Adventure, Family Relationships

Normal: Finding Peace After Adventure

By JeanneTakenaka

First, please accept my apologies for not being present here last week. I was kind of unavailable. Spring break was filled with adventure and lots and lots of walking. I’ll be sharing more here today and in the next few posts . . . 

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There’s something comforting about “normal.”

After an eight-turned-nine-day adventure with my son’s school tour of Athens and Rome I’m home. 

Tired. 

And embracing the peace in normal.

After nine wonderful, long, BUSY days of travel and touring, we are back home, where it is snowing. 

At the end of March.

Suitcases need to be unpacked. Laundry piles sit on my floor waiting to be washed. Meds and other things sit on the bed, ready to be put away. And weariness needs to drain from my body as I settle into our family’s “normal.”

But I’m home. With hundreds of pictures (yes, really), special memories, and many impressions I’m still sorting through. 

I’m with all of my people, the ones who are nestled closest to my heart. 

Those who fill me the most. 

And peace settles into every pore of my being.

After eight days of trekking over miles of streets and pathways, learning about amazing ancient cultures and visiting places many only dream of seeing . . . 

of viewing, with my own eyes, buildings and artwork I’ve only heard about and seen in books . . .

. . . after an extra day from a delayed flight that left us in Munich, Germany . . . 

I’m home. 

Trying to find normal again.

And I’m ready for it.

There’s something amazing about going on an adventure like Edmund and I began on March 20th. 

But there’s also something soul-filling about coming home again. 

God allows times of busy-ness, of walking through the unexpected with Him.

He opens the doors to adventures where we can experience soul-growth and take in new places and experiences . . . 

But we can’t continually dwell in those seasons.

They are, ultimately, wonderfully unsettling.

I love experiencing new things, but I also love knowing there’s a place to come home to that is predictable. It’s not always exciting, fun, or stirring, but our normal wraps me in a warm blanket of acceptance and comfort.

Home—normal—is the place where I find rest. It’s where the rejuvenation of adventure weaves  into the fabric of who I am.

Maybe I’m especially thankful for normal—for the peace that being home and finding my routine once again—because of the unexpected extra day of travel.

We left Rome already tired from a short night of sleep. Our flight was delayed by over two hours, and then we discovered our first leg of the journey would also be our last for the day. 

The day after stepping onto United States soil, I sit in my project room. The quiet of the morning swaddles me as I watch large snowflakes billow down the street. I sense the peace of God’s presence, of His pleasure. 

I’m wrapped in the beauty of His embrace.

I’ll toss that laundry into the washer, heft suitcases back into the attic. I intend to share my pictures (not all 1500 of them) with my husband, and with Peter. I anticipate burrowing into the patterns of routine that our family thrives on. 

And I look forward to sharing other thoughts and impressions about our unforgettable trip in this space in the coming weeks. 

What about you? What about your normal gives peace to your soul? What adventures have you experienced recently that have rejuvenated you?

Click to Tweet: I love experiencing new things, but I also love knowing there’s a place to come home to that is predictable.

I’m linking up with Tea and Word Tuesday and #TellHisStory

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40 thoughts on “Normal: Finding Peace After Adventure”

  1. Jeanne, what a wonderful adventure and photos…and what a lovely testament to homecoming. Your writing is a gift.

    As for me, well…

    Late last night I almost died,
    but came back from the brink.
    Death didn’t get me, though he tried,
    and he gave me time to think.
    I’m not quite ready to decamp
    this place of so much pain
    where it seems I hold the lamp,
    and my reason to remain.
    The darkness gathers all around
    and there’s comfort in its roar;
    lions whose hungry voices resound
    on this side of death’s fell door.
    I’ll stay here where the monsters roam,
    for what you call hell, I call home.

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    1. Awww, Andrew. I’m sorry last night was so brutal. You have been in my prayers, my friend. I know God gives you your number of days, and He is using you, even when those days look dark and are swirled with pain. Thank you for your honesty, for your words, and for your testimony of determination.

      I continue to pray for you and Barb, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. YES!
    I love the way new adventures come back with us into our “normal,” enhancing the way we thin and heightening our appreciation for all the things that make home so homey.

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  3. Jeanne, so much to think about here. If we have a safe place to come back to, we can do anything.
    God allows us times to be “out there,” and then times to “come ye apart and rest for a while.’
    And you’ll have these memories burned deep into you for the rest of your life, to take them out and thumb through them and Remember.

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    1. Kathy, even as I wrote this, I know not everybody has a safe “home” to come home to after adventuring, or walking through unexpected places. But, I am thankful we can always find a safe place in God, as you so beautifully share. And yes, those memories are imprinted on my heart and in my thoughts. 🙂

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  4. Lovely pictures Jeanne and happy for you, that you had this adventure with your son! I am energized by new adventures, and then happy to be in the security of my ‘normal’ home and city too. It makes me more grateful for my humble home and even just the regular suburb I live in! Sometimes the adventure to rejuvenate might be the local greenhouse! Or a new home store. There are often treasures close at hand…and God always knows exactly what we need.

