It’s been almost exactly one year since we came back to the States. The re-integration has been an adjustment, and I’ll be honest, I feel like I say no more than any other time in my life. This has been purposeful, as I see what my life was like before leaving and it was absolutely nuts. I do not want “nuts” to define the way I live my life.
I want to be purposeful in creating the time and space needed to discover who it is that I am and who I have been created to be…not only for myself but for my family. Asking questions like I’ve listed down below has been helpful for me to think through as I continue to navigate what it means to live where I am today.
What am I doing today that brings life to my soul?
What activities are my children doing (and not doing) that forms and shapes them into the kind of adults they were created to be?
What are the choices we are making every hour, day, week, or month that bring light or darkness into the world?
What are some practices we have integrated into our lives that brings us closer together as a family?
I did it! It has taken me about 8 months to put it together, but I did it! Over the two years we were traveling I kept a journal of poems and prayers that I put together into a small book. As of today, it is published and you can get it through Amazon using this link.
I can’t help but second guess myself and wonder if anyone will like it, for it’s not in story form…it is a handful of poems, prayers, and things I learned written over the course of our two years of travel. Essentially, they are a window into my soul. My hope, in making them public, is to encourage others to take times of solitude and silence so they can befriend and get to know their own souls. Use these prayers for yourself or make up your own soul-prayers. Either way, may your prayer-life be encouraged and enriched!
And of course…if you like it, good reviews on Amazon are always welcome :).
Now that we’ve been back in the States for 4 months, I finally am taking some time to sit down and put together a “my favorites” page for the 2017-2018 year. I will admit, it’s a bitter-sweet experience as I look through these pictures and remember all the amazing places we’ve been and seen and how wonderful it was to be able to do that together as a family. The biggest adjustment for me in coming back has been trying to figure out how to not fall back into the fast-paced hurried business that comes with the traditional American lifestyle (or maybe more accurately it’s the traditional Western lifestyle). We will continue to fight against the onslaught of what our culture says is the way life is, seeking what is best for our whole family, open to changing what we’re doing for the sake of the health of our family unit. We believe that who we are and what we do matters, and ultimately, who we become is the most important thing we can do as we live our lives today. This is why we want to foster a home that is a safe place for ourselves and our children to discover our own lonely way to who we have been created to be. We have chosen to do this by eliminating as much business, hurry, and noise from our lives as we can. This is why we left and this is why we knew it was time to come back. Here’s to new chapters and room for different ways to grow!
Costa Brava, Spain
Fort Saint Elme, France (Photo by Ryan)
Cap Norfeu, Spain
Bran Castle, Romania
Peles Castle, Romania
- Valencia, Spain