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The Best Overheard Compliment

Because of my husband's job as a chaplain, we host large groups of students regularly for dinner.  This past week, over twenty college athletes crowded around our kitchen island, sat at our kitchen table on chairs that suddenly looked too small to support them, and spilled onto our back patio with heaping plates of food.  The doorbell rang; more guys had arrived.

"Just come in!" one of the older players called to the newcomers at the front door. "You don't need to ring the doorbell here.  It's not that kind of house."

Just come in.  You're welcome here.  Don't ring.  It's not that kind of house.

This could be one of the best inadvertent compliments I've ever received.

Image compliments of Andrea on Flickr.

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Purposeful Aimlessness

When I experience a very busy stretch of life, it takes me several days to mentally decompress and slow down.  I liken it to driving on a highway, going 70 miles per hour, then exiting onto residential roads.  Even though you're tired from your journey, everything feels glacial when you crawl along at 25 miles per hour.  It's hard to acclimate to a slower pace.

But, eventually, you do.  The speed of residential roads, not highways, eventually begins to feel normal again.

That's where I am in life right now.  I submitted final grades for my summer classes late one evening, then we left for vacation with my husband's family early the next morning.  (I don't recommend this degree of haste when packing.  I forgot plenty of useful beach-y things, like hair bands, a hat, a swim cover-up, and shoes. In good news, we remembered to pack all three kids.) 

It was a wonderful -- and active -- vacation.  We spent a day at a water park, we crabbed with our nieces and nephews, and we visited the beach each day where, like flip-flop-clad sherpas, we lugged our towels, bags, sunscreen, coolers filled with drinks and snacks, and beach chairs across the blazing sand.

The afternoon we returned home, we had two hours to unpack, then we dressed up to attend a local wedding.  The very next day, after more unpacking, loads of laundry, and vacuuming sand from our minivan, we had house guests arrive for several days.

All of the activity has been great fun, but I feel like I haven't stopped moving.  I'm ready to get off the highway, but I don't yet remember how to adjust to a slower pace. 

So, now, during this glorious month of July, it's time to learn how to be aimless again.  To get lost in books and fun projects, to not wear my watch, to not be bound to a tight schedule.  Aimlessness can be therapeutic, especially when you're wound tightly.  There doesn't always have to be somewhere to go or something to complete. 

You don't always have to be driven.  Sometimes, you can just be

You can just be a reader.

You can just be a bike rider who waits on a pier to watch a sunset.

You can just be in awe.

Purposeful aimlessness.  It takes time to settle into this pace, but it's worth it.

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Well, We Can Picnic in the Garage

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite days in summer.  I love hosting family and friends at our house for a feast, like Thanksgiving in July, just picnic style.  And on the grill.  And without turkey.  Or stuffing.  (But we do eat pie, so it's relatively similar, right?)

Each year we roast s'mores, we play bean bag corn hole toss, and we arm our kids with sparklers so they can run around in close proximity to each other while holding fire.  We enjoy spending the whole day in our yard, which always has freshly cut grass in preparation for the day's outdoor celebration. 

But today, it rains.  It thunders and pours throughout the afternoon, like it's its job.

So, we'll picnic in the garage instead.  Picnics are portable; they go where you take them, after all, and today we'll take it into the garage.

Rain or shine, you can't stop a favorite summer day.

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash 

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