With sincere apologies to Three Dog Night for tweaking their song title, "Pieces of April", I have returned to the world of blogging. I know I've been very inconsistent in recent weeks and I'm expecting that to change as we're FINALLY starting to feel somewhat settled again. I don't think I'll ask if my ramblings were actually missed, but even if they weren't, I still enjoy this 21st century way of recording life as I know it so I'll keep it up for now.
I just looked at my calendar and it was seven weeks ago today that we were packing a too small truck in Baltimore getting ready to drive away from what had become life for us. Then I think about what has transpired in those 7 weeks and I no longer wonder why I haven't had time to do much of anything except survive.
So, the month of May, huh? You know a little bit of it already. We arrived in GA and unloaded into apartment number one which is now not-so-lovingly referred to as the smoke apartment. (It's a new addition in our family history to a house that we lived in for a brief stay and was appropriately dubbed the "pee house". Maybe someday I'll share that story...)
After being here less than two weeks, we went to Boston and celebrated Michael's graduation from seminary. When we returned home, we moved from the smoke apartment into a different apartment and met the emergency room staff of the local hospital as they stitched my head from a nasty fall in the parking lot during the move. A little over a week later, we celebrated Michael and Bekah's marriage with family and friends here in GA. Since that time, we've slowly begun to relax some, continued the unpacking of stuff that you never know what to do with, visited with friends, and sweated...a lot. I moved to Baltimore while it was still winter and we came to the south right before summer. Something's wrong with that picture.
Speaking of pictures, I've realized that I am beginning to see life more and more as a series of snapshots. I have always enjoyed photography and like Julia Ormond's character in the movie "Sabrina", I think I've been taking pictures in my head all my life. So for the rest of this entry, I'll share a few of those with you and by the end, you should be current in your quest to keep up with the Joneses.
Snapshot #1 - Reading
I have always loved to read. My mom made sure books were in the house from the time we were little and it has remained one of my favorite ways of relaxing. In recent months, I haven't read much and I think that contributed to the desert state of my soul. From light and whimsical to classics to inspirational to romantic - somehow the world is a little brighter when a book is closed with a satisfied sigh. And since God chose the written word as a significant means of communicating with His people, I think He understands. With summer here and perhaps some beach or pool time available to you, I highly recommend Robin Jones Gunn's SisterChicks series. While easy to read, be prepared for thought provoking truths along with lots of laughs.
Snapshot #2 - God's world
We had some impressive sights surrounding us while we lived in Baltimore and you've seen a lot of them if you've been keeping up with us for a while. This view from our living room window was a favorite picture of mine, even though we had to look over the parking lot first.
But as time went on, I realized I really missed the color green. Sure there were snippets of it here and there, but when you live in the city, you're just not going to have wide open spaces or unencumbered views of a tree framed sky. This is what I look at when I sit on our very small porch and I've been amazed at the peace that permeates my soul as I just absorb the well...greenness.
Snapshot #3 - Pet smiles
A lot of people are pet owners and for those that are, there's no need for explanation. For those that aren't (and for those who think that cats have no personality) I just have to say that you're missing out on many smiles that are available to you through them. I'm starting to think more often about Kit's life ending because she'll be 15 years old this November. But she's still very healthy and while she does sleep a lot now, she adds much joy to our household and is patiently tolerated by my faithful friends who are allergic to her. I have been enlightened on more than one occasion by the wisdom she possesses as she quietly lives out her days. Here are a few examples of that.
Naps are always a good idea, especially when you get to sleep on a princess blanket covering your favorite person.
It's OK to be cute.
Sometimes the best place to weather a storm is hiding in the closet.
Taking time out of your day to rest recharges your soul.
Snapshot #4 - Braves baseball
I love baseball and I've finally decided that it's OK if no one else understands that about me. I grew up in a sports filled family due to my dad's career and because I grew up in Atlanta, the Braves have always been a part of my life. Until the 1990's, I should have been embarrassed to admit that, but when they combined winning with America's favorite past time, they validated an entire generation's loyalty.
Our move back to Georgia has coincided with Bobby Cox's decision to retire at the end of this season. Not that I needed it, but that has added extra incentive to be at some of the chosen games honoring him, former players, or just because. It also helps that they are currently in first place! My dream is to celebrate my birthday as the Braves win the World Series and you'll be the first to know if that becomes a reality this year.
Snapshot #5 - Home
The last three years have taught me that home really is where your heart is. They have also taught me that our hearts can be spread in more places than one thought was humanly possible. But moving away from all that is known and familiar and then returning has also verified the age old truth that there really is no place like home. And yet, even as I type those words, I know deep down that while Atlanta will always and forever be home for me, should God move us elsewhere again, I would be OK.
As I've driven the roads and been to places that hold memories of people and times forever gone, I've come to the realization that what happened in the past really is in the past. I don't feel sadness anymore at what no longer is. Instead, there is a quiet reassurance that God will make all things right someday and meanwhile He's completing what He's begun in me and those I love...just like He said He would. I've spent a lot of time in the recent years fretting over my lack of extreme emotion about anything. But lately I've wondered if maybe what I've thought was unhealthy detachment might actually be a greater understanding of the reality that life and therefore God, just is. After all, that's how He described Himself to Moses - as the great I Am.
That's probably enough for now. My goal is to have shorter entries more often which will be easier on all of us. :) Hamp and I will be heading soon to a hot and stuffy gym to watch Matthew as he coaches his summer basketball team. I missed not being able to support him that way when we lived so far away, so I'm looking forward to being able to do that again.
Stay cool and check back soon!