Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Best Thing About It

So, I'm home.

At last, I tore myself away and strong-armed all of us back into the van for the long drive North.

We missed Daddy a whole lot. Were it not for him, we'd probably still be there.

In my usual way, I've been trying to wrap my mind around what it was that made this week so soul-soothing. I've drummed up a whole lot of possibilities, and it's probably a combination of all of them.

The days were hotter than a biscuit. They were bright and not in a hurry.
They were easy and high in sodium.

The evenings were hazy and sure.
I wiped teary mascara onto my shirt sleeves during church most nights then pulled myself together for chocolate ice cream and kettle corn in the cafeteria. They kids played who-knows-where until well after dark.

I logged all of the days and nights one of two ways: Pom-Pom skirt/Striped skirt.

I kid you not, ya'llsies, I had but two skirts. Two.

On day three a lady I've never seen before walked over to me and said, "I was thinking about that skirt you've been wearing..."

On day five a middle-aged man said, "Oh, I remember that skirt."

You know it's bad when the Dads remember the skirt.

Exhibit A: Wednesday

Exhibit B: Friday

(Monday fell through the cracks.)

There was a day that I would have welcomed the opportunity to run off somewhere and buy something new. But when it came down to it, I didn't want to waste my time running around shopping when I could be wasting it in a lawn chair.

I've learned (again) that I have so much more than I need.

This was a week for not worrying about anything and I effectively crossed fashion off my list, too, without even trying.

This I vow: The Pom-Pom skirt will make a reappearance (or three) again next year. It's a tradition.

The kids made new friends, and I did, too.

We found a different kind of freedom and we found that we needed it something fierce.

But what has me feeling brand-new and lucky and maybe a little bit sad is not the days or the nights or the cafeteria food or the mind-walks down memory lane.

It's not even the words of Truth that flew out into the crowd and pierced me, though they might be a close second.

What has me filled all the way up to the top with gratitude is the love.

Doesn't that sound cheesy?

Well, it's true.

It's been a very long time since I walked for five days straight among My People. People who know my roots, even if only by association. People who tell me in the first proper conversation we've had in years that they pray for me "all the time".

My first runner-up Dad, Dan.

These people made sure that I knew there was room for me, even though it had been a very long time and I thought I was mostly gone. They got to know my children. They bunked Ruby down at naptime, and handed me three dollars when I needed it. They brought me diapers. They teased me about my skirts. (Both of them.)

They looked me in the eyes and they may have seen the gangly fifteen year old that I used to be, but they also saw the (slightly less gangly) thirty-five year old that I am now. And they loved us both.

So this is what it feels like to go home for a while.


  1. I missed reading your posts. But you know what? I'm glad you were exactly where you were. God's blessings on you, Shannan, and your WHOLE family: husband, kids, and all the rest (by blood and by growing up and by love).

  2. What a great time ... a soul refreshed. Welcome home.

  3. Sounds amazing. I'm so glad you had the chance to be with your people :) Glad you are back so we can be blessed by your words!


  4. I absolutely love this post...I think because it reads of deep-down rest and renewal. And love. So happy for you that you had this opportunity. Sounds perfect!

  5. Awesome! I haven't been to camp since 2001. You made me miss it. Something special happens there and it's hard to explain unless you experience it. I've always wondered why normal life can't be like camp.

  6. Touched. And envious. Can I go with you sometime and pretend they are my people too? It all sound delicious. Even the 2 skirts.

  7. I've never been to camp. So sad, isn't it? You make me want to rewind the clock and beg my parents to send me to camp. On the flip side I've always been here...home. So blessed in that way.

  8. Glad your soul found blessing and GLAD you are back and our souls can once again find blessing through you! As you know even Jesus retreated into the mountains, etc at times!


  9. I love this. Your church camp looks awesome.

  10. I love church camp so much! Your pictures {and your pompom skirt} are adorable! :)

  11. i love your camp fashion.
    i love you, too. so glad you could enjoy this gift of time. among your people. praise him.


  12. So glad for you girlie that you had a chance to be among your people and to know you are loved and even feel it too. Times like those are good for the soul. And you and your kiddos are absolutely adorable - even when you wear the same skirt day in and day out.

  13. Beautiful story of your trip home. Love

  14. First love, love, love that pom pom skirt.

    Second so glad you got to spend time among your people remembering who you were. Sometimes as mommies we seem to lose us. Welcome home!

  15. Oh my heavens - I just LOVE that smile on Silas's face in that last photo. It's full of pure JOY! What a cutie!! Glad you're all home safe and sound with your own sweetie! :)

  16. Bawling my eyes out at the last paragraph and then the last line. I didn't get to go home at all this summer and it has been a rough day here at times and this made me homesick. Oh, but my heart is happy reading this, too. Talk about an emotional roller coaster - sheeesh. :) Blessings, friend.

  17. I'll be derned if my kids don't have a place to "go home" for a while. I do not have this, and must live through your reality, but I will make a better "home" for my children so that they can have the kind of weekends at 35 with their kids that you are having with yours. 35... I don't even want to think about my kids being older than 2 and 10 months right now. On a side note, tomorrow is my birthday. 29... I'm somewhat excited for 30 because 20 seemed like a long crazy "experiment", but I feel like I'm forgetting 1-19 more and more... I guess that's why I have two new 1-19s that I can be in the present with. Fun post Shannan. You really work to find the beauty in life, even if you do have a bit of history with beauty. Thanks for inspiring me to remember the good times, and put me in check to remember that right now are the "good times" for my wee ones as well.

