Friday, August 17, 2012

What's going on around here?

Cade's Cove, TN-- Summer 2012

Summer is winding down.
These are the days of high temps, blue skies, sun dresses and bare feet.
Habitual discipline has fallen lax.
We let ourselves sleep in, make messes without cleaning them up, and eat popsicles and ice cream in the same day.
Sometimes, in the evening, I sit out on the deck, up in the trees, reading Spurgeon with a glass of bubbly pink wine.

It sounds good, and it is, but it doesn't tell the full story of this summer.

Early in June we flew back east to spend cherished time with family and friends.  At that time, there were challenges we were facing back in Portland that were requiring some big decisions to be made on our part.  
I remember sharing some of it with my daddy while we sat on rocking chairs looking out over the smoky mountains, as we do each summer.
I don't even remember what he said about it all, but I remember feeling better just in sharing it with one of the smartest people I know.  The way he nodded and listened and looked me in the eye.
  He shared my burden, just like he'd done so many times before.

After the mountains we played on the beach for a week with life long friends.
My shoulders finally in comfortable slump.

Upon our return we had the pleasure of hosting beloveds from the South.
First our dear Christoffersens, then our sweet Kirsten.
Our time with them all was perfect and we loved every minute.
It also afforded us more time away from what had become our routine, thus providing us some distance that helped us see more clearly how the Lord was leading us to change some things.

For starters, we will be joining Classical Conversations this school year.  
Some that know me will know that this was not an easy decision.  
I do not consider myself a classical educator.
Nonetheless, we feel the Lord's prompting in this change
 and are grateful for the opportunity.

With much prayer and some anguish, we made the hard choice to leave our church of the last 3.5 years.
Being transplants from the South, this was our only local family.
We'd witnessed and gotten to be a part of God doing great work there.
Nevertheless, the Lord, in His grace, made it clear that we are to go in a different direction.
We are praying and seeking out where our new church home will be.

And it hasn't been just my life changing.
My sweet god-daughter is growing up.... fifteen already!  My nephew is driving, my other nephew is going to college at my parents alma mater.  My oldest niece in engaged.
We have a dear one struggling with Lupus and medication side effects.  
My sweet T's mama is battling breast cancer (and she will win they say!), and it is hard.
Dear friends leaving us to follow the Lord to Iowa.  What a hole they leave,
 but what a great adventure ahead of them.
Our precious friends-like-family leaving the only home they've known, in the South, to travel north,
 and make a life in New Jersey.
My brother losing a job and gaining a new one.
Friends struggling with irresponsible renters, school and career choices.
A grandmother needing help and facing big life changes.
A sister with new challenges in work ahead of her.
Friends, missionaries trying to raise support to get back to the work they need to be doing in Japan:
planting churches and tsunami relief.
Kids going off to college.

And a mama, my mama, beginning her battle with colon cancer. *

Yes, summer is winding down, and with the change of seasons we will continue on, 
just with a different backdrop.

Quote for the day:
Calendars can con: there are really only as many days left as you actually really live. In the end, everyone ends up at the length of their lives — but only a few live the whole width of a life. ---  Ann Voskamp

*  My mom was diagnosed 3 days ago with colon cancer.  She will have surgery to remove the tumor Sept. 12th.  We are hopeful for a full recovery.  Please pray!  

LYMYWY (Love you, Miss you, Want you),