I took a quick trip across the state this weekend to surprise my best friend for her 30th birthday. Four hours there, four hours back, a whole car to my little ‘ole self. And It was pretty much the best. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I was awake and uninterrupted for eight hours, and I feel quite confident that I made the most of it.
I rocked out, like personal karaoke show style, to some of my favorite jams, things I probably wouldn’t have on in the car with my kids because I’m not sure that Harper needs to think about phrases like ‘making the bad guys good for the weekend.’ I pretended I could play the piano with Sam Smith and my imaginary audience clapped along with me to ‘you sayyyyy I’m crazy…’ And, y’all, I pretty much sound exactly like Carrie Underwood when the music is just loud enough
And I also had moments of pure worship. It’s hard not to let the words of some of Bethel Music’s lyrics sink in to your soul when it is just you and them. Many of you know how I feel about “Ever Be” and it only gets better on repeat. Same with “No Longer Slaves,” I kept skipping back to that crescendo at four minutes when it builds up build up to the words ‘you split the seas so I could walk right through it!’ Gah, so good. Getting goosebumps all over again.
I prayed a lot. My husband had a hard few days at work right before I left, and I prayed for his integrity, diligence, and love for the work God has given him. My sweet friend and her family are going through a lot, job stuff and cancer diagnoses and the things that fog up life in a way that makes our faith have to shine brighter to get through them, so I prayed for healing, patience, and joy. I prayed for my babies and their hearts, I asked for wisdom in parenting them and confidence in God’s word as I do so. And I prayed for forgiveness, because truthfully, I walk through so much of life very unaware of how unbelievably blessed I am. My lent study has been going through repentance in the book of Lamentations, and it has shown me again and again that there is a big gap between what I intellectually know about grace and what I actually believe and live about grace. It’s so much sweeter than I can even grasp.
So this was all on the way there. Then I enjoyed a sweet 24 hours with my two amazing friends, Emily and Aubree, and their kiddos, a short day when I could just be auntie Katie and not have to chase my own little loves around. As much as my babies are my greatest joys, time to spend loving these little faces without distraction was the sweetest. We went to a basketball game in Seattle (I should insert here that Em and Aub are Arizona State basketball legends; I felt like a high roller walking in with them and sitting in the front row), out to breakfast the next morning, and then I headed home, accompanied by Andy Stanley’s Brand New series. Oh my, so good. I called Alex after three sermons and talked his ear off about what I was learning, which I will sum up by saying I have never heard Galatians 5:14 preached so thoroughly and applicably: “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Yes.
I’m so thankful for this weekend, for the quiet space that I could be as loud as I wanted in. For the friendships that have grown deep enough to cover miles of distance. For the memories and the laughs and the lessons.
The moral of this story: take more roadtrips. Alone, if possible.