Our Joyful Place

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This morning we’re headed to Whidbey Island; the place I love most in the world. I grew up spending two weeks there each summer and it’s where many of my happiest childhood memories were made.  We’ve been tremendously blessed to continue the tradition with our own children, and I would venture to say that they love it nearly as much as I do.

We used to go on a family vacation; now as the children grow older, it’s becoming more of a family reunion. We’ve set the first week of  August aside to gather – it’s precious time. Hannah will fly in from MN, and the rest of the kids will drive to meet us. Annarose will return home from Nicaragua just in time. Isaiah can’t get away from his job in St. Louis, so he won’t make it this year; we’re going to miss him terribly.

For many years we’ve been invited to stay at a friend’s home rather than rent a cabin. She is tremendously generous and let’s us stay for three weeks – yes, three. Can you even imagine? In essence, we move there and carry on with our summer, but in the most beautiful place, overlooking Puget Sound with the Olympic mountains in the distance.

Russ and I both bring work, but try to balance work/play/rest/family time by keeping a reasonable schedule. In past years I’ve organized my homeschool schedule, made chore charts and menus, and essentially gotten us ready for fall. This year I plan to write and also prepare for some upcoming speaking engagements.

But most of all, I’m going to soak it in – the beauty, my family, and even the hard emotions of sadness and loss. There’s no better place to reflect on life than while walking along a rather secluded beach. God has met me on that beach many times over the years and I anticipate that as life slows down and grows quieter, I’ll find myself praying and listening.

After six hours in a packed car, the moment will come when we crest the hill and see the ferry dock. We’ll smell the salty air, see the seagulls flying, and know we’re almost there.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

11 Comments

  1. jentompkins
    July 23, 2015

    I love this! I love the idea of picking up and having a long away-from-home vacation, when you get more than 2 nights to truly relax and unwind. I hope your family has a wonderful time! I love that we got to meet some of your kiddos at Refresh, because I feel like I know those three. 😉 I'm praying you have some special moments with each one of your brood, and lots of renewing "Lisa and Jesus" time!

    Reply
  2. Sarah
    July 23, 2015

    Lisa,

    I hope this reunion/vacation brings your family the peace and rest you so desperately need. By the way, it is my privilege to read your blog. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Kristine Barr
    July 23, 2015

    Sounds wonderful! Enjoy!

    Reply
  4. Laurel
    July 23, 2015

    I hope that your time is absolutely BLESSED . . . even in the quiet hard times as you walk the beach with the Lord.

    Reply
  5. Damaris
    July 23, 2015

    You're such an excellent writer, Lisa. I so enjoy catching up with what you're doing and the last 2 paragraphs allow me to be there with you. May you enjoy the time with your family and treasure the time with your thoughts.

    Love being sent your way,
    Damaris

    Reply
  6. Mavis
    July 23, 2015

    You are indeed blessed!

    Reply
  7. Jeri
    July 23, 2015

    Oh how I long for that right now. I've been heartbroken this week as our newly turned not yet graduated high school son, our oldest, told us he moving back to Texas. His friends have won, the draw for the familiar won, but oh how I've cried. I've thought of you so much and thought of your loss. Loss impacts us all. Please pray for our family as he journeys out into his new world.

    Reply
  8. Pam H.
    July 23, 2015

    Lisa I am blessed by your writing. I hope you enjoy your time away with your family. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

    Reply
  9. Erika
    July 23, 2015

    I hope you have a wonderful blessed time. Praying for you and your family Lisa.

    Reply
  10. Kathleen D.
    July 26, 2015

    I lived on the Everett-Mulkiteo side of Whidbey Island, it is a beautiful place! Love Langley and Coupeville. Hope your time here fills your heart and soul with rest and serenity.. Enjoy every minute of being together and loving your sweet family!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 27, 2015

      Thanks Kathleen- it is such a beautiful spot! We've already been to Langley to look through the Good Cheer thrift store and eat gelato at Sweet Mona's. 🙂

      Reply

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