I was looking in the mirror the other day and I asked, "Where did all this gray hair come from and why does it seem like it grew in overnight?" Then, I stared at my reflection and thought, "Who are you? Where are you?" Instantly, a few things popped in my thoughts.
All of those are true emotions based on how crazy life has been. With life, there has been changes and with changes, I'm no longer the same person I was a year ago, a month ago, heck, even a day ago.
When I first moved out to Oregon, I missed "home". I hated that I had to say goodbye to my best friend, my twin sister as well as others who were such a huge part of my life. At times, I think my dogs got tired of me telling them all of my troubles or having dance parties with them. They would sometimes roll their eyes and I'm almost certain I could hear them say, "I sure hope she doesn't want to have a dance party again!!!"
Then, life changed. I walked in to a new job, a new neighborhood, a new church...most of all, a brand new LOVE in my life, my J. Did it get easier? No. With being new came the challenges of settling in.
I remember the first time I took my two puppies out of the car and set them on Oregon soil, they sniffed the air as if to say, "This sure ain't California anymore!" and they couldn't be more right about that! But, I felt like Julie Andrews, wanting to spin around and around singing, "The hills are allllivvve...."
Where I'm at now is indescribable. God has brought me to the very place where I know without a doubt, I need to be. This is home. In this place called home, I've experienced the joy of seeing my daughter get married to her very best friend. I've held hands and kissed the love of my life in places beautiful beyond words. I've been able to speak for women's ministries and youth groups and summer camps. I've been able to go to football games and become a platypus (a person that not only likes the Oregon Ducks but also the Oregon State Beavers). I've held my cousin as a newborn and I've had the joy of seeing him grow into a big boy of 4. I've had the chance to be a daughter in law to a man who was funny, grouchy and loved all at the same time. In that same breath, I had to say goodbye to that same man as the Air Force honor guards folded up the flag and handed it to my J for the last time. I've adopted two kiddos from Compassion International, loving that they are so very precious to me yet, so far away. I've tasted Voodoo donuts, seen waterfalls up close while feeling the mist on my face. I've touched moss with my bare feet and fed the homeless. I've flatlined and experienced a glimpse of heaven. I've laughed hysterically with tears running down my face. I've sung on my church worship team, caring not how I sounded but feeling just how in awe I am to have the privilege to worship my Creator, my Father. I've earned the title of Bonus Mom and sometimes, I feel like I'm a pretty cool one too. (other times, not so much). I've added another furbaby into my life from death row in California, Bohdi who is absolutely the cutest, greatest dog ever! I've seen nutria up close and they are quite creepy. (Think beaver, rats and hamsters rolled up in package - giant sized!)
I found creativity, peace, beauty, restoration, inspiration, joy and most of all...friends.
There's no other place I'd rather be but HERE.