(I'm writing this from my iPhone in the Miami airport....so I have no idea how the formatting will turn out, but this is a great way for me to kill some time!)
It is very appropriate that I am writing this post from an airport, because that is where I have spent much of my time in the last month! In fact, in 40 days, I have only slept at home 10 nights (well, that includes the trip I am leaving for now). SO....what have I been up to...?...
It started with a 'retreat' with my new small group women. 6 of us spent the night out of the city getting to know each other better, eating good food, telling stories, pampering each other (pedicures and massages!), and relaxing. I'm very thankful for a group that has immediately included me and so warmly welcomed me.
Then I headed to Dallas for work. Work has been nothing short of extremely stressful, and my body started to tell me that by breaking out in about 100 boils on my legs. I am much better now, thanks to a very competent dermatologist, but the process of figuring out what was wrong was no fun. Maybe more on that in another post...
Anyway, I went straight from Dallas to Indianapolis to meet up with my sister for the Big Ten Basketball Tournament. It. Was. A. Blast!! I was SO happy that the Gophers won their first round game, otherwise I wouldn't have seen them play at all. But even if they hadn't won, it was totally worth it to see tons of fun games, see all the different student sections and bands, eat great food, and enjoy downtown Indy. So glad we went!
The next weekend I went to Yuma to meet up with the rest of my family and visit Grandpa. Time with him is very special, especially to be there just after he turned 93! A few of my aunts were there, as well as some other friends from Long Prairie, and it was a great few days of trying to de-stress, playing cards, and watching a bunch of basketball!
The next week I spent some time out of town for work and then headed to Camp for quilt retreat. The weather was AMAZING (we saw a water skier on March 24!) and the company was just as good. I was so productive, but also had a ton of time for really nice conversations with great girls.
I worked away from home again the next week and then headed to the cities for the weekend. I really was feeling drained from my travels and I was REALLY missing my friends....so much has been going on that I haven't had time to process with some of my good friends. The weekend in the cities was just what I needed - I went to dinner and a Ben Rector concert with my 'brothers' and their wives, spent the night with my former roommate and had a wonderful catch-up session with her and the puppy, went to a sweet baby shower, spent the night in downtown Minneapolis with Bethel girls, finally was back at church, had lunch with some favorites, stopped over to see a friend and her husband and daughter, went on a walk with my bestie from high school, got a hot stone massage, and ate lots of ice cream. Whew! Talk about packing it all in! It was much needed and I cried on the way home because I felt very blessed. And very tired.
And now I'm on my way to South America. I can't believe I'm actually going! A friend lives there and I'm so excited to see her and see what her life is like! There will most certainly be a post coming about this trip.
I titled this post Traveling Mercies because I definitely have experienced many mercies during all of this craziness. I've been safe and generally healthy - and even when I wasn't healthy (those stupid boils), I felt that I could understand some things the Lord was teaching me (the need to lessen my stress at work, to slow down and take care of myself, etc). I've been blessed with a bonus that made my traveling possible, and I've connected with many people along the way who have encouraged me and blessed me during our conversations. Right now I'm longing to stay put at home for many, many days in a row....but that's not going to happen anytime soon! Even so, I'm grateful for a season of life with so much flexibility to have so many wonderful experiences.