Kara’s Collection: Summer Denial

from an article originally posted August 14, 2014…

Yesterday, I went to buy our camping supplies, and brought my firstborn along. Someone graciously bought the other kids their school supplies, but Ella wanted to do it herself. So as I shopped she went and grabbed what she needed. She filled my basket and my heart sank just a bit. It’s flying away; this summer has been one of the most full, most amazing summers I have known, and it’s coming to an end. My heart is completely mixed I’m full of happy and sad feelings about it.

We have played, stayed up late, slept late, met new neighbors. We have filled our home and had quiet nights together. We ran away together and the bigs went to an amazing camp. Harper and I spent time alone talking about growing up. We simply spent our summer as well as we could. Sure, I wish we had read more books, but we were busy playing.

All of our summers have found themselves sprinkled with bad news, snorts, and cancers return, but we never let that stop us. This summer we received the news, and jumped in the car and flew away to a wonderland called Latigo. They captured us. They loved us, and they let us be kids again. When all the adult pain of the world was pressing in on us, they reminded us to live.

We are running away one last time. We will come home and pack up the backpacks and ready ourselves for a new adventure. Each of the kids have teachers that will capture them in love. Each of my little people have friends that know our story. They are ready to challenge and love their hearts well. I will miss their presence, their constant chatter, and their fussing, but they are running to something amazing. It’s just a different amazing than summer. This fall I get to pack up my bags and tell my story. I get to share what it is to live, embrace love, walk with God in the midst of hard with ladies on all corners of this country.

Yesterday, I expected to have a biopsy that said cancer has found a new corner. I was tickled to not have the bruising procedure, but told I have weird back fat. I then went to my cat scan to see how my treatment is working. Pain has faded in some corners and grown in others. I want so much to hope cancer is on the run. I want so much to hope for another summer like this one.

God has been so good to us this summer. He has let us laugh when we wanted to cry. God has been faithful to keep us moving when we wanted to stop. These children, these children are such a grace that keeps us looking for the life in each moment. There are times we sit quietly crying in corners, but Jason and I know we can’t stay there. Our people need to live. There is always a season to cry in the laundry, but then we need to step outside and get our jeans nasty dirty with life.

I am growing sentimental with each passing season. How can I not? I count the moments as the gift they are, but I’m always quietly wondering if it’s my last. Is this my last camp trip, my last sleep with all the windows open, my last running away to the mountains. And in that small sadness, I’m moved to walk more fully than I feel in today. I may not be up for a ton on this camp trip, but that little voice will push me beyond what I think I’m capable of doing. I will fish, hike, cook, nap, and play like a boss, because we don’t know if we get to go again. Do any of us? So why not live this moment well? Why not move beyond our own strength and into something greater.

These moments are a gift I didn’t deserve. I will savor them. I will embrace them. Today we set up camp, and soon we pack backpacks. It’s all this beautiful gift of time that just keeps moving. It’s moving, and today I’m moving in it. I’m quietly watching my phone for the call of the results. I’m secretly feeling hopeful, but also afraid to hope. Today, I have laundry to finish, camping clothes to pack, and food to prepare.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and I started to consider doing once a month cooking. I have a fantastic neighbor that can cook like a boss. I think I might rope her into trying it with me. Do any of you do this? Any amazing recipes to share out there? I have been trolling Pinterest for some inspiration. I don’t want to fully cook meals, but to simply have them prepared for our evenings. How is it dinner comes as a surprise every night to us, especially when we are stressed?

How are you sad to see summer ending? Jason came in this morning to try and motivate me; he said, Do you feel it? Fire season is coming. He knows how I love a fire. Not yet, babe. I need just a little more summer to enjoy.