Yesterday we took that wee trip to Lough Key, rain lashing down on us half the time; the other half scattered with sun. We listened to a Harry Potter book on tape, there and back, laughing at Stephen Fry's voice inflections, cheering for Ireland in the Quidditch World Cup.
The wee lad napped twice and the girl bought a pumpkin and the eldest decided hiking was a fun adventure after all. We also had a near-death experience on an old metal elevator, leaving me breathless and weak-kneed for the better part of an hour. We ate greasy food at an Irish fast-food joint and we raided a tidy little organic cafe in search of the loo. We ordered tea for two and mined stories from the kids: if they remembered our last visit, how Asher was only 8 months old, how Matt held the other two in the crook of a tree. Dusk comes fast this time of year and by the time we reached home at 6pm, the pitch blackness was overshadowed by a warm kitchen welcoming us back. Home. Back home.
And now as I write, a child is in the bath and one cleans his room and another one makes art projects she learned from a friend. It rains sideways, again, and the writing nook frames the oranges and reds and greens waving beyond our windows. The afternoon is mostly calm, gearing up for the Halloween rush and I'm just now able to sit back and watch... listen... as our life finds its rhythm.
Several weeks ago we read Jesus Calling to the kids. Life is an adventure with God, she hears Him say, and while anxiety and frustration and impatience lie in wait, we need only look for Him, listen for Him, to know that He is in it and with us all the while. There are no coincidences, only His orchestrations, or - as Andy Crouch calls it - full catastrophes, this beautiful dissonance of human existence.
For the children, and for us, it often goes unsaid and forgotten, misplaced in the chaos, hidden under school lunches and behind toy boxes. But in this month and the days of writing these words of home and life and power showers and tears in the McDonalds drive-thru, I see Him in it.
Familiar mums hold my place. A child curls up against the radiator. Matt off to work, dedicated to restoration. We revisit the places of our past, make memories for the future and open our doors for people to sit and eat and rest awhile. We place a pendant over the kitchen table and gather under it's light for dinner.
Today is the last day of our writing class and a man reads a poem they all know well. At the end of each stanza they recite the lines together, heads nodding in unison, laughing,
Can't you see Him in everything?