learned for myself that God does keep His word! I learned to count my blessings, even if the blessing was simply the warm breeze that lilted through the house or the flowers blooming by the roadside. I learned that it is possible to be happy with very little, and that happiness is a choice. Most importantly, I learned that when Christ is all you have, you find that He is all you need.

Thanks for going back in time with me. I would really love to just stay there, but life is moving forward again and I must go with it.

With love,

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6 thoughts on “Vintage Valerie: Lawrence, Kansas

  1. Remember Bernice & I drove out, & knew we were at the right apt, when we saw Mitch looking out the door. Precious memories is right.

    Like

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