The last day has come and gone. Escape to the Lake was an escape. Escape from everyday reality. Escape from the city. Escape from the summer heat.
I read an article in the Onion today making light that moms still do all of their normal household activities even while on vacation. It’s so true. Dads do too. At least in our family. So, without extra help, vacations aren’t really that vacation-y for us. So, what I’m saying is that we didn’t have an escape from parenthood this week. And, that’s ok. But, we’ll probably need one after this!
Our final day at Escape to the Lake was one full of reflections, happy memories and goodbyes to new friends. Caroline led worship and Justin gave a closing talk before communion and memories from Dave and Christiaan. I’m hopeful that these connections will remain and be lifelong.
I’m also leaving with a renewed view of myself as an artist. During one of the breakout sessions the day prior Sarah Masen referred to me as a “visual artist.” She had seen my handwritten lyric sheets and drawings on the merch table. It’s interesting how I often don’t see something in myself until it’s said out loud.
It reminds me of a time I was having coffee with my friend and pastor. He told me that I was a “direct person.” I remember feeling surprised and hurt as he described me as a person who means what she says. Upon more reflection, I found this description to be true and something I am thankful to be. I’ve learned and am still learning to be careful in my directness. But, I see the fruits of this quality in my work every single day. People know they can count on me and if I say I will do something that means I will and I’ll do it to the best of my ability. I’ll put my heart and soul into it and even take lessons or get help if I need it. So, when Sarah called me a “visual artist” it took me by surprise. Pleasant surprise. I like to draw and I’ve been doing calligraphy since my mom bought me my first set of calligraphy pens in middle school. Thinking of myself as an artist: singer/songwriter, performer, and visual artist gives me more freedom to explore that part of myself. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say this again: “encourage the gifts in others.” It’s truly life-giving.
Hebrews 3:13(NIV) says “But encourage one another daily,<span class="crossreference" value="(A)” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-30009A” style=”-webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue Light’, HelveticaNeue-Light, helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 17px; box-sizing: border-box; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px;”>as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
So, I encourage you to live this verse out in your lives. Encourage others. Take this encouragement to heart today. You are gifted. You have purpose and your life is intended to be meaningful. You are so very loved.