our afternoon in Chicago was awesome.  part of our plan fell through when we learned that there was a two hour wait to get to the top of "Monster Tower" (what Eli called Sears/Willis Tower).  we were bummed but he didn't think much of it after we said we could hit the playground (Navy Pier) instead :)  

we went on the carousel, the ferris wheel, had italian ice and Eli and Papa played golf.  the weather was perfect, the people were happy, the day was great.

i spent enough time in Jesus Calling and the book of Exodus to come to terms with the place we were in.  though i was feeling hurt and burdened yesterday, i found closure today and understood that our place "in-between" was sacred.  just as God told the Israelites to consecrate their firstborn, i declared this moment holy because we were following God and obeying His call for us. 

we took a while to return home partly because we stopped in Michigan City, Indiana to drive to the lake and eat lunch/dinner on the water.  it was a nice unplanned stop, and one more reminder that we only need one another to be truly fulfilled.  as Eli sat on the blanket by the channel snacking on french fries and chicken nuggets and playing with his new Power Rangers toy, Thomas said "being homeless isn't so bad, huh?"  

and it isn't.  

we know we have a place waiting for us.  we know we are secure enough to make this transition slowly since we have friends and family supporting us along the way.  we know we are covered and cared for.  

it was about this time i started to reflect on a deep conversation i had only a couple hours earlier.  i spoke with a dear family member about something important happening in their life, and listened as they emotionally expressed the fears, concerns and worries that were coming with it.  i cried with them, and wished to be with them and hug them.  i finally reminded them that, no matter how they are feeling or what they are experiencing, God is with them and wants them to continue calling out to Him, no matter how long it has been.  

it felt good to speak about these things because i was reminding myself of the truths in the process.  this day was blessed and beautiful, and in my own emotional moment i had no idea of the sufferings and pains of others.  i didn't "see" them because i was too focused on my own hurts.  in hindsight, i became aware of the refocusing i needed to engage in and practice from that day on.  

what i learned from this day is that i can never be a true follower of Christ if i don't mark certain moments as holy and remember them for the miracles they are. i must bring them through to each part of my future life so that i may never forget God's greatness.

consecrating these moments and speaking of them for years to come;
that is what keeps faith alive.

when we arrived in Ann Arbor to begin our stay with a good friend, i was brought even deeper into a refocusing as we were welcomed by a woman who has endured more than one woman should.  her heart has been broken and tested, and yet she remained so full of love, compassion and grace that she opened her home to us when we needed it, and did so with a smile.  

as we rushed our chaotic life into her quiet space, made Eli's lunches for the week, chatted in the kitchen while we finished Nadal's match and caught up on not-so-small talk, i felt the hand of the Lord press on my heart and remind me that He has caused everyone to stop and refocus by means that He has chosen for them.  i will never understand them, but i must trust He is in control.   i'm certainly beginning to.

in what ways is the Lord helping you to refocus?  

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