I went on two retreats last week and came home refreshed.
One to the coast.
The other to the desert.
Didn’t have to drive for either.
Rode shot-gun, slipped off my shoes and put my feet on the dash, then caught up on some mending.
Yes, with actual needle and thread.
Sent a few texts back and forth.
Read a magazine.
Brought my laptop with me on the first trip, and worked on my column to meet my ever-looming deadline—the healthy sign of a professional writer, my editor continually reminds me.
And scribbled a few notes in my steno pad whenever inspiration struck.
Earlier this month the Preacher and I took our daughter to college four and-a-half hours away.
And in three more weeks I’ll head for the pines to retreat again.
Normally I don’t travel this many miles in such a short time.
And I don’t like neglecting things at home.
Spiders begin weaving new cobwebs as soon as the front door closes.
But life’s changes bring challenges, opportunities, transitions, new perspectives and, well… life changes.
During recent transitions from being Mom to empty nesting, and with being on the road so much, this blog has been neglected.
Only temporarily, though.
Because while I may not be posting regularly, I am writing constantly.
It’s just that with this current state of, What will my life look like, now that my kids are grown, and I suddenly have great increments of free time without interruptions or demands or screams in the night…
there is so much I want to say.
But my thoughts are still too intertwined with unfamiliar sensations, strange emotions, in this unchartered territory.
Every once in awhile I still get that panic feeling of, Oh, no! Where is she?
Like when our dog died, and for weeks after, my heart jumped on late afternoons, when Maddie wasn’t in her usual spot on the sofa… I’d rush to the back door, thinking I had left her outside unattended for hours.
Oh, no! Where is she?
Why is it, I seem to write best when my heart aches most?
Wistfulness covers the paper as tears flow.
Still not sure if this is a blessing or a curse.
But on happy days my scribbles are few and lightly etched, as I soak in the blessings of good company and shared meals and walks on the beach and thrift store treasure hunts and time away from the usual responsibilities of daily ministry and family life.
Not that I’m complaining.
I’m not, really.
My life is full and very much fulfilling.
It’s just nice to get away sometimes.
To see the world beyond my usual trips up and down these mountain roads.
To gaze for miles across open spaces under an endless sky, to a distant horizon beckoning me to come closer and explore.
To find new friends in never-before-seen faces, and to renew old acquaintances.
To slowly and deliberately devour my once-a-year treat of breaded, deep-fried, and totally unhealthy shrimp and chips. (Except this year, I chose cole slaw instead of more fried stuff on my plate.)
And to hear others’ stories of experiences and relationships,
(as I write),
of finding wisdom and grace and strength in the Word,
(and write some more),
of seeing God through the eyes of someone else
with encouraging reminders to keep trusting
and stay following
and be always loving—
no matter what life looks like,
no matter who is at my side (or not),
no matter where the road takes me.
And it is this life that I write about here.
Thanks for being patient.
And thanks for reading.
I pray you find yourself uplifted, whether you’re brought to tears or laughing with me, as I share God’s thoughts and open my fragile heart through these disjointed fragments of prose.