I am home for 10 days this summer. Which really is a great thing. I am thankful to have parents who supported me going away, that I had the opportunity to live in Chicago of 10 weeks this summer, and that I do have a place called home that I can return to do, quite honestly, not do much at the end of summer. While I have not done a much productive type work, I have been able to get back on the exercise train, have long Bible studies, go to bed early, and have really good conversations with family and friends, deep ones where I’ve been able to put my new skill of asking good questions and listening well to use.
I have also been able to do whatever I want. And that is kind of a beautiful thing. To have the freedom to make choices with my time, not feel guilty about them, truly relax, and fill up. This past Saturday was so full of those choices. I needed that. I needed to relearn that it’s okay to not to things off of a checklist and still have a fulfilling and rewarding day, one that was productive because it invested in relationships not stuff.
My morning started off with an egg scramble (my new fave, non-sweet breakfast) and coffee on the deck (my new fave place in the house) with hot coffee and conversations with my dad.
Then me and my mom headed to the Omaha Farmer’s Market.
While not quite Green City Market, it was great to be surrounded by the people, the farmers, the action, the singers, the hot street food, the vibrant vegetables, to be reminded why I love this place and why I choose local food.
Then my dad and I headed out on a little afternoon bike ride. Between the sun kissing my back, the wind, and the random conversations, it was refreshing. I had wanted to say no at first, I thought it was too hot, I was going to run later, but after saying yes it reminded me that these days don’t last. I can run whenever I want but I can’t always go on a bike ride with dad. Relationships are worth it is the mantra I’m slowly but surely grabbing on to.
Then I baked. Just for the heck of it I took on what I thought would be a challenge- a crepe cake- but ended up just being fun. I poured and flipped 24 crepes and spread thin dollops of homemade hazelnut custard over each delicate layer. I savored that time in the kitchen. I ate up what it felt like to create something that I thought looked and would taste pretty dang good. I invested in myself by doing something I love just for the heck of it.
For dinner, we grilled fresh corn on the cob, salmon, and Grandpa’s fresh zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, and onions. It was perfect. ‘
Then we headed off to a play, a performed dialogue of how real people in Omaha have been impacted by gang violence. Of their dreams for the future, of what they have witness, of the pain and heartache and suffering they have been through. I saw firsthand for the first time how crippling circumstances can become. I felt so hard for the performers who were also the victims and perpetrators and mothers of children who have been killed. My eyes were opened, my naiveness stripped away, and I felt called and empowered to understand and respond to the needs in my community.
On the car ride home we were able to talk about what this meant. What it meant for those the violence affects and what it means for us as outsiders. How we can react to create a better, stronger Omaha. People, these engaging conversations make my heart happy.
To top it all of, the night ended with eating that crepe cake (outside on the deck) with the fam. We had some interesting, semi-debatish conversation, reflected on the summer, and loved each other.
What a day. What a reminder of the things that brighten my days. How being intentional is so good, how saying yes is so rewarding, how investing in myself is so important.
I am so blessed to have this place to call home. That I can come for even 10 days and have the best days doing my favorite things with my favorite people. Home is good.