The disappearance of summer……Costa Rica teaser

I’m not sure if there is a rule or not about when you have a gap of over a month you need to have a blog-relaunch so people remember you. (no lie I just typed rool…clearly need to keep on the coffee today…zoiks!) I’m going to go with no and pretend I’m picking up where I left off.

But seriously….where did the summer go? We are a mere four days from school starting and I wrestle with the conflicting thoughts of being extremely happy to have less noise, chaos, fighting and mess to being sad that our lazy days, infinitely more snuggles and fun are drawing to a close. Going from three kids to one is a cake walk.

But summer….don’t want to shower for 5 days…no prob bob…pool took care of that hassle! Can I get an “up top” from moms that count pools as baths? You can elevate your hygiene game when you know you are going to drain the water by using actual shampoo in your pool. SUMMERS. ARE. AWESOME. FOR. THAT.



Much deep thought abounds in the pool.

Much deep thought abounds in the pool.

Bennet versus pinecone...pinecone ALWAYS wins.

Bennet versus pine cone…pine cone ALWAYS wins.

The truth is I’m a petulant child about summer. The type-A me craves the routine and cadence that the school year brings BUT….don’t cage me in. In no time flat by the end of September I am whining and kicking that I am TOO scheduled….I don’t like feeling obligated….why do we have all these commitments…somebody get me a coffee stat!

This summer was different for many reasons…some of which I can’t unpack right now. We actually had very little going on which made for some long and lonely days but that’s not always a bad thing. Some weeks were fuller with camp, family visiting, lots of not fun medical exams, some library and park visits. But mostly we just piddled around. Have you piddled in awhile? Have you written that word ever…it’s fun…try it.

Miss Clara Jean owning our yard

Miss Clara Jean owning our yard

Love this miracle niece so stinking much

Love this miracle niece so stinking much

We are in a strange season the last 6-8 months. We have experienced a massive relational loss in our inner circle with some of the closest people in our lives moving overseas or just moving. The void is undeniable and I would be flat lying if I didn’t say I feel like I am still in mourning. Relationships that have been forged by years and decades of friendship and history. People you talk to every stinking day….now many many time zones away. I certainly rejoice in the kingdom work they have been called to and obeyed by we are counting the cost in a different way and I am left wanting. So I have dealt with intense days of sorrow and ache learning to live a life without these families and children.

There are huge things on the horizon BUT we are trying to walk in rhythm with Jesus and not assume we know the path to these big things. Things that involve our house, our finances, our business, our church, our children…..The Lord is revealing in spades a calling on our family and we stand slack jawed on the sideline watching him unveil it piece by piece. “Abide in me….”

I’m an “all in” sorta girl so this discipline of walking in pace with God as each step is shown and not rush ahead with my agenda “Yeah, yeah, yeah…I got this God” is a bit new.

We have been praying for the first step to happen. Really I feel it is the linchpin in God’s plan for us and once God pulls it…this train is moving. I dont’ mean to write cryptically but I want to respect that we have got to have a trained ear to God’s voice and His only because the things we are looking at having to do will require staunch obedience and abandoment. When things are outside the box or not in logical order…especially in this culture you get A LOT of opinions and push back. So this season of “aloneness” has allowed us to draw nearer to one another as husband and wife. This is such a good place to be.

Aww….look at us….celebrated NINE years last week. We’d like to personally thank the large window at Starbucks for giving us that youthful glow erasing acne and wrinkles from our faces. Thank you Starbucks of Midlothian, Virginia…thank you.


We also just got back from a KILLER trip to Costa Rica to visit my brothers family on the mission field there. They are planting a church in the town of Liberia.

WE. HAD. THE. BEST. TIME. It’s not right how rich and fun and relaxing and crazy our time was. I can not wait to write a proper post about it all. I stand in awe of my brother and sister in law and the struggle of daily life there but for the joy set before them…ever claiming… “Jesus is worth it.” He so is!!

