Be Here Now :: Heart Bits


I recently saw "Be. Here. Now." written beautifully on a pillow. It isn't the first time I've seen it, but in transition seasons like this one, it was three words I needed to read again. I put it on my little felt board above my sink. I needed that permission. In a lot of ways, it's an invitation to be okay.

Transition seasons are the hardest for me. While the administration that is required to settle into a new space  ( All the To-Dos!!!) is fun for me, at about the six week mark the emotions begin to grow overwhelming and the processing of our current reality begins.

It can be  very easy for me to set my sights on a different season, or to pick up a new project, to try to transfix my eyes on something The dizzying feeling of not knowing where we'll be in a few years, or who our friends will be here, or if my daughters heart breaking questions unanswered will someday be resolved...It can make me fix my eyes on just about anything else but here.

I think the 'be here now' movement (started by yogi's I think...) has morphed into an anthem of sorts for a generation that is compelled into the future. We are a distracted bunch with our phones and plans and to-dos. So a charge to pause, to observe, to wake up to whats happening in front of us is almost always a good thing to do. I've seen a million variations of this idea. "Put down your phones. Look up!"

I'm finding it especially meaningful in this season to be willing to sit in the moments of discomfort. To feel the ache of loneliness and to grieve the loss of proximity from some of my favorite souls. Me being here means coming to grips with the reality that some days, in a new house, with a new city and with budding friendships is downright exhausting.

I crave being known. I crave knowing others. I crave that sweet space that sometimes, if we're lucky, can be found in the company of others. We found a family in Montgomery that made such a space, a few couples in Finland too. To now live in a reality where we haven't found it (and we're still learning how to make it.) is a hard place to be. He feels it, I feel it, the littles feel it.

"Be here now."

The conversations feel like they're in a loop. Talking through again and again as we assimilate new information. "Will it ever feel like home?" "Of course! Remember? It did there, and there and soon here." "But right now? This feeling? "

Eowyn has asked me unprompted a million times over "Is this what they mean by homesickness?"

The ache of missing has been laced in all our days.

Then, when sickness, like I'm currently experiencing, comes in and forces the pause, it's also a opportunity to heed those three words.  I'm back to the space of realizing my own fragility. The very little we control in our lives is never so apparent when our entire body refuses to relent in it's ache, no? I've grown to appreciate sickness. In a few days when this virus has run it's course, my normal day to day aches and pains will seem glorious! I can only imagine the pure euphoria when I run on those heavenly shores knowing that my 'normal achyness ' is also no longer my now.

But for today. We sit with the ache. With the sick. With the homesick. For now, we laugh at the delightful, and we make room for the heartbreak. We circle and circle and circle the conversations, turning them over trying to tease it all out in hopes it'll feel a little lighter. This is our now.

The life we've been called into this season, I've come to recognize, is an absolute gift. I get a very regular dose of getting to experience the reality that we don't belong here-this isn't our forever home. The desperate need to make friends puts me in a permanent position of looking out for others. Be a sojourner long enough, and one can't help but want to welcome anyone in. Especially when we've time and time again been the ones welcomed. The transience forces me to pray in the perspective that He has good works for us here. . Right when we start to feel comfortable, it often feels we're ushered into a new move.

I recognize my own fragility, my tendency towards melancholy, and the circumstances surrounding our life. I realize it all can make for a pretty volatile cocktail outside the grace of God.  But praise be to God, the author and finisher of our faith.

I had a dream right before we moved of being asked very pointedly if I wanted to decide to be the writer of our life, or have it written for me. It was a strange one, since everyone who knows me knows how much I love to draft a good plan. But, in that moment, I understood. Both were offered up in kindness. Not as if there was a guaranteed 'right.' God allows us in large part to write our own narratives, I think.

If we have eyes to see it though, I suspect we'll find that he invites us into a narrative of his own. This one tends to be, while harder more often than not, a much more beautiful story to live out. When we bought this house I started to feel my heart gripping tight to the narrative I wanted. Then slowly I realized, this house, this season, it all is temporary. We'll enjoy it in full while we have it, and when we're asked to move on, we will.

We'll set aside fret for now (and oh how I'm prone to fretfulness,)  and enjoy whats in front of us.

We'll wake up and be on the lookout for what we're called into. All the while making room to realize how fragile we are. Grateful that our faith compels us to believe that  He doesn't expect us to do anything outside of Him working through us, opening our eyes and hearts for opportunity after opportunity to make room for Him to show up.

I'm tired, right now. In a million ways. I'm weary and achey and tired. But I'm here in it, and I think that's good. I'm excited to someday look back at this now and see the way God carried us just like he has in every 'now' he's asked us to walk through. I'm grateful that this 'now' has so much loveliness laced into it.

Boston Children's Museum :: New England Adventures

Boston is a straight shot down from Concord. In about an hour, we can be at pretty much any part of downtown. We're slowly taking opportunities to explore it as our friends come through or we have something come up (like a few weeks ago when we got to meet the Finnish Honorary Consulate and make a trip to IKEA) This week, some dear friends from Alabama were here for a convention, so we asked if we could grab a quick breakfast with them before they had to be back at it.

We decided to check out the Flour Bakery, as per a friends suggestion, and it did not disappoint! Breakfast was awesome. We also spotted an owl just hanging out in one of the trees, which was pretty epic for three little ones. (It did freak me out a little when he kept watching Rowan walk to and fro-I think he was trying to see if he was a small enough snack.)  We definitely plan to go back to grab a snack of our own. It's located super close to the museum as well (walking distance) so we were pretty grateful to get to see our friends, then hope over for a few hours to visit the Children's Museum.

While pretty expensive (even those under two pay full admission price.) It was packed with activities that were gross and minor motor skill oriented.  Our kids had something to do in every single room, which I was impressed by. Hardly anything was nailed down (which can be a common trait of some 'childrens' museums.)  It's super stroller friendly and has bathrooms everywhere. Once you leave the museum, there were several places to eat as well as decent parking options when you arrive(we found a spot right away on a Saturday morning.) If you come to Boston with kids, I think this might be worth checking out.

Glad to have had a chance to visit.

Ice Castles :: Adventures in New Hampshire


When I first googled things to do here in NH, I discovered the Ice Castle attraction. Unfortunately, their last weekend here was the weekend we moved, so I chalked it up to something to visit next year. In an absolutely awesome turn of events, the cold weather lasted long enough that they extended the opening weekend until we could go. We were able to visit the very last weekend much to my delight!

They had Disney Princesses. And horses. And slides. and epic icicles.

When we first walked out the wind was pretty forceful, so I was a bit worried it wouldn't be a good visit, but as soon as we entered, we were shielded. We all absolutely loved it.

Rumor has it that in the evening, they light up the place with different colored lights. Since our littles were still a bit too young to push too hard around 'dark' we hope to make it out in the evening next year.

If you go, I'd highly recommend wearing boots and leaving the stroller. They say as much on their website and it makes a great deal of sense. They have locations through out the U.S. and I definitely think if there is one near you, it's worth checking out.