I did make it back Super Bowl Sunday from Austria. My flights were smooth and all of my luggage arrived back in Louisville, KY. That is such a blessing. That night my parents and I stopped by Kevin and Marissa’s house to see them and the kiddos. I was thankful I saw them then because I had no idea the “even more” in store for Monday than anticipated.
On Monday, I woke up at 4 a.m. really hungry and started laundry by 6 a.m. I had a dentist appointment at 10 a.m.; realized the check-engine light was on in my car; dropped off a book I borrowed at a friend’s house and then went to the grocery store for my upcoming trip to NC. Then I had a haircut appointment at 1:30; took my car to the mechanic, found out I’d have to wait until 6 p.m. to pick it up; called Mom with my low-battery-flashing cell phone and gave her quick details, then my cell phone died. Mom picked me up and dropped me off at the doctor’s for my 4:30 appointment; I then found out that the reason my glands are so swollen is because I might have mono. My blood test came back negative, but I need to get rechecked in a month. I think it might be some forced rest in my life, or just another way to relate to teenagers. 😉
I had some friends come over Monday night for dinner which was a ton of fun! Then it was off to bed, not knowing what time we would be leaving for CIT in the morning. Our plan had been 5 a.m., but it turned out to be more like noon. We took two cars so I could have a car in North Carolina. Even with many inches of snow we made it out of Kentuckiana safely. We thought we would only make it to Knoxville and then have to spend the night, but decided instead to keep going to Asheville, NC. Because of a rock/mudslide on I-40 we had to take a detour (aka the long way around) to get to Asheville from Knoxville. This took us past my college alma mater where we stopped quickly to eat a bite at Fazolis and then be on our way.
There were some scary driving parts on the drive from Johnson City, TN to Asheville, NC. But we made it there safely and had a fairly good night’s rest in a hotel. I finally made it to CIT in Union Mills, NC the next morning about 7:15 a.m. Once I found someone to give me keys to my apartment we were all unloading stuff. And then Mom and Dad were back on the road by 8 a.m. They had a very snowy and icy drive back, so I’m thankful they made it back to Indiana safely. Classes at CIT started that morning at 8:15 and so that’s when it all began.
time for growth
It is wonderful to be here at CIT! I’m so excited to take a much needed deep breath and be recharged on so many levels, but especially spiritual. The person who was supposed to be my roommate cancelled at the last minute. It would’ve been fun to have a roommate, but I feel sort of blessed to have my own space for the next two months.
The first four weeks is a class called Equipping for Cross-Cultural Life and Ministry. There will be quite a bit of homework and a 15-page paper that is due in the next month, but I’m excited for all I’ll be learning. It’s refreshing to meet people who are in a similar place of transition and unknowns and anticipation. There are a few other single women here that I’m getting to know. I’m sure those will be special friendships down the road.
Here are some photos of a plant that was in my room in Vienna during this last trip. I’m not great with plants, but decided I would try and water it and see what happened. And believe it or not it started to grow into this beautiful flower. I wish I had taken one more picture of the final result. I believe CIT is going to be a time of receiving the water I need to grow. Yes, it will be challenging, but I think it will help me to develop stronger roots and grow in ways I need to or at least know the ways I need to grow before heading back to Austria. There will always be more to learn and ways to grow spiritually, as I learn a new culture, language, what ministry looks like, etc. But I know this training is a great next step toward what God has in store for the future.
There is still $510 of monthly support to be raised before I can leave in May. My hope is to leave the week of May 24, but it all depends on this last bit. Will you join me in praying it in? And also please pray for my health. If I do have mono I’m not sure what the workload and life here at CIT will look like if fatigue hits. I’m doing fine right now. Right now I wouldn’t be able to tell if my fatigue is from mono or jet-lag anyway.
Thank you so much in joining me on this journey! And thanks for the special ways you show love along the way. (Thanks Shell for the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! I’m trying to make them last. Yummy!)