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Missoula!

This will be night three in Missoula. The last time I (we) were in Missoula, Juliana and I were on our Honeymoon, 14 years ago. I have sweet memories of that time. We spent two weeks camping in Glacier National Park, and then after we left the park, we drove down Flathead Lake into Missoula (fresh Flathead cherries from the market were a highlight). At the time, I (we) could scarcely imagine the two boys we’d soon have, the ways our lives would unfold, the paths we’d travel together, and what it would feel like to be a family, to invest so much in our careers/vocations/jobs, and then leave those jobs to travel across the country. Fourteen years ago, I couldn’t imagine that we’d be back in Missoula someday, in an RV, but here we are!

It’s been good to catch our breath in Missoula, to slow it down, to do laundry, to not be driving. (I knew the RV miles would be different from regular car miles, but I didn’t quite understand how different they’d feel, and how mentally and physically taxing they’d be).

I’ve also been looking forward to Missoula because we’ve needed some work done on our RV. I tried to do this before we left Minneapolis, but all the RV Repair shops were booked out weeks or months in advance. So I Googled “RV Repair Missoula” and found a mobile RV repair guy, and today he stopped by. While this was happening, I spent 5 hours with J, biking with him through the campground, creating obstacle courses (weaving around cones, following paint lines, going through puddles), exploring every nook and cranny of the grounds, and then driving to the Dragon Hollow Playground right next to the Carousel in Caras Park. The Park is as cool as it sounds, and we spent three hours there. For nearly all of that time, I watched him swing and pump, and swing and pump, and then jump off a swing. He just learned how to do this (when he was there yesterday with Juliana for 3 hours!) and he loves it. It was a joy to watch his body fly through the air and land, sometimes nailing the landing, sometimes missing the landing, but always taking in input, making adjustments, learning. He is so good with his body, and delights in moving at his pace, as he tries new things.

Yesterday, Sunday, I paused to think about how until very recently, Sunday was the day so much of my life revolved around. Of course, ministry is about much more than what happens on Sunday, but Sunday was the big day, the through line that stitched the weeks, months, and years together; Sunday was the time of storytelling, meaning making, and of reminding the gathered community what our larger purpose was, and how we were called to be in the world. Sunday was never really a sabbath day, because it was a work day, and often Saturday had that feeling as well, as I worried about and prepped for Sunday. But yesterday I slept in, and it was truly a time of rest, a time of being, a time where there were no other obligations or commitments other than to be right where I was, in Missoula, with my family.



Flying through the air!


Riding into Hellgate Canyon


Seriously, what kind of sign is this?


A fun early morning bike ride


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