Summer Reflections

We’re back in Chattanooga now and have had time to reflect on the last month-plus of our lives. Some of you may know that I was a bit nervous about our summer plans–while I won’t go into the details much on the blog, our summer has been very structured and we spent lots of time talking and thinking about our upcoming move overseas. While I am so excited about moving to Asia, I was uncertain how this time of preparation would go as I have had lukewarm experiences with such organized times before. Let me just say, I was wrong.

Michael and I could not be more thankful for all we have learned, and most of all how God has renewed our hearts and encouraged us to continue on in this journey. (That sounds cheesy to me–but it is true.) We learned some amazing lessons about cultural sensitivity (yes we’ve lived there before but oh my word there is still so so much to learn), shared an apartment with some very wise and fun people, hiked and camped to our hearts’ content, brushed up on our Mandarin, and overall feel better equipped and more knowledgeable about how to love and live amongst our friends in Asia as we return.

Obviously, this summer in Colorado was beautiful (as evidenced by the copious amount of scenic pictures I’ve already posted). I was reminded today, visiting with some friends who have spent the last year teaching in our future city, of just how amazing it was that we were able to spend this summer in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. CQ is beautiful, don’t get me wrong: but it’s a beauty that must be searched for and one that is found more in the people than in the scenery. Michael and I gripe a lot about the pollution (our friend Blaine said today CQ is the 5th most polluted city in the world–haven’t heard that one before but I do not doubt it), the smog, the gray, the unbearable heat in the summer and the damp and clammy cold in the winter. Weather-wise, it’s a hard place to live, and becoming a CQ person means giving up sunny days and cloudless skies. (True story: my friend Erika’s daughter Maggie, at the time 4-years-old and raised in CQ, genuinely believed that the sky was gray and argued vigorously when someone tried to convince her it was blue.) Knowing this is what we were moving to, we were so very grateful for a summer in Colorado amongst the beauty of creation.

Finally, the community and fellowship we enjoyed with the others who spent the summer with us was rare and genuine. It meant so much to be surrounded by others who not only understand but who also know much more than we do about this life we are beginning and we are grateful to have gleaned some of their wisdom and experience. We are thankful for this summer and look forward to applying it practically in the very near future!

With Kimberly, Claire, and Julie–friends who are headed all over the world. I’m so thankful for their encouragement and understanding over the course of the summer.


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