Thunderstorms

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There’s a tremendous summer storm going on right now here in mid-Michigan. It’s glorious … lightning, thunder, torrential rain, the whole nine yards.

I’m a big storm fan. There’s something about storms that make me want to hole up in my house, watching familiar movies and just being with my family. I’ve got one of my favorite Christmas movies on right now (please don’t judge, I know it’s August). All I need now is a hot mug of tea, and some greasy junk food, and I’ll be set for the night.I love just being with my family. There are a thousand things I SHOULD be doing right now. But every fiber of me cries out to just BE.

Just being … sitting, laughing, talking. That’s what we’ve been doing a lot of this past weekend. I had all six kids here (for those keeping track, I have four birth children, two of which have brought intelligent and beautiful in-laws into our midst over the last two summers). We also had my husband’s sister and part of her family (MORE newlyweds), as well as heart-deep friends. Our weekend was rich and dripping with dividends on relational investments we’ve made throughout the years.

And I relished in it. Just like this storm outside, those few blessed hours gave me … peace. It was a good thing.

However, we have had tremendous tragedies falling around us recently. Not our immediate family, but people we love have been through “it” these last few weeks. Like the storm, it came on fast and furious. And like most people, I attempt to make some kind of “sense” out of tragedy.

It’s an act of futility. Tragedy happens. Whether you believe in God or not, we see tragedies daily, whether then are nearby or across the world. No news here. But still, sometimes it seems like the storms are relentless and I stand back and wonder why it seems to pour out so randomly and yet sometimes so specifically on certain people over and over and over again. Unanswerable.

My own sky is cloudy today because I had to say goodbye to 2/7ths of my heart. My oldest and his lovely left for their

IMG_3318    second go-round of teaching in China (Find the kids’ blog here). I’m excited for them! They will have a GREAT year. They have beautiful and wonderful things ahead. I know … I know. But they are now in Los Angeles. And soon, will be half a world away from me.

My daughter and freaking-fabulous son-in-law are here right now. Then, they leave again and continue the job/apartment hunt … but only two hours away. Excited for them. Only good things ahead for them. Can’t wait to see what happens next. But they will be gone soon, too. Moving into their new life, whatever and wherever that might be.

My little lion boy has two weeks before he leaves for college. I can’t wait to see what happens in his life. He’s soooooo ready to go to the next step. He’s amazing, and has only good things ahead for him. And he, too, will only be two hours away. Two hours further away than he’s ever lived for more than a few days. Opposite from my daughter.

These things in my life are NOT tragedies … they are transitions. They are storm clouds sliding across the sky of my life and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the sun’ll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar … oh. Sorry. Got lost in a musical moment. I’m back now.

Anyway … transitions. Storms.

I know that like the storms, these things come and go. Unlike tragedy, I don’t feel the need to make sense out of any of it. It’s life … pure, simple, exciting, beautiful. And I was reminded this past weekend that between the times of transitions, there are these moments of clarity when the people you love dearly are close to you, laughing uncontrollably and making the place you are so real. Like the atmosphere, after a storm. Truly sweet air.

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