I’m nearing the end of a nearly two week vacation spent mostly with the grandboys. The opening parenthesis of the visit was at my mom’s farm for a partial family reunion with 3/4 of the Bend family, my daughter, the Chambersville team, and half my Brooklyn family which included the newest member, Jack Hardin Jernigan, known as Apple Jack. The parenthesis is closing with a trip to Oregon to bring the grandboys back home.

A week with eight and ten year old boys is one the best ways to clear out my brain and open my heart to inspiration. Lots of LEGOs, lots of art, lots of books, lots of smoothies and pop cycles, lots of movies, and lots of other joy mixed in.

Our first visit to a movie theater in over a year was as safe as it could be—we were the only ones in the theater (Peter Rabbit 2–👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻). [Jonas says I should do 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 up]

The trip to the anime museum brought out my inner protective grandma because of the tenuous COVID protocols. We are not done with the pandemic, no matter how much we want it to be done, and I have two grandsons who can’t be vaccinated yet (but that’s a sermon for another day about loving others and than what’s more convenient for *me*[and I could quote scripture about seeking to rise to the other’s best]).

We were watching a King Kong movie when the grandsons decided they wanted to evacuate to what the older boy called “soulful and heartfelt”. The younger added “heartfilled” which became our new movie criteria.

Heartfilled has become my new pondering word.

On the final Sunday of their visit, I was trying to decide about church. I wanted to be sure we went somewhere with safe protocols that would also be kid friendly. A lazy Sunday morning with worship online sounded lovely. And then I remembered what I used to say to reluctant worshippers when I was still a rector—we don’t go to church for what we will receive (though that’s a bonus)—we go for what we give to God and to others.

Oh. Right.

We joined the community of Holy Family HTX for sweet, welcoming, thoughtful in person worship. One grandson said that he felt the closest he ever had to God.

A stop at VooDoo donuts on the way home was a bonus.

Heart. Filled.

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