From family to visitor and visitor to family, it’s been quite a ride and a whirlwind weekend. I’m grateful for every moment and will still be unpacking it all long after I settle in.
Sights, sounds, and scents caught me off guard in a flood of memories. It’s been a season. Public transitions. Private shifts. Shared losses. Secret surrenders. And relearning how to let go while finding space for the best of each memory.
At the crossroads of hope and apathy, I encounter a choice. Apathy is secure, clear, safe . . . and stagnant. Hope twists and turns into the unknown, open to disappointment. It takes all my courage, but I have to choose hope. A full life depends on it.
My toddler nephew would yell that when he was displeased. I felt the same as he did when I heard this week of two friends’ passings. “Displeased” doesn’t describe it. But tonight during worship, I suddenly felt both were doing the same as we were . . . but deeper. Higher. Freer. Yes. Amen.
“What if I can’t. . . ?” my student quietly asked as she shed a tear. Fear of the new and next overwhelmed a history of successful progress and solid scaffolding. This is you, Abba whispered to me. Fears and tears. Help my unbelief. Help me do the next thing.
This morning I caught up with a friend, wandered through blooming gardens, and got delightfully lost among fine art. Gradually, my steps became marked by pain on my right side. I sat, observed my legs were slightly uneven, and commanded the shorter one to grow. Problem solved, pain gone.
When I’m tired, I sometimes misread words. While filing my taxes, I thought “extraterritorial income exclusion” was “extraterrestrial income exclusion.” That doesn’t apply to me, I thought, and kept going. Then I realized that couldn’t possibly be right. I went back to check and realized it still doesn’t apply.
I had big plans for my beach afternoon. Lunch, run, and curriculum planning were on the agenda. I forgot a few things. No lunch? No shoes? No worries! I ran barefoot among lapping waves and fought off a ladybug invasion while researching board requirements. Mission almost accomplished.
“Have you seen my Auntie Josie? She’s right here. She’s staying at our house tonight.” My most shy niece babbled to strangers in the women’s restroom. Love overcame her fear and made her my personal evangelist. Love is the only true power and reason to evangelize.
The server asked for my name. I responded, “Josie.” “You’re Auntie Josie! Why did you only say your last name?” To my niece, I am auntie. To my parents, I am daughter. To my students, I am teacher. To myself, I am mystery. To my Creator, I am beloved.