For almost eight years now I have been able count on at least one constant. Regardless of how tragic, joyful, busy, or boring my life has been at any given moment, there has always been a Lake kid around to give it meaning and color. I've shared this many times before, but the day after Kyle and I met, Avery was born. And in ways that had yet to be seen, I was as well. Two years after that, in the early morning hours of a hot July day, Sutton and Jude arrived and breathed the cool wind of chaos into my life and the life of our community. The best description of these three kids are that when they are in the room, there is force-- a palpable awareness that the tectonic plates of the immediate vicinity could shift at any time, releasing joy, pain, despair or silliness, sometimes simultaneously.
If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know they are the source of my best stories and the reason I have had to keep moving, one step at a time. It is because of this that my upcoming week will be one of the hardest I've had to endure for quite some time. Jen and the kids are leaving the sacred grounds of Waco for the sunny skies of California. I am being honest when I say that, for numerous reasons, this is a good move for them, giving them the opportunity to be together in a new place with new faces and the fresh balm of adventure to help further heal their souls. It's almost enough reason to make the emptiness I feel somewhat bearable.
In my dresser drawer is a small collection of things that have ended up in my pockets over the years-- A feather Sutton found outside of school one day; A beat up Indianopolis Colts matchbox car Jude picked up in Cameron Park; A purple hair clip of Avery's. In each case I was asked to put it away for safekeeping until they got home, and in each case I was promised to swear that I wouldn't lose it. Well I have kept the promise not to lose these things, but I'll keep them with me until I am asked to return them. Of course until they learn to read blogs I doubt they will remember these things they handed to me months ago. In the meantime I'll continue to keep them safe and will hold them as artifacts, holy reminders that a large chunk of my life has been filled with nothing less than the Breath of God.