  18. EEK! MY BIRTHDAY IS TODAY! (i need to go to bed...)

  19. Home carries with it so many, my dear, clutch it tight within your grasps. You hold the key to Heaven.

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  21. I Love this and I love that we got to meet this week. And even though we just met, we shared a special prayer moment that meant a lot to me and I'll never forget it!! Thanks!! =)

  22. So your home church goes to camp together for a week every year? That's really amazing. I'm impressed.

  23. Your time sounds amazing. I find that nothing fills my heart quite like a trip home.

  24. things i like: you, camp, your skirt, your braids. your berry berry cute kidlets, this post.

  25. Hooray for hot, easy days that are high in sodium!

  26. I am so thankful for your visit : )
    You wrote about it so perfectly.

  27. Gorgeous words...
    those two skirts will have you thinking about this time & smiling big whenever you put them on....

    Melissa- miss sew & so

  28. loved loved loved this one this morning!
    there is nothing like being with the ones who truly "get" you from waaay back. i get that way when i hang around my family long enough and i love it. they are like Christ, they accept with no strings attached. just as i am i come to thee, even if it is in the same skirt or shirt!
    -heather p

  29. I think there is just no better feeling to be known well and loved well at the same time...that is who the Father is....good you got to see a lot of Him through His body this week...white knuckle that feeling as long as you can

  30. I live in California but am born and raised an Ohio girl. My heart has been longing to move "home" for so long, but we are waiting on God (and the job situation) to get us there. As I sit and read this post, I am visiting my hometown for the first time in nearly two years, with my two little kiddos, age 4 and 2. They are hearing thunderstorms, sweating in the humidity, and hearing crickets ("Mama, what that sound?") every night. It's all the stuff of my childhood and there is nothing like sharing that with your children. And when you mentioned Your People, who know your roots, it made me tear up because I nearly wept when the girl at our local coffee shop used to be my neighbor and is still raising her kids in our town. Roots! Such a blessing.

    Anyway, thank you for such an affirming post that helps me remember that God gives such blessings. Sometimes my faith gets shaky while I hope to move back to my own home. Enjoy the rest of your hazy Midwestern summer, Shannan! And I'm sorry for rambling on...I've read you for a long time but never commented, so I guess I was pent up! :)

  31. Summer camp is the best....met my hubby there!
    Glad you're home, Farmgirl. I missed you :)

  32. It sounds awesome. Time with your peeps...priceless. I love peep time. Glad you are back. I missed ya gal.

  33. LOVE going home.
    there isn't anything like it.....

    and, I just have to say, that might be the prettiest CAMP I've ever seen...

    the buildings and the flowers are a little bit amazing.
    and by a little bit, I mean TOTALLY.

  34. Awwww, the picture of you and Dan was the best!! Only a Mama knows the value of a Godly man or woman who know how to pray, in the life of their child. And it brought tears to my eyes knowing he has been praying for you. Thanks, Dan!! But I would love to sneak a peek at the girls cabin and see if I can detect some familiar hand writing and from a gangly 15 year old.
    This past week was sure medicine for your soul,I too wish Cor could have been along for the ride. Maybe next year? Before long you two will be setting up your own cabin,can I come for a visit??? Maybe I would see the grand kiddos more often.

  35. Looks like you had a wonderful time full of love, laughter and healing.... doesn't get better than that ! I'll bet the kids will remember this sweet time for years to come.... maybe even your two skirts !

    I'm having a STINKY Give Away on Lavender Hill... I'd love it if you'd pop over and check it out !

    thanks for sharing your adventure (I only did see ONE skirt though!),

  36. you are always messing up my mascara! :)

    this is what I crave somewhere deep, that I can't really have, but can have a version of it as an adult AND I can provide this for my children. thank you for sharing this so beautifully.


  37. Love from family is just the best kind dont you think?

  38. Thanks a gazillion to you for helping me to LOVE camp this week, too! It's all of the things you say and more...and we definitely missed you and your skirt these past two days. Boy #2 even said, "Mom, did you know Shannan before this week?" :) We love you (and we love your kiddo's even more!).

  39. Who says you can't go home again? Love is the answer.

  40. You've gone and got my heart a'pining to go somewhere that feels like home.

    I missed you.

    I want to squeeze Siley's cheeks.


  41. I love that when Jesus asked you to come and camp with people that are also walking with Him--you didn't hesitate or go back to buy more cloths, you just followed. Reminds me of the first disciples! God bless you. I look forward to reading more about your experience there.

  42. I am coveting that skirt. Is that wrong? I love pom poms.

  43. Horray! Did you play pom pom pull away in your pom pom skirt? Because that would be campishly awesome!

  44. First off, if that was my skirt, I'd wear it every day too. Glad you shared a bit of you...thanks, girl.

  45. that's MARA with you in the picture--your new friend & I know her!!
    looks like fun and inspiring post!

  46. Oh friend, I'm all teary eyed from these words because I know this feeling well. For me, going home is like drinking something cold on a hot day - all slow and sweet or gulping it down because its just that good. The comfort and those prayers and all that love - precious. I'm grinning at all the fun and joy in these pictures! Silas is such a charmer.

  47. I've been saving this post to read today, when the Mr is gone and I need a good hug deep down in my soul. It was just as I thought it would be and more. Hugging you back with tears in my eyes. Thank you for each of your posts, they mean so much to me :)

  48. Blast! I "was" comment #2 on Saturday night, I swear, and my dang phone blizted out when I tried to log in to comment. Ugh!!! I had said that I had been waiting ALL day for this post (I truly had) and LOVED IT! I need the downlow scoop sometime! ;) Did you ever figure out the name of our cabin? Did the ghost of Chester appear? ;) HA!