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.
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