After two weeks away from home, it was nothing short of amazing to shower in my own shower (sans flip flops), climb into my own bed, and fall fast asleep. It was incredible to wake up without an alarm and know I could just lay in my big, comfy bed without worrying about who I was supposed to wake up when or wonder if I'd be able to grab five minutes to myself to just be.
In the midst of enjoying my self-imposed solitude I noticed the quiet, the lack of laughter, the absence of birds and river water. No one was challenging anyone else to escape from a camp chair after being tied up. No one was attempting to do any sort of awesome jump off a rock into the river. No one wanted to know if they had time to go to the bathroom / shower / river / frisbee golf course before our next activity. I miss that.
I miss the chaos. I miss the laughter. I miss the silly contests. I miss driving a Suburban full of kids who are singing, dancing and air guitarring their hearts out as I drive us through the windy back roads and secluded state highways of southern Oregon. I miss seeing the stars from the window of my tent as I fall asleep, separated from the ground by a quartern inch of thermarest, wrapped up in my caterpillar green sleeping bag. I miss the joy of the water finally boiling and passing out oatmeal and french press to sleepy students and leaders. I miss the brief moments where I see this chaos for what it really is—love and grace lived out in the midst of the messy lives we live.
These kids are the best. Those five days in southern Oregon will go down as some of my favorite. While my introverted self is still a little tired, I cannot wait for Wednesday and the chance to relive even just a bit of that holy chaos that's become so dear to my heart.