Phew. July was a pretty amazing month. It was a month completely unlike any I have ever had before, and will likely ever have again. July was a month filled with travel, a month filled with adventure.
I have always enjoyed traveling. When we got married, Greg brought me out west. I had never experienced the changing landscapes, the mountains, the history found in the western United States before. I had also never experienced camping before. But I immediately fell in love with both. Ever since the few trips out west, I have waited (impatiently) to return. Every year I ask my husband if the kids are old enough to make the long drive west. Each year the answer is no. So each year we return to Florida.
This month, I had the opportunity to go to Greece for a family reunion. I didn’t think it would work (because I have 4 children – Greece for a family of 6 was certainly out of the budget, and who would watch them while I went adventuring!). I was happy to skip the reunion, sacrifices are a part of life and mothering, and I was unwilling to sacrifice our annual family vacation. However, my husband made a way for me to go.
Grace. Amazing, unnecessary, undeserved, unplanned, pure love. Grace.
He knew how much it would mean for me to see Greece with my Yia-Yia, to see where she grew up, where she lived. He watched our children, while he worked. And he even went grocery shopping. With all.four.kids. I am still amazed. Truly, beautiful grace.
Now, having traveled to Greece, I no longer yearn to return west (although I would still love to!). My constant questions instead are, “When can I go back to Greece?” (Catch up on my Greece Adventures with Greece Favorites: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)
After recuperating from the effects of having jet lag + four children, we left for a camping trip to New York. We visited Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) and camped in the Adirondack Mountains. Both were incredible experiences that I am so thankful to have experienced with my two eldest children. There will be a post coming soon, all about the trip, but for now, here are a few pictures. (You can also follow me on Instagram for more pictures of our adventures in real life.) The trip was a reminder of the grace of creation, the grace of family, and the grace of travel.
Though July was a month of adventure, it was also a month of grace: the grace found in adventure, in seeing new things, in experiencing the glory of creation.
But there was more. July began and ended with community. The real grace of July was not found in adventure or in experiences, but instead it was found in people. July began with seeing Greg’s family: a play date with his cousin and her boys (it’s extra special because she has also become one of my closest friends) and a housewarming/gender reveal party for his brother/sister-in-law! (You know her as The Nested Nomad.)
July ended with catching up with dear friends, cooing at babies, fun dates, walks with friends, and bunco with neighbors. Community provided the perfect bookends for a month of adventure. Actually, community provided the supports, the trusses, for a month of adventure.
I wrote this in a journal in May of 2013 and I read it again today, thanking God with all my heart💜 //// And then God answered: "Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time." Habakkuk 2:2-3 ////
I am oh so thankful for each moment of July. I am thankful for each adventure, both the big and small ones. I am thankful to have seen and experienced more of the glory of creation. I am thankful to have seen and visited the homes of my Yia-Yia in Greece. I am thankful for the grace found in adventure.
But I am even more thankful for the everyday moments. The conversations with neighbors, the dates with my husband, the walks with friends, and the cuddles with babies. I am thankful for these moments of community. I am thankful for the reminders that I am not alone. I am thankful to be in a place, a space where I can be supported and strengthened. I am thankful for the grace of community.
I am thankful for each friendship, each adventure, and each moment of grace. Especially when grace surprised me. Where did you find grace this month? Did grace surprise you too?
Catch up on a few of my favorite July posts: