Salty Tears

bekah General 1 Comment

We brought thirty-three Middle School Students from our church, along with some pretty awesome leaders, our boys, and headed up the San Bernardino Mountains to Winter Camp for the weekend. Tanner in the back, asking every 5 seconds, “Are these the mountains? Are we in the mountains yet?”

I love Middle School students, the majority itching to spend their parents hard-earned cash on a plethora of Icees, malts, and Sweet Tarts. Never mind it’s 5 degrees outside! Jake, a 6th grader, even told me at lunch that his parents had given him $27.00 and he intended to spend every penny on just the right thing! He had also eaten all the weekend snacks his mom had packed, on the bus-ride up!

Gotta love middle school students ~ what you see is typically what you get. They say it like it is, love sugar, and pride themselves on staying up as late as they can.  They are figuring out who they are, what this life of insecurity, simplistic sweetness, and growing confidence is all about.

I love camp for so many reasons.
Amazing speakers.
Cabin time with intentional conversations.
Milkshakes.
Late nights.
Kids running around, high on sugar and lack of sleep!

I love that we bring our boys on trips like these, doing life together as a family, while hanging out with twelve and thirteen year-olds.
I love that our boys get to be around people who love Jesus, clap with worship, and play with older kids.
I love “getting away from it all” and just being, without the everyday distractions.

But my absolute favorite part about camp is a little silly and entirely selfish.
Lend me your ear, lean in, so I can whisper…

I love getting some me time.

Me time, you ask? At camp?

Yes.

Those sacred hours, after I’ve tucked my angels into bed, and the rest of camp is at evening chapel.
When the air is quiet, and it’s me and God, and maybe a good book.

No TV.
No movies.
No Target.
No other people to talk with.

Just two twin beds, a room, our boys sleeping on the other side of our shared wall, and
me.

It’s fabulous!

Last night was no exception.
Snuggled in bed, I read and re-read one of my favorites, Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. Shauna is a long-lost friend I’ve never met. We sit around her large kitchen table and drink obscene amounts of coffee, gabbing about momhood, writing, and all the dirty facets of life, faith, and grace. She is one of the key players in awakening my passion for words and writing.

And last night I was crying with her through her miscarriage, struggles in job and church, and our shared passion for entertaining.

I cried cleansing tears.

Tears made up of our recent move, the overwhelming  details of living in a new city, and the joys of making our house a home.

Tears for wanting to get connected, needing couple friends, and for a deep gratitude for God’s provision.

I cried for the indescribable love I have for my boys, my two healthy boys who make me laugh more than anything, and who daily display God’s creativity and unseen presence.

I cried for the season Bryan and I are emerging from, with a growing confidence, eager to be whole again,  and wide-eyed at the abundance of blessings that God continues to heap on our hearts.

The tears kept falling. Salty icicles, running down my cheeks and pooling on my mouth. And I let them pool. Allowing myself to savor their meanings, and soak in the significance of every tear.

As a young girl, one of my most vivid memories of my grandma, my mom’s mom, was doing her makeup and hair. She’d sit on the family room floor, leaning back on her elbows, her eyes closed to the sun-soaked room. And while I painted her thin eyelids a bright blue, her cheeks a berry, and finished her lips with coral lipstick
{a waxy, airy fragrance I can recall even now}  I remember her talking about my mom, her daughter.
And crying.
Every. Time.

She’d express her deep love for my mom, and what a wonderful daughter she was. Leaning over her face, gently circling the brush on her paper-thin cheekbones, I can still see her cry as she spoke. Beautiful, light tears, that cascaded from under her lower eyelids and down her lips. I recall being struck by the ease her tears had in coming, and her not being ashamed as they fell. Specifically, I remember her reverently licking away the tears on her lips, almost as if she was recycling their merit, for the next time I’d do her makeup, and she would once again, talk about my mother, and cry.

So when the tears came last night, I thought of my grandma, and I let them fall. One after another.
Freeing.
Cleansing.
Healing.
Celebrating.
Thanking.

Big ol’ fat tears {say it in the Forrest Gump voice when he’d talk about shrimp.. ‘big ol’ fat shrimp!‘}

Big ‘ol fat tears!

The tears pooled on my lips, and I let them sit there. The same way my grandma had.
Reverently.
Unashamedly.
Allowing the saltiness to remind me of what each tear symbolized, before wiping them away with the back of my pajama sleeve.

Once my inner faucet turned off, and my tears ran out, I closed my book, feeling freer than I have in ages.
Cleansed.
Reflective
Thankful for some me time, even if it came in the form of tears.

Thankful for Winter Camp with Middle School Students.
And for milkshakes.
Thankful for Bittersweet.
And for this new chapter in our family.
Thankful for my grandma’s tears.
And for my own.

Those big, ol’ fat salty tears!

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