Thank You

thank-you

For the food you made while I was your guest, even though my dietary issues make me a pain.

For holding onto me during hard days.

For pushing me to seek out new opportunities, and for affirming that my goals are worth the effort.

For your prayers. Always for your prayers.

For the texts, phone calls, and Pinterest messages full of encouragement.

For the right word at the right time (that I probably spun into a blog post at some point).

For taking me away for a spell – just to recoup.

For every compliment. Seriously, each is a precious gift I always remember.

For talks that last till 2:00 in the morning. (Even though I’m a zombie the next day.)

For being patient with me when my introvert battery is drained, and I might behave like a grump.

For your listening ear, even if sometimes I revisit the same angst multiple times.

For making me family.

For BEING my family!

For flourless cake and new ways to enjoy tasty treats.

For little gestures of kindness right when I needed them.

For refuge.

For spontaneous movie nights!

For help in the large things I can’t handle on my own.

For accountability and challenge in my faith.

For introvert parties!

For hot springs trips.

For giving me so much, more than I deserve from so many wonderful people. I’m thankful for you all.

Adventures in Washington – Home

Beach1

My friend Charity postulates that there are two kinds of people: those who love oceans, and those who love mountains. For any who are ambi-environment, there’s the Washington coast.

(Unless you like your oceans warm, in which case you’ll need to look elsewhere.)

I’m blessed with generous parents, who invited me to share in this ocean-side vacation. They’re a good team to travel with because they actually do things – like visit cranberry farms, sight-see at Oysterville, try the local cuisine – whereas I’m the less exciting vacationer and am satisfied to lay back at the cabin and do nothing.

I’m also terrible at documenting the events of a vacation, so you’ll unfortunately get very little visual proof of our adventures from me. Though I AM always ready to capture great signage:

Beach3

But hey – I don’t write a travel blog: I write a geeky, personal thoughts blog. And that doesn’t require fancy pictures to draw in readers through vicarious living.

(It requires engaging word skills, which, you know, are also sometimes a crapshoot for me. But still!)

If there’s one thing I do well – vacationing or otherwise – it’s overthink. And with a week-long break giving me plenty of time to dwell on esoteric matters that don’t need this sort of attention, here’s what I determined:

Home is not a place.

I have no attachment to Washington state. Despite its coast being lovely and green and quietly serene (but we won’t talk about Seattle – yikes), I was content to be only a visitor. This coming from someone who would bury herself in flora given the chance.

My parents live in mid-Washington territory, and of course I have attachments to them. (They say you’ll always be your parents’ baby, and I am oddly willing to embrace that title, despite being ten years away from middle age myself.) As I spent the week with them – part of it at their house, part of it beach-side – I felt a complete sense of belonging.

Finding peace in the company of family you love goes without saying, but I think it was more than that – more than the childlike safety or the familiarity of people you’ve known all your life. I trust my parents, and in turn I set worries and fears aside when with them. On my own, I tend to let my mind overwhelm me. (Overthinking, ya?)

Now, that’s not much of a revelation, but what I did realize is that I didn’t ever have to be without that rest. Even when I go back to life on my own, I have Someone near me who should always have my trust. He is also ready to shelter me from trouble and stress.  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” [I Peter 5:7] That confidence and peace is the true proof of “home”.

I used to think I’d never have that feeling until I met my special someone, arranged my white-picket-fence house, felt the comfort of my own family. Now, it doesn’t matter what happens. I’ve always had Home living in me, prepared ahead for me. Something like that doesn’t need external circumstances to foster its existence.

(But having an oceanside view never hurts.)