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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Coffee, books, and connecting in the Pacific Northwest

Sea-Tac Airport, Monday morning

Waiting for flight 1474 at Gate A-9 of Sea-Tac International, I watch planes land and sip a Starbucks. My heart is settled, content.

I had no idea how much I needed a weekend away. My 17-year-old and I flew to Seattle Thursday evening. Friday morning we drove to Portland, where we got lunch from a food cart, spent hours in Powell’s Books, then had crabcakes and chowder at Jakes. (Can I just say I LOVE that my kid thinks two hours is not enough time in a bookstore?) We connected with old friends who live here. We gathered with 4000 other folks who care about social justice to listen to John Perkins, Shane Claiborne, Francis Chan and others at the Justice Conference. We had great conversations about the challenging things we learned at the conference.

We drove back to Seattle to wander Pike Place market and ride to the top of the Space Needle.  We went out for Thai food, got a little lost on the way but ended up on Queen Anne hill, overlooking the city lights and illuminated Space Needle, laughing at the providence that put us on a detour with breathtaking views.

Work has been my focus this winter. I read friends’ Facebook updates about vacations (smart Chicagoans vacation in the winter if we can) and simmered jealous.  I’ve wrestled with our budget, put in extra hours. “You needed a break,” my daughter observed.

We’d planned this trip long ago. What kid asks to attend a Christian conference on social justice for her 18th birthday? Gets giddy over a high five from Shane Claiborne? Mine does.

The next trip I take with my daughter will be a long drive to California, where I will drop her off at college. In the next few months, she’ll make the final decision about which college that will be. She needed a break, too, from thinking about it, the endless applying for more scholarships, answering the questions from well-meaning adults, most of which elicit a sigh and “I don’t know.”

We bought seven different books from four different bookstores, put almost 400 miles on a rental car, stayed at three different hotels in four nights, drank at least a dozen cups of coffee (including one from the original Starbucks). Melanie took more than 500 pictures of everything from flying fish to homeless people, and has deleted that down to about 300.

7 books, 12 lattes, 289 photos, 387 miles. Taking a last mother-daughter trip before she goes to school? Priceless.

 

5 Comments

  1. You have an awesome girl, Keri. What a great memory!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity, Keri, for refreshment and connections, especially with your daughter. The photo is beautiful; what a view! I have to admit to jealousy about the conference, especially since I’ve never been to Seattle. Glad you could take this time to be energized and loved.

  3. Wow…I can only hope and pray that one day, my sons wish the same for their 18th birthdays! I’m not as experienced a parent as you, but what I do know is that missional-minded kids often hail from missional-minded parents…so I’m pretty willing to bet that your lifestyle and choices have been a large part of what has shaped your daughter’s heart in this way. What a wonderful testimony to your parenting and the work of God’s spirit in her life!

  4. thanks, everyone. It was a good trip. Helen, I think your boys will be missionally-minded, of course, since you’re the missional mom!
    oh, and the photo in this post is not one of Mel’s, she hasn’t downloaded hers yet. it’s one I found on the internet. But I’ll post some of her photos tomorrow.
    K

  5. Keri, what a great trip! I remember traveling with my son and a couple years later my daughter as we checked out schools (2-3 trips each), and those trips were awesome. To have the justice conference to go to together must have made it even better.

    Your daughter is looking at California schools? Any in particular that have grabbed her attention? If you want some insight from a native who has become very familiar with the landscape out here for higher education, just let me know.

    Tim

    P.S. You had a Starbucks at Sea-Tac? Quelle surprise!

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