Weekend rundown

Tomorrow is Tuesday already??  For a long weekend, it sure went by fast.

We spent the weekend at a retreat hosted by a Christian summer camp in the mountains with a huge group of friends.  This was our third year going and I’ve really looked forward to it every year.  It’s a family weekend and there’s tons of kids running around having a blast.  I slept on a prison mattress in a bunk bed and it drizzled rain nearly the entire time, but was glorious.  The weekend was over way too soon.

One of my favorite things about this trip besides getting a whole weekend to just hang out with people that I love is that I get to see them parenting their kids.  And I don’t mean that in a “haha, look at what their kid did” way.  I mean it like in an “oh wow, so that happens with them, too” kinda way.  For one thing, there’s so much going on and the kids get pretty tired by the end of the weekend, so meltdowns are inevitable.  And of course with all those little ones around, there’ll be arguments between kids and arguments between parents and their kids.  It’s just neat to me to see the different family dynamics.  You realize that while we all might do it a little bit differently, there’s a lot we can learn from each other.

Also, I realized as I sobbed through the second night’s worship time that I desperately miss serving in worship.  It’s just my thing.  It’s where I come alive.  I’ve said it before, but there’s just something about the sound of voices coming together in harmony that just opens up the heavens for me.  I’m not sure what to do with that realization as of right now, but hopefully God has something in mind.

And too, I’m really starting to think that church has so very little to do with any one building or group.  Honestly, this weekend felt church-ier than anything I’ve experienced enclosed in four walls in a really really long time.  Spending time together, sharing stories and encouraging each other, worshipping together, watching our kids laugh and play together.  It’s hard to beat really.  It’s a lot like I imagine heaven to be.

Anyway, tomorrow it’s back to the routine.  By some housekeeping miracle, I managed to wash almost all the laundry before we left so my son actually has clean uniforms for school all week.  That’s nice since instead of uniforms, I’ll be washing old towels all week since the dog decided it would be a good time to get her “female cycle” for the first time.  Picture a little chihuahua in a doggie diaper.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

Happy September ya’ll.

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Gratitude and thanksgiving

As the weekend comes to a close, I find myself with a quiet moment.  Everyone is in bed, the Christmas tree glows softly, and there’s a chill in the air outside.  The room smells like pine and I feel serene and at peace for the moment.  And then the dog promptly gags and throws up a little in the floor.

*sigh*

The long weekend was a good one though, dog barf aside.  Dinner with part of the family on Thanksgiving day and lunch with the rest of the family today.  But there was one moment that has sat with me all weekend.

My two cousins and I were seated at one of the adult tables with our spouses.  (I’m sure if you have a large family you know what the adult table is.  The kids got the card tables and the adults sat at the big table.)  And there we all are eating and having adult conversation when it suddenly struck me…where were the adults at the table?  I mean, we can’t be the ones here at the table having grown up conversations about kids and gymnastics and politics, can we?  Where were the real adults?

And the moment when I looked around at the table and realized we WERE the adults, it was like time slowed for just a second.  My cousin sitting across from me, the one who played dress up with me at Grandmother’s house.  Her husband sitting beside her.  Her daughters on the sofa, her son upstairs playing with mine.  My other cousin sitting beside me.  The one who, along with the rest of us, used to play fun games on holidays like this.  And there beside him, his wife, holding one of their three little ones in her lap.  Suddenly the children weren’t at the kids’ table anymore.  They were all grown up.  Now our children were at the kids’ table.  It was quite surreal.

And for that moment, I just wanted time to stop.  To just stay right there, while my parents and my aunt and uncle talked at the other adult table.  While our kids were all still young.  Before our hair goes gray all over and time begins to take its toll.  To just stay.

But stay, we cannot.  Time is not ours to stop.  The older I get, the faster it seems to go by.  And the older I get, the easier it can be to look back and be found wanting.  I think of things I wish I had valued at the time that I had them.  Moments in time that start to fade that I wish I could remember better.  So many things I realized I wanted to do when it was too late to do them.

But time doesn’t go backwards.  Time moves forward.  And we move with it.  And we must live in the moment while it is ours.  To enjoy what we are given as it is received.  To take those surreal moments and breathe them in while we sit in them and have the pleasure of later recalling those moments with joy for having had them.

Yes, time moves forward, but in that moment looking around the table,  my heart was full of gratitude and thanksgiving for what has been.