2 grandparents, 2 aunts, 2 uncles, 3 cousins, 2 spouses of cousins, 5 children of cousins and their spouses, 1 mom, 1 sister, and 1 brother= 20 Schreimann’s all reuniting in the great land of Potosi, Missouri. We spent an entire week together at a YMCA camp called Trout Lodge, which is nestled in the woods of east Missouri and situated right next to Camp Lakewood, which is where my mom went to camp when she was a kid!
Let me introduce you to my lovely family (well, my mom’s half at least):
First, the stars of the show, my amazingly caring and generous grandparents Mimi & Bop (Gini & Hank to the real world). They are the most precious people I know, and I’m blessed and beyond proud to call them my grandparents. They will be married 64 years this August…man oh man. That’s more than 3x my life (I’m 21).
My Aunt Jan and Uncle Bob. Jan is one of my mom’s older sisters and she is married to my Uncle Bob.
My cousin Emily (left) is Jan’s oldest kid and on the right is my older sister Lindsay.
Adam is my cousin and Jan’s other kid. This is him with his wife, Melissa, and their third child, Evan. Melissa is currently pregnant with her fourth.
This is Adam & Melissa’s oldest child, Ian (right) and their second child, Owen (left).
This is my Aunt Nancy and my Uncle Dave. Nancy is my mom’s other older sister.
This is my cousin Jenny, Nancy’s daughter and her husband Jeff.
This is Isabella (Izzy), Jenny & Jeff’s first daughter.
And Gabriella (Gabby), Jenny & Jeff’s other daughter.
And of course most of you know my mom (right)….
And my baby bro (he’s 20, not so baby anymore).
Missing: my older sister Chelsea, my cousin Sara (Nancy’s daughter), and my dad.
And here’s the whole lovely lot of us!
We had a great time swimming, golfing, watching fireworks, eating a WHOLE LOT, napping, kayaking, paddleboating, canoeing, shooting rifles and shotguns, doing archery, lots of fun arts and crafts, playing bingo and ping pong, and all in all just spending time together. It was so wonderful and we all had a great time. I miss my family already. Can’t wait for Adam & Melissa’s kiddo to arrive at the end of September—nobody knows if it’s a boy or a girl (including them!) but we do know that it’ll be either an Aidan or an Annie. We’re excited!
Family is a blessing and should be treated as such. I am so fortunate to have a loving, fun and supportive family. God has given me such an undeserving gift in them. Not to be all sappy, but no matter what, appreciate your family—forget the baggage that inevitably comes along with them and just remember to soak in the happiness they bring to your life! He is good, all the time.
I feel like all I’ve been doing the past few weeks is packing. Then…moving, unpacking, now packing again—-only to arrive in Argentina, unpack, pack for weekend trips during my study abroad program, then pack for home, unpack…..then pack AGAIN to move back to Austin (only to unpack once more).
That is a lot of packing, moving and unpacking. People have to move around sometimes, especially when they’re in college or still young. I’ve found that along with all of the material possessions that people pack, they also pack up relationships, emotions and routine. Every new place you go you have to acquire a new set of things, only to bring them along with you the next place you go. Then, sometimes, you go back somewhere familiar—and certain things can come out of the boxes and have more value to you than you ever remembered. Whether it be as special and real as a good, well-worn friendship or as random as a free plastic drinking cup you got from a restaurant where good memories were made—unpacking can bring up a wealth of emotions. Furthermore, sifting through the boxes it seems that one finds things to hold onto and things to throw away—which is not always the easiest decision in the world.
I love change, but I don’t like not having a little stability in my life. While I have phenomenal friends and a supportive family, my foundation is not set in them. It’s times like these where I think about my nomadic existence on this Earth and know that my Creator and Sustainer is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Whether I’m at home in Dallas sitting on my bed typing blog posts, in Austin studying for a test, visiting my sister in London or studying abroad in Argentina—the Author of my heart is unshakeable and will be with me wherever I go. His love for me and His love for His children is imminent and amidst this world. The fact that He allows us to experience tiny glimpses of His glory here is enough of a reminder that God is living and present and active. He protects me daily and blesses me immensely with fantastic experiences here.
The other night I was praying about Argentina (I get little spurts of nervousness here and there), and God just quieted my heart with the Spirit’s whispers of His Sovereignty. No matter where I am, He is there and in control. Whatever happens to me, it does not surprise Him—He continues holding tightly to me. After receiving divine and affectionate peace from my Father, I wrote this in my journal: God-permitting, I vow to travel this world that He has made.
I truly believe that making my way around this world that God designed and getting to see His creation—not only geographic, natural creation but cultural creation and societal creation…and on the smaller level, getting to experience people that He created and learning to love them in the way that He loves them. I would hate to “settle down” forever in a town that I know too well—because that’s exactly what it is…SETTLING. I know that He may call me to have a “home base” if you will, should I be blessed with a husband and a family, but I vow to go with my husband and take our children to experience His creation together as a family. We might have a house in a city but we will not be stuck there year-round—we will journey and take in all that He has fashioned in this world for us to enjoy and see reflections of Him within it.
As Christians, we are nomads. We wander here on Earth until He brings us Home. Our True Home. Maybe we don’t realize it, but so many of us Christian nomads forget to live like nomads. We weren’t designed for this world, but we try to “settle” (there’s that word again…) in somewhere and wait for Him to return. Why wait when He’ll allow us to roam in order to glorify and serve Him (and His people) AND in turn teach us more about Himself?
Learn from Matthew 7:24, make sure you’re building your foundation on the Rock that is Christ as you wander from place to place so that when the torrential rains of difficulty come in your life, it doesn’t wash away like sand. He will not quiver in the slightest when hardship blasts its way into your life.
24"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
And also from Psalm 104:10-24, God has made SO much and we ought to travel so that we can write beautiful psalms that praise the work of God’s hand as David does. Go see the mountains and the springs and the plants and the birds and the different foods and the wild goats and the rock badgers and the creeping beasts—-God made them with wisdom (said at the end of the passage). I am especially interested in the rock badgers…if they’re anything like the honey badgers then I’m sold. But really…read this.
10You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;
11they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches.
13From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
16The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19He made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22When the sun rises, they steal away
and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
and to his labor until the evening.
24O LORD, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
Since God made so many things, and all the things He made are good and reflect His glory—why wouldn’t we live a nomadic existence?
Think about it…if being a nomad brings us closer to Him in ways that intrigue your heart more than you think settling down in the suburbs will—pack your bags.