In our world summer has officially ended. It's a school night tonight, Tim will not be awake when I get home from work. The kids will be in bed before the sun sets and up before it rises. It feels like the end of an era though it has only been a few short months since we last lived that way.
Summer is a glorious time for our family. Tim is home. The amount of "family time" that we have increases exponentially. It is also a whirlwind of activity, work, vacation, etc.
Now that it's over I find myself trying to capture the ideas and feelings that this summer brought about. And, as has been the case these past few years the best way for me to do that has been to try to share it. Here goes.
Home: We capped off our summer with our annual trip back to SoCal and in all honesty this year was the hardest year to come back to Atlanta. (I cried...a lot) July marked our 3rd year in Georgia. Up until this year I would only refer to CA as "home" and GA was just where I lived at the time. When we were in Cali this time I found myself referring to GA as home. But when I'm here in GA I refer to CA as home. I find myself confused. It's almost like I am in the middle of both, belonging to each and yet not belonging to either. There's something so comforting in the familiarity of where you grew up. Sure it has changed some, but not enough to make it foreign. There's something I love about the foothills and mountains holding in the valleys and cities, the cozy and pretentious beach towns and even the highways with all the flashy billboards.
There was also something else that was impressed on me this summer that I've heard of but have never really felt. It was the sense that there is another home I belong to, a spiritual home. Perhaps it's because I've lived a good life that I've never really longed for another place, an unknown place. But I think it started this summer. It may be how overwhelmed I've become with this world, the brokenness, the suffering, etc (ex: the horn of Africa, homelessness, money crisis, war and political unrest) I've been listening to a lot of Andrew Peterson and he has a song called "The Reckoning"
It moves me and makes me realize that I do long for "the curtain to be lifted". I know that's very "christian-y" but it has been true for me and I don't know how else to explain it.
Family: I've already mentioned it before but this year my sense of "family" drastically changed. With that has come some distress but mostly just a whole lot of love. I know that part of my idea of home is where my family is. But now that my mind and emotions have identified many others as "family" that makes it even harder to pinpoint where home is. We have been incredibly fortunate to be given amazing blood family. This summer we got to spend time with them, even ones I haven't seen in years. And on the other side of that we've been given amazing non-blood family in the form of friends and co-workers. I am so thankful that God has made a way for my heart and mind to open up to this new definition of family but it also overwhelms me (a lot).
Other Musings: This section is mostly about inspiration in the form of creation. Be it the outdoors, my children, art, music, or the written word. I have been inspired in so many ways this summer through things being created and shared. This has manifested the most in the creations of those closest to me, Jadyn and Isaiah. As every parent knows, kids are a wonder. My own are awe inspiring and I see God in them every day (probably every minute of every day). Also, seeing my "baby sister" pregnant with her first child was surreal but beautiful. Her growing belly blew my mind (when did we grow up?). Then there were the many opportunities to be outside; camping, gardening, hiking, geocaching, beach trips etc. The world around me never ceases to amaze me when I have a little time to ponder it and be in it. Literature; we are reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan in our small group and it has been like a very gentle kick in the heart and soul. Music; Gungor and Andrew Peterson have reminded me of the sincerity, truth and emotion that can be displayed through lyric and music.
So what am I trying to say? Not sure exactly, other than I keep being taught and I keep trying to be teachable. I'm trying to put to use what I've learned with my actions and share a little of it. So there you go, you're welcome.
If you want to see some of the inspirations in picture form check out our Picasa site. So many great pics from the summer
Hoping this summer has inspired you as much