It’s been a few months since I’ve last written here. I knew it had been a while, but was surprised when I opened my WordPress account today to see how long it had actually been. My writing today was prompted by a gift I received from a dear friend, one that is tied to why I originally started this blog.
My friend saw my heart, and affirmed my way of holding things deeply, pondering and treasuring them in my heart.
Since I last blogged, I began an intentional year of Sabbath rest – in particular from leading the Retelling (Journey Group) ministry at our church – something I’ve been doing for the past 9 years. This year feels like one of transition: Samuel graduated from med school and moved away, along with Rebecca and our 2 sweet grandkids, Tim left for MSU last September, Matthew is enjoying his senior year before leaving for college this coming fall, Katie has started high school, Chris started a new job, and I decided to continue my education by attending The Allender Center’s Lay Counseling Certificate Program. I wanted to have the space to honor all that I knew my heart would be feeling with each one of these changes; the idea of Sabbath rest seemed fitting.
In these last few months, I have spent much time pondering.
- The day we moved Tim into his dorm at MSU and then had to drive away was a day full of both celebration of the man Tim has become and grief at the realization he is moving out into the world on his own.
- Shopping with Katie and Matt for outfits for their school’s homecoming dance was an experience that brought delight in their respective personalities and how they express that in their style, along with a little anxiety – how can my baby girl be old enough to go to a high school dance…with boys?!
- Watching our boys place themselves on either side of Katie as we took homecoming pictures, ready to protect her from anyone who tried to get too close, my heart was filled with gratitude for the genuine love they share.
- Thanksgiving brought another layer of gratitude as we joined good friends in what has become a new tradition of celebrating the day with our joined families – full of laughter, good food, and a lively game of football to finish off the day.
- Christmas week was full of many moments to ponder, with our family all together under one roof again: hot tub conversations, the annual Christmas tree hunt, Christmas morning celebrations in our pajamas, everyday interactions that felt sacred.
- One week ago Chris and I returned from leading a four-day marriage intensive. Our fellow leader-couples were all friends who have fought alongside us as we all battled for our marriages. My heart was overflowing with thanks for deep, honest relationships that have brought so much life.
- My birthday last week unfolded with special moments from first light until I closed my eyes in sleep, and I was reminded of a line from the movie Hope Floats, “my cup overfloweth.” That felt true.
As I thought about the gift from my friend today, I was reminded of my desire not simply to ponder, but to put words to some of that pondering as well. It is too easy to savor the moment, but then let myself get pulled back into the heart-numbing reality of everyday life. I want to take seriously God’s command to remember…remember the love my heart has been filled with in all these moments; speak (or write) it out loud so I have something tangible to remind me it was real on the days it seems impossible to believe.