It's that time of year again, folks...the summer is coming to a close. I know I say this every season (every holiday, every birthday, every Friday...) but I can not believe how fast the year is going! If someone told me it was April today, I would totally believe them - that seems like a much more realistic pace to life. But, nope! Here we are - the middle of AUGUST and I have a 9 month old who is reminding me every day that time is fleeting...quickly!
All summer has felt like catch-up from spring. I had all these goals for the summer, from the simple to the complex: Take more walks, Expand my recipe horizons for dinner, Learn to take more-pro-like photographs, Raise money for Josh to go to Haiti and pray pray pray about how God will use that experience in our lives!
Some goals got met (You can read about some of Josh's Haiti tales HERE in his recent article for Relevant's site called Reject Apathy), some were missed (I never did implement kale or bok choy into any new recipes) and some are still in progress (though I suppose you can never pray too much about how God will use experiences like Haiti to shape your life! Also, I'm hoping to take a local community photography class later this fall - so that's exciting!)
If I had to label this summer in one word, I'd say it was a summer of PROCESS.
The first half of the summer was a process (as a noun) of helping to prepare Josh to go to Haiti.
Main Entry: pro·cess
Pronunciation: \ˈprä-ˌses, ˈprō-, -səs\
Etymology: Middle English proces, from Anglo-French procés, from Latin processus, from procedere
Date: 14th century
1 a:progress, advanceb: something going on :proceeding 2 a (1): a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result
We raised money, we got a new lense for the camera, we bought his tickets (separate from the group since he was traveling from LA and meeting up with them in Atlanta), and we also made arrangements for myself - as Matilda and I had our own adventure to Kansas. Apart from the practical, we also set forth in a spiritual process - praying for the money, the resources, praying for the orphanage to make the proper preparations, praying for the team to come together and be the right people, etc...it was all a process. Even when it seemed haphazard at times, God was in the process...in fact, God was the processor... We would just come up with the questions - and hand them right on over to Him.
Where's the money gonna come from? Here ya go, God!
Who's gonna go? Here ya go, God!
I'm worrying about the orphans, the safety of Josh, the conditions of Haiti, the possible diseases, the flights.... Oh, right...Here God, here's a bundle! Thanks!
Then, once the crux of our summer had passed and Josh returned from Haiti...we started to process (as a verb) everything Josh saw, heard, felt, etc.
Main Entry: process
Function: transitive verb
2 a:(2): to integrate sensory information received so that an action or response is generated es visual images relayed from the retina>(3): to subject to examination or analysis
It is crazy - because I know I wasn't even there! I didn't even get a firsthand account of those people...yet I feel like I was/am part of the team who went. Hearing the stories, seeing the amazing photos that Josh took while he was there (see his facebook album HERE) I emotionally and physically sympathize with the experience, though I feel that my heart is truly empathizing with the team. I can't actually know what it was like to bathe with a water bucket and not taste cold water for a week (though I can imagine it!) and I don't know what it is like to see the miles and miles of devastation that those people live IN each and every hour...but my heart aches for them. Every time I run a faucet, I thank Jesus... and how many more super-conveniences do I still take for granted each day? Millions, I'm sure. All that to say - even though I didn't even GO to Haiti - I feel like I am still processing everything right along with Josh! And I'm so thankful that God is opening doors for him to share his experience and promote ways to help this incredibly in-need country (see Josh's Return from Haiti video HERE from Fullerton Stories).
So, as we soak up these last several days of summer...(though the sun will continue to shine in Southern California day after day after day!) we enter the Fall semester with open hearts and minds...actively processing all that God has shown us in these last few months. I feel like we are hitting the ground running (mentally at least) as we pursue opportunities and pray about doors opening and closing...just asking God to use us how He sees fit.