My tan lines are already fading. The boys lament how black they turned, and I hold my arm next to theirs while we compare skin tones, mostly using terms involving candy - ranging from caramel to dark chocolate. We’ve been home from the beach for just over a week, and life continues full-tilt. School starts back up and we bring donuts for an early morning bus-stop-party, grinning at the kids who run with backpacks bouncing, desperate not to miss the bus on their first day of school. The bus driver smiles and honks, and we obligingly hand her a donut too. Our own little ones go back to school, and we forget Jayci’s backpack on her first day, effectively setting the bar low. Life goes on, and vacations quickly slide into the realm of reminiscence.
As for me, I will do my best in this space to somehow portray and share the complexity of living missionally in the city. Because so many of the complicated issues we encounter here, and in Florida on vacation, seem very hard to draw out in terms of black and white. Race, prejudice, poverty, friendship, motherhood, marriage . . . All profoundly complicated. And in sharing our week at the beach, I somehow couldn't let yall think that we were angels, or that our life was perfect. Because I wouldn't want that assumption to stop any of you from living your own missional life.
And so looking back on our time at the beach, I am grateful for grace that covers complicated. That obedience and missional living doesn’t mean perfect. That motherhood can somehow be both beautiful and the-hardest-thing-I’ve-ever-done, and that vacations can be the opposite of relaxing and still be absolutely delightful.