Tag Archives: holiday

Extravagance just because

It’s day two in America and we are well and truly in holiday mode.

Aside from some crazy jet lag, everything is as perfect as possible. We are enjoying being unscheduled and moving slowly and having time together with our family.

There was a bag waiting for us when we arrived, put together from our church to welcome us.

It was full of some of our favorite American goodies that we can’t get in Australia – Cheerios, cheddar Chex Mix, Payday candy bars, Sour Patch Kids, A&W root beer, Reeces Pieces, pink lemonade, and kettle corn. There were even a few little gifts for the kids.

None of this is stuff that we need. (Um, who needs junk food?!)

But that was just the point – to bless us “above and beyond” the necessary. And to make us smile.

It’s amazing how little things can make such a big impact.

Being welcomed with a package like that – full of the treats we adore and miss – made us feel so welcomed, cared for, and appreciated.

As much as God wants to provide for our needs, he also loves to do things just to make us smile.

Extravagance, generosity, hospitality, abundance – those are all marks of our God.

Apparently our church family knows that too.

They reflect him so well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When is the last time you were blessed to receive something you didn’t need, but wanted “just because”?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Pack your bags, baby

I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m packing well in advance of my trip.

And by “well in advance”, I mean four days.

I’m normally a have-all-the-lists-made-in-advance-but-pack-the-day-before sort of person.

But this time, I thought I’d experiment and do it on the weekend since we leave on a Tuesday.

So far, so good.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that it’s taking me way longer. Way.

I have too much time to deliberate about what to wear. (And wonder what people are wearing “over there” these days. And what the weather will be like. And if I will have enough pairs of undies.)

Maybe it’s a little less stressful to pack a few days in advance, but I think I like the just-get-it-done pressure of doing it the day before. (It’s just that I’m learning with kids, the less pressure the better. You never know when melt-downs might strike!)

There will still be plenty of “last minute” things to put in – electronics, toiletries, snacks – but I can say that I already have three of the four of us packed. I’ve impressed myself. (And the fourth one can do his own packing.)

The biggest dilema is the shoes. I hate packing shoes.

(How many pairs of shoes do you take when you travel??)

Good thing I still have three more days to change my mind.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you enjoy packing or hate it?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


I love my Oregon

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” We’ve heard this cliche spoken a million times. Usually in regards to relationships.

But it’s also true of places.

We’re gearing up for a trip to Oregon in two-and-a-half weeks (what?? so soon??!) and my heart is about to explode with excitement about it.

I’ve lived overseas for most of my adult life.

I moved out when I was 17. Took off for Europe when I was 18. Returned to Oregon at 19. Left for Asia at 22. And have been living in Australia since 23.

In the 18ish years I’ve been living on my own, only 4ish of them were actually in Oregon.

But in my mind, Oregon (Central Oregon actually) is this near-perfect place that I always can’t wait to get back to. (Yes, having my family and church and “old” friends there definitely contribute to that.)

I realize that some of my perception has grown out of a longing and homesickness for the familiar, but still, there’s this awareness of just how incredible my little mountain “town” really is.

An awareness that certainly wasn’t there until I “grew up” and moved away.

And I know it’s real because I go back there and it does not disappoint.

It really is that awesome.

Who knows if I’ll ever live there again.

I might live the rest of my days in Australia. Or not.

But I know one thing for certain, my heart is big enough to have two homes (not including my real one in heaven).

I love my Oregon. I can’t wait to introduce the newest Booker boy to her goodness, and my other Booker boys to the glories of her summer.

Two-and-a-half weeks and counting…

until I’ll be home.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you experienced the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” phenomenon in regards to a person or a place?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Going away and coming home

I just returned from the most refreshing three days I’ve had in a long time.

Judah and I went to Sydney where I met up with friends–most of whom I haven’t seen in five years–and visited family.

We ate Thai. We picnicked in the park. We got absorbed in the city. We talked about deep and meaningful issues. We walked miles and miles and miles, pushing strollers all the way.

I had pockets of “alone” time – small ones – but enough to remember how much I love breathing city air and merging into the bustle. (Alone time, meaning just Judah and I.)

There were special moments between my son and I that are hard to articulate, but I’m so grateful for. We’re closer because of it.

It’s hard to explain why this weekend was so perfect, but it just was.

And as I collapsed  into bed last night – exhausted and sore – I had a smile on my face knowing that I’d wake up and go home again.

Home to my family, home to my loves, home to my heart.

Going away is amazing. But coming home is even better.

(I missed this guy.)

I’m so grateful for this weekend away. My heart is truly full.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you been away lately? Do you love coming home as much as I do?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited