Yesterday I boarded a plane and am now in Indiana/Louisville, Ky. area for seven weeks. I loved the reception I received at the airport from my mom, dad, Aunt Mary and Uncle Kevin. Aunt Mary even brought Milano cookies! Yum! It’s wonderful to see my family. I believe my nephew Kaleb even remembers my voice.
My “almost two weeks” in the Springs went by fast. Now if I haven’t seen you and you live in Colorado Springs I’ll be back May 20. If you want to meet for lunch or dinner, Jose Muldoon’s (Mexican restaurant) is high on my list because it has been under construction since I got back. It will be up and running by early May!
Life keeps moving, but before I get too caught up in the pace I’d like to share some pictures and a few thoughts of the last 10 days:
This is a picture of downtown Colorado Springs in the early evening. The clouds came down and settled on the mountains. I enjoy living in this part of Colorado Springs again. It’s a good transition for me because I can actually survive without a car. I have three modes of transportation: the bus, my bike and my feet. It’s not always convenient, and Colorado Springs has a long way to go to be as efficient as Vienna, but it works. I’ve discovered that the people who do ride the bus around town know each other and the bus driver. It’s a little community that I’d like to get to know. And I’m learning a ton about how we live in such a “convenient” society.
The house I’m living in is amazing! And my roommates are even more amazing (Christy, Jess and Tra’Cee)!! I’ve been living in the finished attic (guest room) as people and things are still transitioning on the other two levels of the house. When I get back I’ll have a room on the second floor because Christy is actually moving to D.C. I’ve had moments when being in the attic alone has been wonderful. But I’ve also had moments when I didn’t need so much alone time and went searching for someone to talk to. *smile* Overall, where I’m living and who I’m living with is a great fit for this transitional season. I’m definitely blessed!
Here’s a pic of me and my adopted family: The Abernathy’s. They live in Amarillo, Texas and spent St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Colorado Springs. We enjoyed Italian food and conversation at Zio’s. My time with them was precious processing time. I appreciate the way they encourage and challenge me to really LIVE!
I got to go skiing at Breckenridge! We had great snow and my first and last day of skiing for the season wasn’t too bad. I surprised myself with how much I remembered. I’ll never forget the ride back. I had a moment when we were driving that I knew there was no other place I’d rather be than with those friends seeing so much beauty in Colorado.
Mallory, who I call “Smalls” simply couldn’t get enough of me in Austria, so she decided to come all the way to Colorado Springs to see me. *smile* Now that’s not really the story. Mallory is hanging out with her friend Nicole up in Denver and took the bus to spend a few hours in my world. I took her to Chipotle, Pike’s Perk and then we enjoyed a $1 movie with my neighbor Brandon (Clem). We had some good conversations. It’s helpful to know I’m not the only one who stared at the washing machine for a couple minutes trying to figure out where to put the soap.
This is a picture outside the window of my attic room. The trees are starting to bud. As I looked at this tree my thoughts went to John 15 about remaining in Christ. I have to be so connected (like the branch is to the tree) that something beautiful comes out of my life.
Each day I’ve been back has been so different. I’m trying to learn to live in a “one day at a time” mode. I’m not always good at it, but I’ve discovered that when I have to simply figure out how to get from location A to location B that’s enough to keep me focused on one day. Not every day appears beautiful to my eye: I didn’t look very pretty when I had hives on my flight from London to Denver because of stress. The day I found out I had online checking account fraud seemed messy. Or tear-filled moments when I want nothing more than to be back in Austria. Or when it takes a lot of work to rebuild relationships and figure out where I fit into people’s lives now that I’m back. But God still makes all of that beautiful, somehow: My hives disappeared an hour or two before we landed; I became aware of the bank issues just in time; the moments I long to be back in Austria remind me that where I’ve been has a lot to do with where I’m going; and the work required in relationships only make these connections much deeper. I’m not trying to put a sweet icing on everything. Adjustments are hard and I’ve found myself in the middle of them. Whether in the middle of the mess or even on the other side there has still been unexpected beauty.
Here’s a verse Tra’Cee put on a card for me before I left for Indiana:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the seas” (Psalm 46:12)
Now I’m in Indiana. And I want this to be my “in” time. Being involved with my family and friends and whatever else these seven weeks may hold. I want to invest and have intriguing conversations. I want to investigate next steps and let my interest in freelancing soar. I hope to include you in the process.
OK, one last pic. Today I got to see my grandpa (Pops) for lunch. We took him burgers and fries from Steak and Shake. We had a wonderful time. This is what the “in” time is all about!
I want to hear about you and how you are “in” and how you are being challenged in the BIG and little of the day to day. Thanks for how you shower me with your prayers, e-mails and practical blessings! You’re incredible!!