Goodbyes are supposed to be hard

And we are in the throws of it. Not because we seek out friends who leave or because we ourselves are moving, but it’s the flow of life. We find ourselves saying a number of goodbyes this summer and it never gets easier. And goodbyes are exponentially harder when it affects your kids.

I bring you not a how-to on saying goodbyes or finding new friends or numbing the pain, but reflections from our family as we learn to let go and keep our hearts open for more.

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a day in the life... (a mamawell exclusive)

come in!

you’re always welcome here! i’m sharing on @themamawellinstagram account, but wanted to invite you over here to the neighborhood. i write regularly about urban life, family life, church planting life, and writing life! you can click on the about page and read more. what i want to do with this post is show you a day in the life of our family!

we moved to San Francisco in 2010 to start a church in downtown where we now have 3 services with over 60 nations represented. we left family on the east coast, but have created a community of friends and family. our four kids are at three schools: charter, public, and catholic. we have one car and even that’s a luxury in the city. our kids ride in the mini-van, bus, and train to school and ben gets to work by foot and train. our city is transient so we say just as many “hi, my name is” as we do, “good-bye.” our kids see everything here. it brings about conversations that i wasn’t having until college and is growing compassion, empathy, and a faith that is all their own. i wouldn’t want to be anywhere else doing any other thing! it is all by the grace of God, a community of believers, and the power of prayer that we are thriving as a family in one of the most influential cities in the world.

how we do life in the season we are presently in:

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Why the Church needs a retreat

Before I tell you why, here’s our story:

Two years ago while on Sabbatical, Ben attended a FOCUS retreat of HTB London. He witnessed just a few days, but he saw the church in the city venture to the countryside for a week together of worship, encouragement, rest, and recreation. Ben began to pray about doing something similar with our church. He shared the vision with our team. The vision and prayer were now in the making! We would do this in May on the weekend of Bay to Breakers (an “athletic event” in the city that runs from the Bay to the breaking of the ocean waves in the Pacific where clothing is optional, but one cannot run intoxicated) This weekend always affects getting downtown to Epic anyway - so let’s head to the redwoods! We secured the location, speaker, and worship leader. Our Kids director wrote a full curriculum and our team executed the most excellent, well-run weekend ever, full of games, personal tote bags for every camper, and marketing/storytelling that wowed us all. Even a week prior to our first FOCUS, Ben and I were talking with a pastor in London. He said, “you’ll see things happen in a weekend away that would take 5 years to come together from one Sunday to the next.” We shook our heads believing he was telling the truth. We just didn’t know how good it would be!

So here’s why the Church needs a retreat:

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surprise the people in line behind you {a summer series}

Surprise the people in line behind you.

    you’re already in line for your shave ice, frappe, ice cream, or funnel cake. go ahead and surprise the ones in line behind you. simply turn and ask what they want and that you’re covering it! It’s like you just gave them the moon or something similar!

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5 things you'll need for this summer

every single time, without fail, as ben and i drive across the golden gate bridge with our kids, they don't even look up. we call their attention to this amazing architecture. they might glance, but return to their books and conversation. ben and I gasp every. single. time.

if we’re not careful, dare I say intentional, we won’t even look up and notice that where we live is a part of God’s design for us. it’s a gift. it’s a masterpiece to enjoy. it’s a discovery.

if you missed the 1 must-do can-do summer activity we're thrilled about, you can read it here.

let's take the TWELVE WAYS TO LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE and create some intentionality around the next few weeks when you're in town. i'll be writing stories and ideas on these weekly, but here's some things you can make sure you have on hand: 

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