So here we are at last. It’s the twilight of summer and the sky is purple and hazy and the gentle breeze hints at a new beginning to soon come. Smells of fresh cut grass and chlorine and mornings that start well past 9 am have tucked themselves away for another long pregnancy of learning and growing and stretching and creating. And we’ll wake tomorrow to smells of wood pencils and plastic folders and school uniforms and 7 am once again.

I hate saying goodbye to this — to this summer of new adventures and lazy mornings and times where we laugh and play and dance and sing. I hate saying goodbye to this — this summer where I’ve kept my babies under my wing and held them close and nuzzled them and stroked their sun-kissed hair and smooched their freshly freckled faces. I hate saying goodbye to this — this summer of me learning to sit Here, in this place and in this season of embracing Mommyhood completely.

This was the first summer I felt free to embrace Here. It was the first time I wasn’t married to my phone or chained to my computer or had an office I had to make an appearance in once or twice a week. It was the first time I didn’t have to drag my kids to meetings and expect them to sit still while I feverishly tried to brainstorm, cross off details and get input and direction. It was the summer I always dreamed of since the very beginning of motherhood.

And now it’s ending.

While I am the first to embrace change and seek it out well before its time, I sit here reluctantly letting go this time. I don’t feel ready and I’m afraid I haven’t given enough and there’s a long list of intentionality I haven’t crossed off yet. Was this enough for them? Was it enough for me?

But because I trust God and I trust the cycle of seasons and processes, my grip is loosening. And because I know with every ending God brings a beginning and something completely new, I muster up anticipation for tomorrow. Because the caterpillar learns to fly and the dandelion’s parachutes lift off and go into all the world and God never calls you out without also calling you in.

So I choose to sit in green pastures and be still and be free and welcome this goodbye. And as I bid farewell, I peek around the edge of the summer sunset and wait for the next hello.

Thanksday #68

First things first.

One, I’m back on coffee (praise. the. LORD.) B) I’m at the beach.

Due to number 2, I’m dedicating today’s Thanksday to all things beachy. Because I want to rub it in and gloat.You know.

I can’t believe the week has gone by so quickly. Today and tomorrow are our last days for sand, sun and swimming…and Saturday is the long drive back. Usually I get really depressed at the end of vacation, because I don’t want it to end. I love spending time with my family with no life interruptus. And then Greg reminds me that my whole life is pretty much a vacation and I think, “oh yeah.” And while that’s not entirely true, it’s kinda true. We do live in the mountains where other people go to vacation. And it’s summer, so I get to do the hard job of taking the kids to the pool and such.

So I’ll try to be strong and pull myself up by my bootstraps come Saturday. Or sandal straps. Whichev.

My beachy thankfuls this week:

1. Moss Covered Trees. Hilton Head is so beautiful. And walking and running through the moss-covered trees is almost fairy-tale like.

2. Palmetto Cheese with Bacon. My love of the Pimento Cheese With Soul is no secret. But guess what I saw at the grocery down here? OH. EM. GEE.

3. Day Off. Yesterday, I just couldn’t imagine putting a swimsuit back on AGAIN. I really needed a day off from the pool and beach. (Which begs the question, who am I??) And Lord knows Paxton did since he was a little sunburned (despite the 50 SPF sunscreen). So we went shopping instead. Score!

4. Harbour Town Lighthouse. And climbing all 114 steps in wedge heels. But then seeing dolphins while watching the sunset over the water. Worth. It.

5. Aloe and Swim Shirts. So yeah, Paxton got a wee bit of a sunburn on his back (again, despite the 50 SPF sunscreen. Just want to reiterate that I’m not an irresponsible parent). After a swim shirt and aloe slathered all over his back (plus a day off from the pool) and he’s good as new. (Whew.) But look, he’s at least got some color for the first time in his life!

6. Surprise Gift. In Harbour Town last night, we headed to the toy store and Greg said he wanted to check something out and that he’d be right back. While the kids looked at toys, I got an email I wish I hadn’t have gotten. And it put me in a really depressed and funky mood (as if I need any help with that). Then Greg walks in and hands me a bag and says, “surprise!” And inside is a Washington State University Tervis mug! The best pick-me-up I could’ve imagined. I got a good man, y’all. A good, good man. (And thank you God for him.) (And and thank you God for Your timing.) (And who’da thunk you could find anything WSU-related in Hilton Head of all places, when I never could in Atlanta??)

7. No Bedtime. To Jaana’s utter delight, we told her she could stay up as late as she wanted this vacation. The only caveat was that she had to be responsible during the day — cleaning up after herself, having a good attitude, yada yada. She’s stayed up until after 10 each night and has loved it. And due to the late bedtime, she’s actually sleeping in (well, for her it’s sleeping in). Win-win.

8. Greg. Greg has had to work every day. He had a paper due for school, a sermon to prepare for Sunday, a lesson to prepare for Sunday night, a lesson to prepare for Wednesday night, and materials for a leadership conference breakout group next week. But he’s done it all without a single complaint. I’m in awe of his dedication and perseverance.

9. Generosity. I’m most thankful to have this amazing place to stay here. Lord, please bless our friends a hundred fold.

10. A Great Family. I just casually mentioned over lunch that I just have one thing left to complete this list. And Jaana suggested, “having an amazing family and a beautiful daughter.” And I completely agreed. So I’m extremely thankful for my fabulous family, my insanely gifted children and our beloved like-a-daugther who joined us. God is good.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll leave you sun-kissed like the sun.

Random Thoughts from the Beach

1. My daughter is already blonder after just one day.

2. Running Jogging at sea level is much easier than running jogging at 3600′ elevation.

3. Hilton Head is one of my most favorite places in the world.

4. I’m a lot hungrier on vacation than in normal life.

5. Coffee sure tastes good again.

6. My inner 8 year-old emerges when I’m in a swimming pool.

7. Sunsets on the beach are breathtaking.

Like son, like father.

8. Beachside people-watching is among the best in the world.

9. I could totally dig a life of leisure. With two shovels.

10. Bringing someone we love to hang out with us and spend time with the kids was a brilliant idea.

How high?

11. Grocery shopping while on vacation is so much more fun.

12. It’s amazing what listening to live guitar while strolling next to a body of water will do for ones mood.

13. People will buy anything with a Salty Dog Cafe logo on it.

14. I totally overpacked. Again.

15. It’s embarrassing what you’ll overshare with complete strangers while you’re both watching your toddlers play in the baby pool.


What things do you notice about vacationing at the beach?