How did we get to July so quickly? June, where did you go? And why have I only posted twice since school got out?
Oh, the vast mysteries of the universe.
We’ve savored a nice combination of busy and relaxed, active and slothful, staying up and sleeping late. My kids are – get this – enjoying each other. They play together. Nicely. The house is once again filled with laughter and happy screeching and Harry Potter spells being flung left and right. Lots of running through the house, lots of swimming, lots of cooperation, lots of good-natured teasing and roughhousing. Imaginative play, electronic play, board game play fill our days.
They have an appointment with a neurologist next week.
I’m trying to soak it in. I’m doing a pretty good job of sucking the marrow out of reading with Nathan, hanging out by (and in) the pool, day camps, movie nights, and board games. However, I believe there is a circle of hell that involves playing Monopoly. Three days, my friends. Three days. Then, mercifully, I landed on Park Place with three houses and declared bankruptcy. Beauty from ashes. Amen.
In between all the togetherness and joy, we’ve had several families stay with us, some for one night, some for a weekend. Each family needed rest unique to their own lives and circumstances. Each family is climbing some pretty steep cliffs, and our house was a pause along the way for them to catch their breath. Which is beyond amazing because restoration for the weak was our sole purpose in building this house. Over the last few weeks, we’ve witnessed the fulfillment of our calling. And that’s pretty cool.
I have a dear friend who has a beautiful singing voice. She loves to sing. But she’s also extraordinarily introverted, and she doesn’t like drawing attention to herself. She doesn’t like to be in front of a crowd. So she sings to herself, in the car, in the shower. She’s wondered why God would give her the gift of music and an introverted personality.
I’ve thought of her several times this summer as I’ve wrestled with similar questions. I remember a specific calling when I was still in college and doe-eyed in love with this guy I already knew I would marry. God revealed to me that our home would be our ministry, that He would make it into a safe place where our kids, their friends, our friends, and strangers would know love and security, warmth and welcome.
Then He turned me into an introvert. Gift of hospitality, coupled with a need for isolation. He is so funny.
So this summer, I’ve begun the process of sorting that out. I’m starting to learn how to make it work. Thankfully, that man I married is really good at asking questions, making small talk, making guests feel valued. Me, notsomuch. But I’m learning.
I learned that going to my niece’s birthday party, immediately followed by dinner out with friends after Meghan’s recital, immediately followed by hosting a mother-daughter Mary Kay party, immediately followed by house guests, immediately followed by Nathan’s birthday party yields a very depleted mama. I was sucked dry. I needed to be alone with a movie and a bowl of Blue Bell. I needed no one to talk to me.
The crazy irony is that having people in our home energizes me. I love watching God’s purpose unfold. It’s been a remarkable boost for our marriage, all this serving together. But I do know that I require recovery between purpose-fulfilling visits. Which, for future reference, is good to know.
Michael picked up my Jen Hatmaker books this summer, and we have a feeling God is about to blow the lid off and move our family to live more missionally: caring for the least, loving the unlovely. Not sure what that means yet. Excited to find out.
For now, we’re learning what it means to live obediently where we are now, to welcome the weary, join God in the work He has already started. We’ll sail the current, join the dance, play the symphony.
But if He tells me to play another game of Monopoly, we’re gonna have words.