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    1. I agree, Lynn. While it was amazing to visit faraway places, I am happy to be back with my family, my needs-work home, and in my busy mom-of-teens life. I love that God offers us adventures, as well as the surprises He fosters through them. And yes, God does always know exactly what we need. Thank goodness!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeanne,
    The pictures of your travels look awesome!! It’s great to visit new places, but it is always great to come back home. I guess I like the “rut” of my routine and re-entry, as I call it, always takes awhile because you need to decompress from all your adventures. I’m usually worthless after a trip for a few days. I give you credit for even writing!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Grinning, Bev. I am still dealing with a little tiredness, but the first couple of days were much harder than when I was younger. 🙂 Part of how I decompress is to put impressions and thoughts into written-out words, you know? Thanks so much for visiting!

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  6. Pedro had an important board meeting on Sunday evening and Monday, so we went on a spontaneous one-night camping tirp to Sedona on Friday. It was wonderful to ‘get out of Dodge’ if only for one night–to see the wildflowers in bloom in the red desert, and to laugh until we snorted ;). Now it’s back to the normal (which is nice, too), and three very busy weeks until we get a short break over Easter.

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    1. Anita, even getting away for one night is refreshing, isn’t it? And when you can take in beauty like springtime wildflowers?? Even better. I’m so glad you two had that time together. May the normal days pass with glimpses of God’s love in your life and into the lives of your students!

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    1. I hope I never forget the wonderful memories made, the things I’ve seen and what I’ve learned. It was truly an unforgettable time, Linda. I love how you describe craving normal like sunlight and water and rest. I think I tend to camp right there with you.

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  7. Even when Normal is craziness, getting back to it after a nonstop adventure is wonderful! The trip (most recently to the Southwest USA) has special memories and joy, but to be home again!

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    1. Aryn, there are times when normal is still crazy, aren’t there? But,even when it’s crazy, it’s still nice to have it after travels or an adventure. I guess sometimes, “normal” is where I process the things I saw and learned while I was away. I hope your time in the SW US was wonderful!

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  8. Your trip sounds amazing! I love the photos, and I’m sure you have lots of special memories! But I agree, there is something comforting about coming home and settling back into “normality”.

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  9. What an adventure. And what lovely pictures. You captured so well the returning to normal. I think normal for me means in the routine and at home. It is fun to go, but then like a sigh to come home and be among the familiar things and routine. We really are creatures of habit and place.

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  10. There is such truth to the phrase “there’s no place like home”. It is not only where are people are but where I find peace and comfort. There’s nothing like it. What an adventure you got to experience. I imagine sharing the trip with your son provided some amazing memories.

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    1. I’m like you, Mary. I find peace and comfort in Home.It was fun to share the trip with my boy. But, I was there more as a support for him, rather than a companion to share lots of memories with. He loved growing deeper in the friendships he had with the other young men from our school. Which was its own sort of good. But we do have those “DO you remember . . . ” moments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, Jeanne! You certainly did have an adventure! Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope your peace will continue now that you’re home. We do need adventures to keep us on our toes! 🙂

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    1. Laurie, it’s funny, there was so much to do in preparation for this trip, that a lot of my normal things/tasks got set aside. Now that I’m home, I’m figuring out what to take up again and how to do “normal” a little more healthily than I did before i left. I hope I can continue on a good track as I venture forward. 🙂 And yes, we DO need adventure in our lives. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful pictures, Jeanne, and sounds like an amazing trip (I’m remembering some of your social media posts about the trip). But I know what you mean. Even after a short weekend of thrills and adventures, that feeling of approaching home after exiting the freeway is just comforting. There really is no place like home. I think of Jesus who had no real place to call home except for back with His Father in Heaven. How wonderful His return must have been. Heaven is our home too, and how restful it must be to finally get there. Someday.

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    1. Stephen, I had forgotten that Jesus had no real earthly home. I never thought about how wonderful it must have been for Him to get Home when His work on earth was complete. And, in those quiet moments, don’t we yearn for our real home too? Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  13. Wow – what an adventure and such a trip for a high school trip. We usually went to a museum downtown:) I hope you continue to savor the memories made for weeks and months to come! I have been enjoying your photos on IG! It really looks amazing…but, yes, coming home is pretty amazing, too!!

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    1. Jennifer, it was quite a trip for all of our students. My guy is actually in eighth grade. I think he may have been bitten by the travel bug though. He wants to go on another trip. 🙂 As I’ve culled through my hundreds of pictures, I’ve continued to marvel at God and at the places we saw, and I remember laughter and conversations in those places. 🙂

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  14. I’m loving all the photos you are posting on Instagram, Jeanne … what an amazing experience you got to share with your son. 🙂 But I’m like you … home is where I’m most at peace. Hugs, friend!

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    1. Lois, thank you for viewing my photos, and thank you even more for your friendship and your visits here. We had an amazing trip. And, I’m looking for the amazing in my normal days as well. 🙂

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  15. I look forward to your upcoming posts. I agree with you, there is no place like home. There is something especially comforting to come home and sleep in your own bed again, eat food from your own kitchen and bathe in your own bathroom after a long trip. Although, travelling is nice and you enjoy yourself while you are away, coming back home after is always fulfilling 🙂

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    1. Celly, thank you for your kind words. Please forgive my delayed response. Yes, the thought of sleeping in our own beds adds a little peace to the spirit, doesn’t it? And, after bathing in some of the hotels’ bathrooms, I’m thankful for the spaciousness of ours. 🙂 But, each experience away from home weaves into the fabric of who we are, right? Thanks for stopping by!

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