Friday, July 25, 2014

Vacationing In Paradise-We're Growing Up

Friends, I am writing you from the Rockies.  In particular, Breckenridge, Colorado.  We arrived yesterday after a seven hour car ride up here.  We're the type of people that like to leave early and get in as early as possible.  Our kids tend to do best driving wise if we get an early start so we headed out of Albuquerque first thing and arrived here in the late afternoon.

It was like driving into a fantasy world.  No joke.  There is good reason Breckenridge is a world renown ski resort and vacation spot.  Unbelievable, I tell you.  In fact, their off season is the summer, and so we actually got a pretty decent deal for a condo.  I am sure this place goes for twice the cost during ski season.  The main reason we are here is that some of our best friends from Monte Vista, next-door neighbors in fact for a few years who moved to Florida, are vacationing in Breckenridge with their family.  So when we found out that they'd only be seven hours from us and not several states away, we had to come see them.  Just had to come.

We are moving up to Colorado two weeks from today.  So when we get back on Sunday, my busy packing mode will move into Ninja Packing mode.  The kids hadn't been to Colorado yet.  After arriving here yesterday Isaac said to his Daddy, "Okay, I am SO excited to moving here!  This place is amazing!"  Yes son, Colorado is amazing.  We are Californians and we are used to a lot of natural beauty.  Probably took it for granted somewhat.  We're also mountain people.  Love hiking.  Love the cool mountain air and the trees.  The beach is nice but put us up on a mountain any day.  So this whole state really appeals to us.  Lots of natural beauty.  It's cool enough to be outside right now (not so back in Albuquerque) and let the kids run.  Truly a treat for our kids.  They are soaking it up.

Besides soaking up the mountain air, we are soaking up friends.  These are people we used to see everyday, many times a day. Our kids grew up together (along with a few other families from MV).  When they announced they were moving to FL in 10 days,  I was 36 weeks pregnant with Nathan.  I am not a big crier but I BAWLED.  It was all so sudden and I didn't quite know what I would do with myself without them next to us.  I didn't know how my kids were going to handle it.  Isaac still can't talk about it without getting teary.  He had to say good-bye to both of his best friends from MV in one year.  It wasn't easy.  But such is life sometimes.  We all have to move on and go where God leads us.  And more than we want our friends near us, we want God's best for them.  

 But that's also what makes the reunion so much sweeter.  We have friends from Cal Poly that we are still as close to, if not closer, than when we all parted a decade ago.  So even though we can't be near each other all the time, we can still have these times, our memories, and we know that we'll stay close over the years.

On our drive up Steve grabbed my hand and said, "Can you believe that we are going on a vacation in the Colorado Rockies?  If you would've told me a year ago that we'd be doing this, I would have thought you were crazy."  I responded, "Lots of change over this last year.  New career.  New degree.  Two out-of-state moves.  I started a business.  Going to Breckenridge is a huge indicator that we've grown up.  No more young college kids, just starting out.  We've got five kids who are getting older.  We're grown up now."

When we drove in to this, I was totally amazed.  I mean really, unbelievable.

Being here, with friends, Such a blessing.

This PhD adventure has been just that, an adventure.  But God has provided every step of the way.  Through Steve's job at Sandia Labs, my Rodan + Fields business and Colorado State, we are still able to steal away for a few days and enjoy God's creation and some of our best friends in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

 I like growing up.  It definitely is risky to pick-up and move, change careers, jump into grad school (again)  full-time this time though, and it's definitely been exciting and scary for me to start my own business.  Yet seven months in, I've been blown away by how much I've been blessed!  If we don't take those steps, take a risk, SAY YES to uncertainty, we have no idea the blessings that are on the other side of that.  God says over and over in His word, "I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys.  I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water."  Isaiah 41:18.  And "I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them"  Isaiah 42:16

Living is risky.  But I've always thought that it's better to live out loud and try new things, seeking the Lord on these unknown paths than to look back and wish I would've taken that step.  When we seek the Lord, work really hard and trust God to take care of us along the way, He will do it!

I have often been afraid over the last year.  How were we going to pay for Steve's schooling without debt?  How would we live?  Where would our kids go to school?  Would we have any friends?  How would we financially make it through this PhD with a family of seven?  How would we do living in another state and then how would we  move again so soon after?  The list goes on and on.

But I wanted what was on the other side  more.  And I trusted God would be there.  And boy has He!  All last summer as Steve was doing his internship at the research firm in Monterey, God kept bringing this verse to me.  We had sent out hundreds, and I mean, HUNDREDS of job applications.  We had been networking with family and friends for months!!  And finally, through a friend of a friend of my Dad's, Steve got given this internship.  That internship is what spawned all of this adventure for us.  So many doors slammed in our faces.  So many no's.  But we knew what we were after and wouldn't give up until we got there.  We didn't expect it all to play out like this but, it's SO much better than we could've ever dreamed.

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."  Isaiah 43:18-19

Amen and amen!  Take a risk./  God is an expert at making streams in the desert.

Excited to see what God will do over this next year.  Trusting more streams in the desert.  Not always easy to walk these paths but always GOOD as we trust in the ONE who is guiding us and providing for us along the way.

We're all grown up now...  

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