The journey of Logan's fourth grade football pictures:

It all started last year when I forgot to pick them up. They stayed safely with the photographer until I picked up his fifth grade pictures — which still live in my purse.

After that, times got tough for our little 3x5, 2x2, and 1x3 package of player number 99.

(And I don't actually know the package or picture sizes but accuracy in numbers — or really anything — has never been my strong point.)

With great hope of decorating a living room wall or perhaps a man cave, they sat in my car just waiting for someone to remember them on the dash.

Each time I buckled up I said, "Oh gosh — I gotta take those pictures in!" Then jaunted to the door with groceries in my hand hollering at the kids to pick up the sock in the front yard.

And their hope flickered trip by trip.

Funny because aren't we all sort of like that sometimes? Traveling around life in a seemingly pointless journey, wondering when destiny will arrive.

Then again, there truly is something in the journey. Life actually happens while we are waiting for life to happen.

The pictures went back and forth to school. They went to Walmart approximately 462 times. They traveled to Centralia, Ill., for our family reunion.

There was danger as I hurried home when Logan swore he was going to throw up all over the front seat (we barely made it).

There were high winds — basically any time Shawn was in the car.

They heard many talks.

There were arguments. Sometimes between the front and back seats. Sometimes just in the front — especially when discussing the bank account.

There were talks about God, as we discussed the sermon on the way home from church. And sometimes in the car alone as they kindly listened to all the questions I've lately had for God.

There were personal concerts as I belted out "Me and Bobbie McGee." Or as the whole car head banged to "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions" by Queen.

Then on Halloween when the road was slick, I slid down Stardust Drive and the pictures fell to the floor.

It was probably pretty scary for them — but it was their saving grace as Logan noticed them and picked them up from the floorboard.

"My football pictures! We gotta hang those on the wall."

He took them inside and set them on the kitchen counter where they sat from Oct. 31, 2020, to March 2021 when they were shoved into my purse as we moved out of our house.

And then they moved back into the car.

Sitting through a whole new season of life. Listening in on house remodel discussions as we drive back and forth to town, and most recently they went on a road trip to Nebraska with me for a writer’s retreat.

They were nestled in the middle counsel as I belted out worship music until a few hours in when I discovered that the road I was traveling was covered with water. So our six hour trip turned into a nine hour trip thanks to terrifying back road detours.

I didn’t even realize they were there until I frantically searched for a pen while MoDOT was telling me how to get to Milford, Neb., with no instructions from Google. I was stressed out to the max already two hours from home, but when I saw Logan’s serious but kind of smirking football face — because he truly loves knocking people down for sport — I just had to smile.

Finally, the football pictures have made it back inside, but it’s our temporary house before moving into our forever home we are renovating. So who knows what else is in store.

And I'm not saying that life is like a package of forgotten football pictures but what I am saying is that you should pay attention to the journey. Even when you feel forgotten.

Because God has something for you there. For every extra mile you travel, the ones you didn't expect and don't understand, look for the purpose in the drive.

Because one day you'll get wherever you're going. Or maybe you won't. Either way, if God is behind the wheel then you're going the right direction.

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