My life is a series of disappointing people and supporting others. I can't make everyone happy, but I do my best to love God and love others. So occasionally I miss a regularly scheduled post while I go on wild adventures road tripping across a country. The current road trip covers two time zones and six states - if you count this break in Oregon as a separate road trip from the remaining two time zones and additional seven states as a separate road trip. Wild, I tell you.
I'm not sorry for the tardy post this week, and I don't know when I'll get the update posted next week, but I do know my heart will be full.
Wednesday evening, I loaded up into my parents car with them and my granny to have a huge family dinner with aunts, uncles, and cousins I haven't seen in a long, long time. I really enjoy getting to catch up with them, and my cousin made an excellent dinner recommendation, so I left with a full stomach and a full heart.
While biological family means a lot to me because I'm related to some pretty fabulous people, the people who raised me taught me to welcome others as chosen family into my life. I actually got to go out to lunch with a former coworker/lockdown family unit member who now lives in Denver on Tuesday before this road trip began. Hanging out with Amanda was incredibly good for my soul; she is a friend who has sat under the stars with me asking hard questions and pondering theological nuances. I cherish her a lot, and it's super special to me that this chosen family member will make the time to hang out with me face to face when we are in the same time zone again.
My mom and dad drove me west after dinner on Wednesday to launch me on this adventure finding more of my chosen family members scattered across the states. We took a couple days to get to Riverside, California where I was reunited with Julia for the first time in four years. What an absolute joy to have her drive me around CBU and share where she'd gone to classes the past four years and fill me in on where so many of my other students are hanging out, living, and learning on their campus. After In-N-Out for dinner and a good night's sleep, we woke up to head to breakfast in West Hollywood where I got to hug my precious Autumn June on the third continent.
I only have good things to say about this incredible human. I love her so, so much, and spending a couple hours with her hearing about how she's growing and learning and loving others was such a joy. I was also incredibly blessed to have her offer affirmations to me for the work I'm doing knowing a lot of the struggles I've gone through. Autumn is a champion, and honestly, the world doesn't deserve such a kind and forgiving soul. She inspires me to carry on; this kid is a success story of my ministry not because of how awesome I am but because of how she shares with me the Spirit at work in her life so that we can praise God together. The world is not ready for the good this girl will bring; buckle up.
After sharing a meal with her, I loaded back into Julia's car with her and Jonathan who was joining us for the two days of driving up to Portland. Jonathan has joined calls with Julia, but I was super excited to spend time with him as well on this trip and get to know him. He's a good dude, and the two days in the car did not disappoint. We laughed and sang Hamilton and shared life stories, and I had the joy of introducing Julia to Dutch Brothers and Jonathan to Tillamook Creamery. Also, they humored me and let me see the ocean on good chunks of our drive instead of sticking to the central I-5 route the whole way. Plus I got to see Oregon trees. I really love trees.
This was a tiny two day break for me in the middle of the six weeks of home assignment, and I am so grateful that these precious humans were willing to detour for me to enjoy the scenery and breathe deeply with no agenda for a couple of days. Now that I'm in Portland for five more days, I'll be busy trying to see as many people as possible - if you're in the area, keep an eye on my Facebook posts for my location details as that's how I'll let people know when I'm free to meet up. Unfortunately, it only worked to be here for a short time, so I know I won't see everyone, but I want the time I have here to be valuable as I connect with friends and supporters. Like I opened this post with, I can't make everyone happy, but I hope I'll receive some grace if I miss connecting with you during this trip. My love for you is still real, I just have discovered there are a whole lot of people who love me, and there's not enough of me to make a meal with each of you on this whirlwind trip.
I'm constantly humbled by the number of people who reach out wanting to see me and support me, and I hope you'll all keep praying for me on this journey. My body is not as resilient as my spirit, so I need to pay attention to those signals as I push to my limits without hurting myself. Here's the thing, I'm still expectant for miracles on this trip - the miracles of loved ones going hours out of their way to see me and the miracles of my body recovering more than medically expected. Why not ask for everything? Why not live expectantly and generously? My post is a day late, but it comes with a life lived generously as I got to give some of myself and buy a couple meals for others as they shared their lives with me. I'm not coming up short on this trip despite some of the wildness involved - I'm coming up extra, pressed down, and pouring over. As I learned in New Zealand, "when I receive love, then I can give love." This road trip is all about the receiving and giving with joy and generosity.