Why Is the Sun Up in the Middle of the Night?

I’m in Chicago on a couple hour layover. It’s 4:10 am according to my body, but Chicago believes it’s 6:10 am. I left LAX at about 10:45 pm. All this makes for a short night, but I’m sure my body will painfully remind me of that in short order once I arrive in Christiansburg, Virginia. That’s my destination.

So, enjoy what I can and will. LAX was an absolute zoo. I have no idea what all those people were doing there on a Friday night. Chicago is not near as full, so it’s quite a bit quieter. A good thing for an introvert.

I’m enjoying a grande triple shot decaf extra hot soy no whip no foam white mocha. A treat, as I haven’t had near as many of these as I am used to. Started laying off in an attempt to get my gut to settle down from where it’s been.

Gastroparesis still plays its silly games with my stomach and intestines. Every once in a while, and it’s quite a while now, gotta just let it calm down by going with mostly liquids.

I’m on my way to Christiansburg to invest the next week working with my mentor at a pastor’s retreat center. He’ll work me into counseling situations wherever he can to give me exposure and training. It’s kind of a “domestic” missions trip.

Some of these pastors, some along with their spouses, will be here for a time of rest or sabbatical, others for a study break and still others for crisis care. So, this is a trip with a definite mission to help pastors and their families regain some perspective and equilibrium toward a healthier season ahead of them.

Never sure what’s ahead, but it always turns out to be a thing of God. I hope to be back again later this Summer or Fall, and hopefully Colleen can come with me to enjoy the beauty of the area.

Still working on my Master’s in Human Services with specialization in Marriage & Family through Liberty University. It’s a counseling degree. If I stay on track, I’ll finish mid-October. The classes have been really good, but I’m ready to be done and have some real time again! So is Colleen!

Wondering what’s happening with Jonathan? Us too! He’s in a bit of a rough patch it seems. Ever since going back to Heritage after his April home visit, he seems to be struggling. He wouldn’t say so. He says he’s fine. But his grades have taken a slight hit (for his standards), he’s stopped calling us between therapy appointments every other Tuesday (next one this coming Tuesday), and for the first time since he’s been there, he lost privileges a few phases backwards for some not so good behavior.

Many would say this is a bummer. Actually, it’s a good thing to us. Ever since he’s been there (since May 2, 2011, and another 5 weeks prior in Oregon), he’s been on stellar behavior. We’ve always known that anyone can only hold it together drastically as he has for only so long. That seems to be finally unraveling for him a bit. And that’s good, because the pros can finally see more of what they need to work with.

I miss him. Terribly. Just before I left for the airport a few hours ago, I received a letter in the mail from him. He hasn’t written in AGES. But he sent me a Father’s Day letter. Short. Sweet. Full of my Munchkin.

  • “Sorry for not sending a Father’s Day card, but I’m sure this makes up for it.” (Confident kid, ain’t he?)
  • “Thanks for sending me here to get help” (sniff, sniff, sniff)
  • “Did Mom tell you I want an iPod in Mastery (final phase where they get to have an mp3 player) and I’ll pay for my own songs?” (There’s the Munchkin!!)

Our next visit with him is scheduled for his school break. We plan to bring him home Aug. 16, go RVing Aug. 17-21, and spend the rest of the week at home with him until he returns to Heritage on Aug. 25 for the next semester.

Since his home visit in April, I’ve done a bit of traveling.

New York City first week of May for the EHS Leadership Conference. Great time there reconnecting with friends and colleagues I hadn’t seen for three years due to my illness in 2010 and Jonathan’s departure in 2011.

Utah in mid-May for the Heritage Parent Conference. They do this twice a year, and it’s always a powerful time of education and insight. Colleen didn’t go on the New York or Utah trip. Jonathan and I spent a lot of time together, including a great spontaneous day of fly fishing Sunday afternoon! I also got to experience some powerful insights and learning about equestrian therapy.

End of May had Colleen and I in Phoenix, AZ for our annual Foursquare Convention. You can click here for deets on that. It was a great time of connecting with friends ala Foursquare.

Then, in mid-June, our niece, Kylene, on Colleen’s side, graduated High School. That resulted in some family being down with us for a few days. Had a stellar time with them and always wish it could be longer.

Josh is working this Summer at a local 9 hole golf course as a Range Assistant. He drives the cart that picks up range balls, cleans them and refills buckets. He’s working lots of hours while trying to finish his Junior year of High School independent study. He plans to start his Senior year back at Simi Valley High School on Aug. 22, but he’s got lots of work to complete this Summer to make it happen.

Other than that, he still plans to join the Marines after graduation. He’s starting to talk to the local recruiter about how to get in. He’s planning on starting reserves, getting a degree, and then going active as an Officer.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here for now. Onward and upward…..

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