You hear Costa Rica and you see the eye rolls “Really suffering for Jesus ehhh?” Ummm…actually yes…. Costa Rica isn’t one giant coast full of surf towns. My brother isn’t sharing the gospel from his surf board “Hey brah…you know the Living God?”

They actually live an hour from the coast in hot, flat, dry, cowboy country where the average yearly temperature is 95. With no air conditioning. Just sayin…. They don’t live in the “post card” part of Costa Rica but they were gracious to take us on lots of day trips and excursions through our time there to see those areas. It is God’s gift to refresh the weary missionary by His beauty.

God is a giant show off in pockets of Costa Rica….and He should be. The heavens declare His majesty..yes they do!!!

Ocotal Beach

Ocotal Beach



There were so many moments walking around or swimming I would just look up and say “Let me remember this moment Lord. It’s so pure, so beautiful, so satisfying, so simple.” Give me this any day over expensive, manufactured fun.






The love these cousins had for one another made us all burst with joy and even tears. It was beautiful.



and clearly no matter where we are in the world…our children can not keep their clothes on. Sigh…..Oh Bennett…..


and the only picture you will see of Ryan and I on this trip. It’s sad…we never think to take photos together. Don’t even have one shot of the four of us ( may have deducted that Rhett did not make the cut. Better luck next year Rhett. He happily spent the week at my parents being spoiled rotten.)

Entrance to a coffee field.

Entrance to a coffee field.

I hope I’ve teased you enough to come back and hear the whole story and some of the real reason we went to Costa Rica.

I’ve missed you all. I am committed to writing more frequently on the blog. Not for you…but for me. It helps me process and clear my head in a good way…plus I kinda like you guys.


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8 Comments on The disappearance of summer……Costa Rica teaser

  1. Dikola
    August 14, 2014 at 9:21 am (5 years ago)

    “It’s God’s gift to refresh the weary missionary by His beauty.” –Kelly Portnoy. I love this quote. Amazed by Clara’s beauty and health! God is so good! Your kids will be disappointed by disney…they look so completely in their element!

    • Kelly
      August 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm (5 years ago)

      Awww thank you my dearest Dikola. I really do feel that way about His gift to the weary. There is just something so pure and so soul satisfying to behold His power and beauty that things fall into perspective. HE is God and I am man. It is best I let him stay in control. Yes…our kids have found the hidden treasure of simple joy…may they never lose it or be swayed by the expensive fantasy vacations. Can’t wait to tell you more.

  2. Aunt Carol
    August 14, 2014 at 10:45 am (5 years ago)

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!! The kids looked so happy! Love to all and prayers “Sweet niece”

    • Kelly
      August 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you Aunt Carol. They could not possibly have been any happier than they were in Costa Rica and with their cousins. It was such a blessing to be together as a family. I hope to get my act together soon for a real post. We took way too many photos and videos so I feel too overwhelmed to start digging through yet. Soon though…soon!

  3. Karen
    August 14, 2014 at 11:47 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your heart Kelly. Your and Ryan’s current season and practice of waiting on The Lord for the next step while he births a new vision in you encourages my heart. He is moving something new in me too so being encouraged to wait on His timing and His revelation of the details blesses my heart. Thank you.

    • Kelly
      August 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm (5 years ago)

      Oh Karen, that is wonderful! You have truly gone through a massive transformation the last 5 years and I am amazed at how God has grown and stretched you into this savvy business woman and yet your tender heart and love for people stays consistently with you. It’s a beautiful combo. Can’t wait to see what is next as you wait with expectancy.

  4. mandi
    August 15, 2014 at 5:46 am (5 years ago)

    Kel, your writing makes me belly laugh and get teary at that goodness of God. It’s such a treasure. Thank you. It’s needed.

    • Kelly
      August 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm (5 years ago)

      Apparently I just like to revel in my comments for a week before responding. hahahaha! AS a fellow writer I take your compliment to heart and treasure it. Thank you for cheering me on. Sometimes it feels like posts go into the great abyss but you never know what God uses them for or who needs to read them. Glad it was a blessing. Thank you for stopping in!


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