(If you haven’t done so already, please read the About page for the backstory on The Journey.)
I suppose that blogging is like riding a bike. I haven’t forgotten how but I am certainly a little rusty! My hands are shaking as they hover over the keys of my laptop. This is the first post in a line of weekly updates that will be titled, “Tuesday Thoughts.” These regular posts (on Tuesdays) will give you a glimpse into what I’m thinking, doing, etc., with hopes that you will be encouraged and perhaps even challenged. If you’re lucky, I might even throw in a picture or two!
An easy place to start is with where I am and what I’m doing.
After my graduation from Bethany last August, I moved back to Fort Myers, Florida for some much needed rest and time with family. The decision to return home came about only after much prayer and discussion. I can see now that it was a wise choice. The fall of 2008 was full of days to journal, pray, read, visit with loved ones and just enjoy life. I was able to spend a lot of time reflecting on my experiences in Indonesia and how what I want what those experiences to influence my future. Although there were times when it was difficult not to take a more aggressive role in life, I am appreciative of the time for refreshment.
Currently, I am living at home with my parents and sisters, Janna (22) and Melissa (17). It has been wonderful to reconnect after 3 years of being away. You forget how someone’s nose wrinkles when they laugh and how your mom drinks 3 cups of coffee before lunch. While I believe that my experiences give me something that enriches our family life, I am so blessed by the challenges that life together brings. I find myself learning more of what it means to be available and how to serve with love through my family. I am enjoying the opportunities that I have to rebuild and strengthen the friendships that I have with my sisters too. Janna is engaged to be married and being available to dream with her as she plans her wedding is a joy that I didn’t anticipate!
Since September, I have had the honor and privilege to instruct Melissa (who is homeschooled) in the subjects of history, literature and geography. These were my favorite subjects in school and continue to be areas of intellectual pursuit for me, which makes teaching them great fun. I truly love the time that she and I are able to spend together as well as being able to introduce her to wonderful new things!
One of the surprising activities that I find myself a part of is teaching a Jazz dance class at the studio where I used to dance/work. I’ve committed to teaching Advanced Jazz on Thursday nights through mid-June. It has been several years since I danced and I am not too proud to say that I can feel it after every class! Soreness and stiffness aside, I like teaching. My girls are fun to work with. It goes without saying that investing in their lives as both dancers and individuals is a worthy use of time.
I’m also organizing a small group for high school students in a local rural community. I’d rather not publish anything more about that until things take a more definite shape but I will say that I’d value your prayers. I am excited to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of these young people and will share more as I am able!
Fill in the gaps with cooking, cleaning, reading, prayer, running with my mom, spending time with my dad on the weekends, small group on Tuesday nights, fasting, taking random pictures, considering options for the future and ministry… and you’ve got me. Life looks very different from what I thought it would be like back in August but I have a genuine excitement about the tasks before me. I find that I wake each morning with a sense of hope and expectation that I am going to experience Jesus like never before. It’s not only different than what I’d imagined, it’s better.
What about you? What things in your life are not what you expected them to be 6 months ago but are ultimately better than what you’d imagined?
Praying that you recognize the marvelous plans of God in your comings and goings! Grace and peace to you!