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I tramp a perpetual journey. Walt Whitman
As a five-year-old girl, we moved to Minnesota from Pennsylvania. And it was to Pennsylvania we'd travel for summer vacations, and if we were lucky, for Christmas too.
We had many relatives in both states and precious friendships as well. There was always excitement in the journey home to PA. It was, after all where my mom, sis and I were born.
We married the summer before Rey's senior year of college. As soon as he graduated, we packed up and left for France. A journey nothing like home. So foreign to us. Different language. Different food. Different everything. Yet, somehow it grew to be home to us.
The basketball team became like brothers to my hubby, the Bonnet's (the President of the team) became like our parents, and Bonnet's daughter, Maryse, like my sister. Rey and I delivered Erik in France. And it turned out to be a sweet gift, because the Bonnet's had an American grandson.
From our French village we traveled to Colorado. Again, an adjustment to a new place. Colorado was an easier change. The people spoke the same language… and of course those mountains! This would be our home for the next two years. We were the Youth Leaders at our church and the teens became our kids.
When Rey took the job at the U of MN that meant another journey. With Erik in tow and another child on the way, we settled into Minnesota life once more.
Each change and each journey have meant growth. Stretching can be uncomfortable but it is so necessary. If we're going to living into our potential, we must be willing to go outside of our comfort zone.
Since then I've made two trips to Haiti, over to Ukraine, back to France and recently to Scotland to visit our niece and her hubby. We've also traveled to Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Colorado, Montana, Arizona and Florida for good measure. Each has been a gift. Stretching in ways unforeseen. New experiences. New friendships. Loads of learning.
What stretching might be in store for you in 2020? Don't shrink back from adventures. You never know who'll you'll meet… what growth might occur.
I'm so thankful for the gift of stretching, even if was uncomfortable at times. Going outside my comfort zone has forced me to learn a new language, challenged my thinking and gifted me with precious friendships I might have never known had I not gone on adventures.
May God bless you with stretching experiences this year and may you learn much from them!
Give into the grander life – filled with twists, turns and other surprises.
No need to panic over alarms or surprises, because God will be right there with you. —Proverbs 3:21 The Message