Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Story of Colorado...

I haven't paused to catch my breath in about a year.  The sprint we've been on has been like no other adventure we've encountered so far.  No other.  No amount of children or anything so far has been like this last year.  It wasn't horrible.  I don't mean to make it sound like that.  In fact, in some ways, it was incredibly beautiful.  Difficulty breeds perseverance, darkness gives birth to hope, and uncertainty to trust in our Savior.

I still remember our first night in Colorado.  We pulled up just as the sun was setting around 9 pm.  It was beautiful everywhere.  We found our apartment and my children immediately ran for the playground to stretch their legs after hours of driving.  Yet before they reached the swings, they saw the grass.  Grass.  We hadn't seen grass in months after living in the desert.  Without any prompting from me, they plunged into its softness, rolling around belly laughing.  The night was warm and crisp.  We had made it.  A new state again.  All new surroundings, new people, new systems, new school for Steve and the kids, new pressures and new beginnings.

The grass was a good omen.

After getting our keys and such, we settled the kids and the children climbed into their sleeping bags to calm down for the night.  I went to explore the kitchen-my domain, and quickly discovered there wasn't a dishwasher.  No dishwasher.  As that realization began to wash over me, I felt it might sweep me away...but I quickly dismissed it and focused on where I would put things.  It was the first sign though that things may be more difficult than my optimistic self might think.

I moved from the kitchen into the family room.  The apartment was furnished so, there was a kitchen table and chairs.  There was a spot for the tv.  There was a couch.  And yet there was not room for it all.  While Steve was upstairs showering after a long day of driving, I imagined in my head how we could place the furniture to have both a "family room" and a place to eat dinner.  It seemed literally impossible.

But where there is a will, there is a way....

I went back through the kitchen just a few feet away.  Would I be able to fit the "third" of my kitchen that I had brought?  It would be tight.  Where would a pantry go?  My mind began to swirl.  Instead of worrying, I decided to retrieve some things we needed from our car.  Feeling triumphant that I found what we needed, I bounded back to our little abode determined to continue organizing things in my mind.

However, my optimism soon faded when I found the door locked.  I was locked out.  I pounded on the door.  How could it be locked?  I had checked the handle as I left to be sure it was open.  But it was a new door, I was in a new place, it was late now, and my assumption that our new door acted like our last door had proven unwise.  Much to my surprise, it was locked, it was the only way in, and my husband couldn't hear me upstairs because he was showering.

So I plopped down outside the door, listened to the crickets, took in the sweet night air and welcomed Colorado.

I knew I would love it.  From the second Steve got connected with Margaret (his advisor) I knew I would LOVE Colorado.  I didn't know how hard it would be to accomplish what we needed to do there.  But I knew that I would be head over heels in love with Colorado.  I always say that Fort Collins had me at hello.  And that is true.

We spent some of the HARDEST months of our lives so far, there.  But the hardest are always the sweetest too, right?

Pretty quickly, after that night, we plunged into the depths.  Into the depths of darkness.  It was a journey we didn't expect.  It was long.  It was a grind.  It was immense.

But God was long suffering, He was a daily companion and He was bigger.

As things come to me, I will chronicle that time.  It's the story of Colorado.  Our story.  It's one of incredible heart, fight and victory.  God's victory.  Only He could've done what He did.  And all through the darkness, He weaved such intense light into our lives through friends, our church community, LOVE from neighbors and our kids' incredible school.

I am proud of that time.  It was a time of weakness for us.  But God was strong.  It was a time of intense focus and God was the source.  I am proud of my husband and the incredible spirit he showed in overcoming times of defeat and pushing on to victory.  And I know, it took an amazing amount of courage to keep pushing, to keep fighting and to slay the dragons he slayed.  When God says His strength is perfect, He means it.

I haven't even opened this blog in months because I had no self reflection in me.  None.  It was one of the first times in my life that I simply trudged on.  I laughed when I saw that the last post was of us vacationing in Breckenridge, CO just a few weeks before we moved to Colorado from Albuquerque.  You see, I have not chronicled this last year on paper.  There was no time.  I had no time to process anything.  And you know what, that too was an experience.  I didn't pine for yesterday or long for the future.  I just lived and took it all in...all the hard and all the beautiful.  There was LOTS of both.  I loved the people God put in my path and held on for the ride He had us on.  I simply lived in the moment.

But now it's time to tell the story.  I don't know how consistent I will be.  But I will tell it.

Into the depths...the story of our beloved Colorado.  And the time we took our amazing five children to grad school for a PhD in Mathematics.  A time when every ounce of strength and courage we had within was expended to run through the tape.

Yes...that time.

The sweetest and most difficult of times.  Full of memories, laughter and wonderful, life changing friends.

The story of Colorado.


  1. Wow, Nikki. I don't know one bit about your Colorado journey and I'm so excited to read about it! Glad to see you back on this here blog of yours. :)

    1. Hi Kate!! Yes, I dropped off the map this past year. So much going on I couldn't think to write :). Miss you sweet friend!! Hear you're expecting #6. Happy for you! xo

  2. Looking forward to it, Nikki! I, too, hadn't realized it's been nearly a year since your last post. Thank you for your consistent support of our life and ministry. Your Elliana is a spitting image of her mama! I bet you don't hear that enough :)

    1. Amber, it is my delight to support you all! One day, we will meet in person...I know it! Keep being a light to all of those kids. <3 your family!