away together

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So, we spent the very last week of September as a family at one of our favorite getaway spots: Isle of Palms, SC.  This place was where Brandon and I honeymooned over nine years ago, and we come back to it whenever we can because there’s something about the power of place.  Do you know what I mean?  There’s something about certain places that help us remember who we are, what we love, why we are alive.  There are certain places that call us back to ourselves when we’ve lost our way, that call us back to the Lord when we’ve trailed off.  You see this all over the pages of Scripture, the importance of the Promised Land as the place connected with the Israelites identity as a people.  You see it in the way God had the Israelites set up monuments and stones of remembrance as they traveled through the wilderness so that when they visited these places, it would trigger for them memories and milestones in their walk with God.

What are your places?  Places that for others are ordinary, but for you are profound, like balm for your soul amnesia?  I think for our marriage, Isle of Palms will always be a simple but powerful place for us.  It’s nothing special, really.  It’s quiet, home to only a couple of hotels, boasting a tiny strip of shops and restaurants, and a destination spot for more surfers and paddle boarders than big loud vacationers.  Which is precisely why we love it.  It has a quieter and simpler and smaller feel, and we’d rather see bare coast line and wildlife than a cluster of resorts or attractions any day. Plus its only a four hour drive from our home in the mountains of North Carolina.

This time was special because it was our first chunk of time off together as a family in two years (and Brandon’s first week off in two years, except for the week he took when Philippa was born, which you all know is no vacation).  Also, it was Philippa’s first introduction to the ocean!  She absolutely loved it, crawling straight into the waves, fearless.

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We also got to spend a couple of days with family, some time biking over to Sullivan’s Island and back, watching sunrises and sunsets, reading + painting alone on the beach, fishing, visiting our usual spots in Charleston, watching dolphins, running through the rain to Ted’s Butcherblock for lunch, staying up late to see the Super Blood Moon + capturing it (though fuzzy) on camera, experiencing the highest tides of the year on the island combined with the heavy rains from Hurricane Joaquin.  We stayed in a little yellow house and had to leave a day or so early because of the heavy rains + flooding.  We realized on this trip that it’s really not easy to go the beach with three children ages 4 and under and have the kind of relaxing vacation we were imagining.  The sooner we adjusted our expectations and communicated really clearly with each other what we needed to have happen to feel rested + refreshed, we enjoyed our time more.  The reality is, this season is busy and a ton of work, no matter where you are (maybe even more work when you’re not at home).  But it is still good and important for us to get away to a place that reminds us of the early days when we were brand new and so in love.  Somehow it always makes us fall in love all over again.  It’s a fight sometimes to really r e s t, but such a thing worth fighting for.

So now, I feel I can officially say goodbye to summer + hello to the glory of fall in these beautiful mountains we call home!  Yay!

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