It's been way too long since my last post - a whole semester, to be exact.
I'm not quite sure how that happened...so many times I thought about posting. But time did what it always seems to do - it slipped away.
The last semester was more than thrilling. So much happened and if I was to write about it all, it would take up an insane amount of web space and you all would probably get quite bored.
There were multiple jobs, difficult classes, family moves, one amazing Mumford and Sons concert, changes in goals, and bits of God's plan realized.
Suffice it to say, God was (yet again) perfectly faithful.
I did not just survive - I learned to thrive.
So now, I find myself in the lull of summertime.
It's weird coming home for such an extended period of time. I've realized I'm still adjusting to life outside of Japan.
A lot has changed. And, sometimes, my stiff spirit takes time to accept those things.
As I wait for the busyness of internships and travel to once again take hold, it's easy for me to get restless - in seasons of waiting and of planning.
I'm excited and a little nervous for everything the Lord has set forward for my summer.
But I still experience moments when my soul itches in anxiety and I want to control things.
So this time, instead of trying to overthink and analyze the restlessness, I've determined I need to do something I haven't done in a while - to record the joy found in little things and to give thanks.
I don't record the little things as much as I used to...time has gotten away. Instead, these days, I've developed a small list of little things in the 'notes' section of my phone....a small record of the things God uses to remind me of His goodness.
But I think it's important to dwell on these things that bring me joy - these things I'm immensely thankful for.
So I'm trying to do better - I want to record them more purposefully.
Here's to the first step in that direction - as meager and simple as it may be.
I'm only sorry it's taken so long
1) Fireflies. Every night our backyard lights up with fireflies.
And I can't help but be reminded of summer nights in Japan with my little Japanese students....sitting in the dark, exchanging excited whispers about the twinkling light show between the trees.
It's almost surreal to see them here....but they've been such a great reminder of God's faithfulness.
From one summer to the next...one country to another...a season come and gone...in all the transition and tears and laughter...
He is good.
2) I'm thankful for afternoons on the water and the chance to surf waves I haven't surfed in a good minute.
There's something nice about sitting on the water - in the quiet between sets. I could stay there forever.
I'm thankful for the constant joy that is salt-water skin and sea air.
I don't think I can put into words the utter fullness these things bring to my heart. So I'll just leave it at that.
3) Dirt-filled afternoons spent mountain biking...because sometimes, it just feels darn-good to be covered in mud.
4) Big blue hydrangeas right outside our house.
I love any kind of flower, really.
But hydrangeas do something to my soul - I love them.
And just like the fireflies, they serve as quiet reminders of the Lord's provision in every season.
5) I'm thankful for sunset road-trips and comfortable quiet...for the friendships and relationships that aren't made awkward by silence.
It's not always a bad thing to be still. Sometimes it's even better with other people.
I'm thankful for people who I can experience the quiet with - it's a nice thing.
6) Speaking of friendships, I'm thankful for friends who pray HARD for you. Who will stand in the gap, go to the Lord for you, and speak truth over you.
I'm thankful for the chance to be a part of such a community - a part of heaven come down.
It's a beautiful thing.
7) Tear-filled belly laughs.
They are the absolute best ever.
8) The opportunity to volunteer in Japan this summer. Holy cow, my heart.
I didn't think it would be possible.
But the Lord paved the way perfectly, and I'm astounded at how perfectly everything has come together - I'm just so excited to see what's in store.
9) Milkshakes with Madre and Mick. Because some days, icy cookies and cream is the only way to go.
10) Farmers markets to reconnect with old faces and to discover the absolute joy that is purple cauliflower. Who knew?!
11) Dinners outside again. This has to be one of my favorite things, period - simple, fresh dinners with good music floating on the breeze and sun setting behind trees.
Some things travel with you wherever you go and serve as a constant in the midst of a ton of transition.
Family dinners outside are one of those things.
And my heart is just so thankful for them.
I promise I'll try better to record these little things...not for anyone's sake but my own enjoyment and sanity.
In the midst of such rushing busyness, it's necessary.
Here's to an attempt at improvement and to rediscovering old joys.
It's been too long.
Until next time, ne?