The Wild Ride of Juxtaposition

jux·ta·po·si·tion
ˌjəkstəpəˈziSH(ə)n/
noun
 
  1. the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

Early in the summer I described life as a roller coaster, but this week I’ve exited the fast moving coaster and climbed aboard the Pirate Ship.

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You know the feeling, right? The boat steeply swings the bow high into the sky, pausing for just a moment until gravity pulls the boat through the swinging motion and quickly the stern has climbed into the sky the other way, leaving your stomach somewhere in the middle. The emotion of this past week have left me with that same feeling.

Joy and Sadness, Relief and Anxiety,

Excitement and Order, Usual and Unfamiliar

These have been just a few of the emotions that have been residing side by side changing moment to moment as I helped Honorable Son #1 pack for college and then delivered him to his school home. DSC02872

All summer I had proclaimed loudly that off to college was where he needed to be. As he spent the summer exercising his wings preparing to fly, the others of us comfortably positioned in the nest experienced a little turbulence.

 

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The beating of his wings and the stretching of his growing choices and options were all clear signs that his time to fly was near and necessary, unfortunately my heart didn’t seem to get the message.

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I spent the evening before his leaving hearing the sound of him from his room, the room in which I gave birth to him, where he officially entered this world, and was overcome with the passing of time, remembering my little boy now on the cusp of being a man………swing back the other way………just a week earlier and that same “noise” from his room just left me cranky from lack of sleep!

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The first evening after dropping him off I mourned the idea of cooking for 3 people instead of 4………swing back the other way………just a week earlier and I labored over cooking dinner for anybody!

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Several days later and tears fill my eyes as his door stands open to a quiet empty room……..swing back the other way……..just a week ago I couldn’t stand to open the door and look in at the mess he called a room!

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Parenting is an ever-changing path filled with merry-go-rounds, roller coasters, pirate ships, a few entertaining musical parades, and maybe a corn dogs or two. Now I am hoping the amusement park path of life leads me to the wave pool, for just a small break, so that I can sit along the edge with my feet in the water and maybe a good book in my hand. A few moments of sunshine and stillness would be a great relief for my flopping emotions.

I take comfort in knowing that God has placed Honorable Son #1 on a promising path. His sticks have been gathered and placed in a new nesting place for the time being.

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I know that he has the tools and capability to take on the challenges that lay ahead. His wings are strong, he is called to fly.

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In-Tents Refashion

God is definitely showing me that change is good & I've missed out on nothing

This summer has unexpectedly been a tough one. Along with the wet, cool weather making the summer hay crop difficult to harvest and my roller coaster of emotions(with endless lists of preparation) as Honorable Son #1 transitions from high school to college, there have been numerous loved ones struggling with serious health issues. The combination of all these uncontrollable things makes for a lot of noise inside my head.

Some of these challenges can be minimized with a good plan of action, aka-endless lists of preparation written on paper instead of in my head, while most of the other things are completely out of my control. No lists, plans, careful preparations or hard work will stop the rain or take away difficult diagnosis-es.

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So with all this stuff going on, I was looking forward to our 3rd annual church youth camping trip to spend some time sleeping closer to nature, opening and closing the day with group devotions, giving help through service projects and sharing laughter with an awesome group of inspiring people.

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For the last three years the boys and I, along with other youth from our church, join youth from our mission district for a multi-day youth camp in the hills of Central Pennsylvania. This year the camp was being officially dedicated with a ceremony on opening day marking what everyone involved hopes will be a long continuing tradition of youth spending time at In-Tents Lutheran Church Camp.

DSC02859Last year we received T-shirts with our camp name printed on them, so, to show my team spirit at the dedication, I dug out my camp shirt while packing for our trip.DSC02844I have never been enthusiastic about wearing shirts with words printed across my chest(or back), especially the typical promotional t-shirt that adds the double whammy of being ill-fitting and with printed words. So before I could go off to camp for some “In-tents soul refashioning” I needed to do a t-shirt refashion.

I love reading through the many refashion blogs to be inspired. The vision and creativity people have to turn even the oddest piece of clothing into something loved and wearable is amazing. And while someday I would like to try my hand at some serious refashioning, this project would just be about turning this unflattering t-shirt into a better fitting model.

 

 

 

After comparing the camp shirt with a favorite me-made shirt, the cutting apart and putting back together began:

  • remove extra length
  • remove extra width
  • shorten the shoulder length
  • narrow the sleeve width to fit the new smaller armhole
  • remove the crew neck ribbing, cut v-neck opening
  • make new neck ribbing from extra length fabric

With just over 60 minutes of cutting and sewing I had a new and improved t-shirt ready for it’s camp debut.

Our time at camp was all that I was hoping for; sleeping under the stars, cooking over the fire, sharing and laughing with friends, rubbing elbows with a bunch of amazing youth, giving the gift of service to a few of the many in need, being inspired by a great speaker-Brian Wallace , and having some adventures in Ohiopyle(a few drowned pastors have quite a tale to tell).

But the most rewarding part is knowing that like my t-shirt, God is working in my life everyday to create a refashioned me, a person better fitted for the job He sent me here to do. The best In-tents Refashion of all.