All Things New

The past two weeks, I was really limping along to spring break, and I had a last minute conversation with a friend that led to a spontaneous (for me – ten days in advance) booking at an affordable accessible hotel near Lake Como. I made the family who moved in down the street a few months ago

adopt me, and I have no regrets because they really beautifully launched me into spring break. I now go to their house for dinner every week, but I got this text on Wednesday. I was floored. Who is this kind to people? When I got the text, I happened to be in my office reading Narnia to a student who TAs during that period – and she promptly said, “Ms. Hewett, I feel like you need to hear more often what good you do.” Again, what incredible kindness. A different student that day was sharing her AP art project, and I was invited to view and offer feedback. This particular senior shouts compliments at me down the hallways on a regular basis, and I was absolutely delighted to see her art and have her unsolicited kind words. I also was invited to dinner at the kind family’s house on Thursday before I left town, and this wonderful couple reiterated their love and support for me and the hard work that I do pointing students to Jesus.

As Paige and I were driving out of town on Friday, I was sharing how beautiful it was to have those words of affirmation in light of slander and criticism that seems so rampant. How we use words has been a prominent motif in my life this year as I try to model speaking well of others and encourage my students to do the same. I see them more regularly saying kind things to one another – and even to me.

Friday night, Paige and I checked in to our hotel in the dark, so I woke up to this incredible view not having any idea how grateful I’d be to breathe this in for a few hours.

We wandered a bit down the path by the lake and found a cafe where we ate breakfast the next three mornings. Because Paige is also always up for an adventure, we drove windy roads between the water and mountains to find stunning places to eat dinner the two evenings we were there. I took a lot of deep breaths, clearing my head of the brain fog, the confusion, the suspicions, the busyness, and a whole lot of uncertainty; I spent the first three days of my spring break fully in the present, enjoying the view, the fresh air, the peace, the good conversations with Paige, and the presence of the Lord with a new view.

I still have the majority of my spring break ahead of me, but I’ll be at home and prepared to use my time wisely as I read, relax, write curriculum updates, and grade some tests. I had some other thoughts of what to post as I was driving home with Paige, but I got to have dinner grilling with my housemates before a beautiful conversation with Maggie just now, and I realised what I want to celebrate is the present I have now where the Lord shows up and makes all things new. I’m really grateful that our building group chat involves spontaneous grill parties and good conversations. I’m really grateful that Maggie still calls me to process the bulk of her life. I could never have predicted that my life would be this beautiful.

There’s also no way I can predict what will happen in the next two weeks. Last year during spring break, I was hit with the news that one of my closest students to me passed away unexpectedly. This year, on the anniversary of his death, I’ll be getting the tattoo I’d promised him we’d get together. That story will get it’s own post with pictures, but I’m preparing my heart this break for how the Lord grows new things without forgetting the past. This trip to Italy was a new thing – a new country – where I got to spend time reflecting on how God has brought me this far.

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