What Rest Looks Like

It was a good week away.

Last Monday, the girls and I packed up and headed north to my college roommate’s farm in Iowa. It was a week of respite—five days to reconnect with dear ones and recharge our batteries for the long road ahead at home.

We blended right in with my friend’s family, just as we have done for the last several summers. We celebrated her older son on his golden birthday (he turned 20 on June 20) and cheered as her mom turned 72 a day later.

There were puppies and kittens to pet, bikes and a horse to ride, friendly neighbors to meet and marshmallows to roast.

The older kids watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the younger ones bounced on the trampoline to their hearts’ content. We slept in an old farmhouse and ate delicious meals I didn’t prepare.

It was just what we needed—just what I needed.

My roommate and I discussed everything from my writing dreams to the retail business she is planning to open soon. We talked through tender topics that sometimes only surface after days of living side-by-side.

We encouraged each other, and it was good.

When the week was over, we left with full hearts.

Oh, and lots of pictures.

Lois

We talked through tender topics that sometimes only surface after days of living side-by-side. Click To Tweet

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community, #HeartEncourgementThursday and Grace & Truth.



Moments of Rest in the Midst of the Storm

Tucked away in the pages of Exodus, there’s a little verse that describes a beautiful scene of respite.

Shortly after God miraculously delivered the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptian armies, the Bible says the people “came to Elim, where there were 12 springs of water and 70 date palms, and they camped there by the water.” (Exodus 15:27)

Doesn’t that sound delightful?

This verse has long been a favorite of mine, but it’s been on my mind more lately as my family and I have been working our way through a crisis that began when my mom fell in the shower a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a long, sad story—too much to tell right now. For now, just picture daily trips with my dad to a Kansas City hospital. Family meetings with medical teams comprised of plastic surgeons, internal medicine doctors, palliative care experts and all kinds of nurses.

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A Hymn for these Hard Days

I grew up singing hymns at church. Out of a hymnal, accompanied by a piano and organ. It was as traditional as you could get, even 35 years ago.

I’d stand in the congregation with my youth group girlfriends and we’d harmonize together. I mostly sang soprano, but occasionally, the hymnal in my hand helped me pick out the next note in the alto part.

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Lessons that Await through the Garden Gate

This spring, I’ve been reminded over and over why I love gardening. I’m no horticultural expert, mind you. There’s just so much divine creativity at work in the flowerbeds that circle my house, it’s hard to keep track of it all.

Not that I haven’t been trying, of course. Ever since I spotted the first crocus peeking out from under the heavy mat of last fall’s leaves, I’ve been chronicling the season’s progress with photos on Instagram.

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What I Learned This Spring

As I’m writing this, it’s the last week of school and my mind is full. Just this morning, I’ve forgotten my hair stylist’s name when I was trying to reschedule an appointment, and I sent Lilly’s dance teacher an email three times because I kept forgetting to include an attachment.

The less-structured and (hopefully) lazier days of summer are on the way, and I couldn’t be happier about that. But before we turn the calendar page on another season, here are a few things I learned this spring.

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Unfiltered Encouragement: An (in)courage Guest Post

Two months after my husband and I adopted our older daughter, I found myself sobbing on the treadmill in the middle of the night.

We had waited so long for our sweet girl. In a short time, she had completely captured our hearts. I had every reason to be blissfully happy, not crying alone at midnight.

What’s my problem, I worried. What kind of person does this?

The next day at church, I saw a friend who had adopted her first child after 10 years of marriage. She listened carefully as I described how I felt.

I’m guest posting at (in)courage today and would love for you to click here to read the rest of this story. Also, sign up here to receive free daily notes from (in)courage, sent right to your inbox!