I'm here to pop in with a quick summer-has-begun update (if you're interested). After the kids finished school on June 19, we drove to my parents' house in Columbus, Ohio, and I dropped them off for the annual event of "Nana and Papa camp." Because the sign on my parents' garage door indicated that parents were NOT allowed, I dutifully left the kids behind and spent a week in Indianapolis at an urban retreat center run by David and Beth Booram. The Boorams were terrific hosts and became great friends. (If you are in the Midwest and in need of retreat, I highly recommend Sustainable Faith Indy as a destination.) During my five days there, I finished a devotional project for Today in the Word, drafted content for the upcoming video shoot of Teach Us to Want with RightNow Media, and revised four chapters of my recently torn-apart book. I also began reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and even occasionally slept till 7am. All in all, a great week. I drove back to my parents' house and have since begun putting into practice the theoretical "magic" of Marie Kondo's book. I am helping my mother and stepfather sort through their belongings in order to prepare them to downsize. On Saturday, my two daughters, my mother and I tackled my mother's vast rubber stamping collection (stamps, punches, paper, cards), thinning it considerably. We set up "shop" in the basement for customers who found our community ad on Facebook. (One woman lugged away two boxes of things she'd purchased, and that was a cheerful sight.) After hauling eight boxes of books out the door yesterday and moving a very heavy oak desk up from their basement, I woke this morning remembering that I am forty-one, not twenty-one. And I am also nearly full-time managing the ads I've posted on various sites to help them sell off some of the furniture that they won't be taking with them. (I drive a hard bargain.)
While we're here, we've also been regularly visiting my stepsister, who suffered a brain stem stroke in the middle of May. Her progress is slow but sure. Audrey, Camille and I spent yesterday afternoon rubbing lotion into her hands and feet. Her toenails are now painted a lovely bright coral!
And finally, in less than two weeks, Audrey and I leave for Rwanda, Africa, where we will spend the week learning more about the important micro-enterprise work of Hope International. I hope to blog regularly about that trip, so stay tuned! We leave July 12.
Perhaps your routines don't change as much as mine do in the summer. Or maybe they do. But whatever your hands find to do, may you be cheerful in the work, patient in the interruptions, and mindful that God is present in everything mundane.
* * * * *
If you're reading more this summer, you'll have to check out, Two Steps Forward, the sequel to Sharon Garlough Brown's very popular book, Sensible Shoes. You can enter to win a copy if you click this link!