The Journey Home

Sunset beyond an airplane wing.

I just ate one of my sister’s citrus scones with butter and honey that was in the welcome home basket from my family and I’m wearing a grey hoodie because our house is just a little bit cold. Did you hear that? COLD. Some things about being home are really, really nice.

We arrived yesterday, and besides seeing family and friends and eating the world’s most incredible scones, I enjoyed a very large BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad, a hot, high-pressure shower, and 12 hours of sleep in the world’s most comfortable bed (that would be OUR bed) last night. Those crisp white sheets and white fluffy comforter and thick, feathery pillows? It was 100x sweeter than I had remembered, especially coming from a final few hot days with no furniture, no fans, and no AC.

Woman sitting on the wooden floor in an apartment.

Although it’s all so suddenly wonderful and luxurious, it’s hard to know exactly how to feel because in order to be here, we said goodbye to our warm Filipino neighbors, friends, and the 80 precious children that we had the privilege of working with this year.

Three people smiling at the camera.

And the dogs. The dog goodbyes were so hard.

Woman looking at two dogs.

Just kidding. These were our garage dogs that kept me awake all night and even though they’re kinda cute, I’m totally okay parting ways. We actually thought about bringing the black and white spotted one home with us because she’s the happiest little thing and she doesn’t bark. That lasted for about 2 seconds. Not one of our better ideas.

Man in an empty apartment.

After the emotional goodbye at the shelter (which I’m hoping to share a video of in a few days when I get my life organized again) my class, my four girls, asked if they could come with us to the airport. They each brought their prized bottle of Coke and bag of malted milk balls saved from last night’s movie so they could have some snacks in the car. They were 150% giddy about getting to stay up late and drive across the city with us.

But even with all that, the ride to the airport was pretty quiet, and that final group goodbye hug could not have lasted long enough.

Woman hugging children.

I hope I can always look at that photo and remember that feeling. Like warmth just seeping into your heart.

It feels good to be home, and surprisingly really normal. Which makes it weird. Because it’s normal. Confusing, totally different, emotional, yet here I am on my same old couch in my same old sweatshirt looking through the same old window, and the grass is still long and green, the neighbor’s patio is still covered with plants, and our grill cover is still dirty. Like nothing ever happened.

But something DID happen this year, and IS continuing to happen all the time, and not just in the Philippines but all around the world. In the midst of pain and poverty, there is a lot of God’s hope and healing happening through places like CSC. I am just bursting at the seams with pictures and videos from our last few weeks in Cebu and I am too excited to share them. Get yourself ready now.

Welcome home sign and food on a table.

Things will be a little bit off-schedule for a while because I’m pretending those big boxes labeled “miscellaneous kitchen” do not exist, and I’m indefinitely avoiding my grocery store of choice, SuperTarget. My eating plans involve mostly my mom’s homemade granola, those life changing scones, and sorry to be so predictable: Chipotle.

I did have visions of a citrus scones post coming up compliments of my baking genius sister, but that means I have to save at least one scone and photograph it, probably on top of my suitcase or something, which reminds me – where’s my camera again? Hmm. We’ll see how that one plays out.

Unpacking on the floor.

Thank you for being sweet and caring. ♥ from Minnesota!

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