pearls.

I’m coming to realize that my life is but a series of moments strung together like pearls on a necklace. Normal life is just that, a seemingly circular strand of pearls. As I continue in my day-to-day patterns, moments become more like a set of worn prayer beads; they are common, expected, simple and somewhat worn out. I wish I could see them as pearls.

I faintly remember Max Lucado using the phrase eternal moments to refer to these mini-stories that become the building blocks of who we become. Our sabbatical journey is slowly opening our eyes to the eternal moments. Changing the worn wooden beads of daily life into opalescent pearls of great price. Here are a few moments from the journey so far:

The first few days away it was incredibly difficult to adjust. We all thought we’d be in vacation mode for a few weeks and then the difficulty would set in. Wrong. It was hard from the first day or two. Libby and I both really struggled to find some kind of pattern or rhythm or consistency in life for the first week or so. Having this struggle together and talking about it in moments of anger, sadness and irony was a beautiful thing.

In our daily walk to the beach one day, hauling our umbrella and body boards and towels, flip flops slapping the road, Parker asks, “Dad, why do Catholics add stuff to the Bible?” and follows it up with, “Can people who go to hell get out?”

During school time, Libby emerges from her “study zone” perplexed. “Mom, what is a 12-sided polygon called?” There is no Google and after listing octagon, hexagon, decagon, still our family has no idea (Docegon? Decegon? Dragon?)

One afternoon I was reading God’s Word on the balcony of our apartment and the distinct sounds of Capoeira music (Brazilian martial arts mixed with dance) and the smells of Brazilian BBQ hit me at the same time. It seemed so fake and like something from a movie, but it was just another normal day here!

There are so many moments. The kids eating chicken hearts for the first time, watching a neighbor cover their laundry on the line with plastic bags while it began to rain, ordering pizza only to find it doesn’t come cut into pieces, listening to Parker speak Portuguese, exploring local beaches and restaurants, meeting people from all over the world…

Our prayer is that as we move through each moment, we will see the pearls.

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