2020 – I join with friends around the globe to say “Adieu” Your stories will be told for years to come No need for more …and now I direct my gaze forward
2021 – enter Open our eyes to see fresh things Teach us to see beauty in the little as well as the grand Remind us there is nothing new under the sun And that peace comes through faith Let that faith grow in our lives As we recognize all of mankind is suffering We make a difference one step at a time Give us courage to take those individual steps
Welcome 2021 The world is ready for a change How about you?
This season finds us preoccupied with houses, selling one, acquiring another. What do these different house styles say about us?
We joined our lives together, each owning a ranch style home.
Together we sold those homes, then combined our assets to purchase the lake house. From the street it was a beautiful ranch home that morphed once you entered into a three-story home that overlooked the lake and embraced the glory of sunsets all year long. It was the house where we thought our children would come to make memories. Not so much. Instead, we made lots of memories ourselves there. It was the house with the impeccably manicured yard and beautiful plantings. We enjoyed the changes of the seasons, the wild wind off the lake, the opportunity to sail whenever we wanted, and even the sound of our winter guests who set up shacks on the lake for ice fishing.
From there we moved to the Colorado house, described as an old-style mountain home. We gave up the yard and the effort it took to maintain for more natural and rugged living. This house towered above the ground with the front prow encased in glass. Once you entered the home, you felt as though you could soar into the heavens. Your gaze always drawn into the sky. The air at this elevation was dryer and the skies clearer. All the seasons here seemed to arrive earlier than we expected, but each was a welcome change. Wildlife lived in proximity and sometimes challenged our abilities to cultivate anything green. The wind here surprised me and often prevented us for utilizing our outdoor spaces. It often caused me to ponder the ruggedness of life for the early settlers and wonder how they endured. But even more, I found myself surprised and mesmerized by how close and plentiful the stars appeared; I thought I could reach out and grab one… It was here that we would lie on the deck and watch shooting stars (a first for me).
Now we are relocating, even further west; something I never imagined. This time we move to a Mediterranean style home, in a rural location with different vegetation from anything I’ve known. Our trips these last eight years to California have introduced me to some of these plants so they don’t appear as foreign as they used to, but I know nothing of their care. Something new to learn. The daytime climate outdoors may be warmer, but the house design should keep us comfortable. The more temperate climate and house design should provide the opportunity to utilize outdoor living more—something we’ve both wanted. A dedicated art room instead of repurposing a room will be a fresh experience and the location where you may often find me. Many of the critters I’ve become accustomed to in Colorado will also live there, plus a few new ones. Our new home will allow an opportunity to absorb the new landscapes and vistas, which will thrill me. Enough space to entertain, yet enough private spaces for us to enjoy living in our comfort zone. Who knows what adventures await us there?
Change and change and change. Each house so different from the one before and each filled with pleasant thoughts. I expect the fresh change to continue to offer adventures, hope and another place for us to share our love.
To those asking questions about my last post, I’ll share some answers. First, I need to provide some history to show you the story of our journey of saying “YES.”
I’m unable to provide human response that makes logical sense for this move. This relocation is the result of saying “yes” to what we feel God is asking us to do.
In 2012, we moved to Colorado. After looking for a retirement location, I fell in love with the Roaring Fork Valley. We settled in, and the beauty and grandeur of this location continued to captivate me. My faith relationship continued to develop. I’ve gained friends who’ve become like family. This valley has been my home—and that feels secure.
During this faith journey, I’ve come to gain a greater understanding of just how much God loves each of us; meaning, even me. As my understanding of that love has grown, so has my desire to be where God wants me. One of my lessons has been the power of saying “yes” when God asks you to do something. Those “yeses” have stretched and changed me. (For insight on those experiences, you might want to look at my posts about Haiti and Ireland.)
Back to the current questions.
We visited family in California in July and returned home, refreshed. Both of us were feeling urgings of God saying, “I want you in Southern California.” This birthed conversation between us, causing us to ask questions about what such a move would look like; why; what happens; etc.?
I love living here—yet heard God saying, “Do you love me? Do you trust me?”
Again, we talked and my husband was experiencing similar thoughts. We’ve learned the best response to God is “YES” when he asks you to do something. So, we are taking one step at a time, following God’s leading. We don’t know exactly where we’ll land, but trust God has something for us. He provided our Colorado house, and all others in our past.
For anyone reading this, I encourage you to evaluate your faith relationship. Do you know you are loved beyond measure? Does your faith relationship influence your daily life? Do you feel challenged to stepping out of your comfort zone? (Stepping out looks different for each of us, so I encourage you not to judge your responses to someone else’s, and especially not to our journey.)
For our friends living in the valley, know that the relationships we have here are meaningful to us. We will miss you. Geography doesn’t have to change friendships, they just look different.
There is power in YES; there’s adventure, and there’s the unknown. Faith journeys always include perceived unknowns.
The high ceilings and the wall of glass draw my gaze outward and upward. I marvel as I watch the moving canvas of the skies. Some days the clouds roll in layer upon layer, each with a little different shade. Some days the clouds race across the sky, in a hurry to get somewhere else. Other days fluffy white clouds dance by, or frilly thin like lace covers the skies. Then there are the sunny days when the sky is bright cerulean with nary a cloud in sight, taking me back to my childhood and early art projects when my sky was always that color.
These same windows draw me into the heavens after dark when the sun is long gone, and the stars too numerous to count tease me into thinking I can reach out and touch one. They lure me out on the deck where I stand gazing into these skies, often allowed the gift of witnessing a shooting star with its blazing tail. It’s peaceful there and quiets my soul, setting the stage for a good night’s rest.
Azure blue skies and bright sun meet the cold winter morning. Looking out the windows or standing on the deck, I see the sparkling shimmer of tiny frozen crystals falling to the earth. I expect someone in the heavens is sprinkling glitter down on this winter morning. I love the magic of this experience.
Long after this house belongs to another, I’ll remember how the windows called me into the heavens; how the skies are the bluest I’ve ever seen. The emotions stirred within, seared into my soul, will forever be a part of me.
I wish similar experiences to the new owners. If you want to be that owner, contact Kimberly McKinley at McKinley Sales Real Estate, Inc. and ask for information on the Flynn House. Kimberly’s Phone: 970-925-7477
As I think about what’s ahead in 2019, it’s hard not to reflect on the last few years. God has been birthing a change in me and my husband’s life. This started after we vacationed in Ireland and England several years ago. That vacation was a great opportunity for both seeing new sites and connecting with family and friends who live in Europe. We also met a couple who live and work in Galway.
Yet, when we arrived home, it was not where would we go for the next trip that occupied our minds. It troubled my husband (Tom) that there appeared to be so few options for going to church in Tralee, the home of his Irish ancestors. As he pondered the dilemma, God put on his heart that he could do something to change the situation.
This seemed like a huge white canvas waiting to be painted, with us having no idea of what the picture was supposed to be. Originally, we thought we were supposed to go back in the fall of 2018, but that didn’t happen. When Tom prayed about all this, he felt the response was, “That’s okay, I’ll wait.” We became more earnest about discovering what this mission is supposed to be.
It’s been several years of praying and working through ‘life’ here where we live. The big white canvas contains a few broad sweeping strokes at this time. It is nowhere near a clear image. I laugh because it seems like we get insight and details only as we move forward, putting one foot in-front of the other on a path which leads back to Tralee; on a path which will provide opportunities to share God’s love; to help people understand God’s love is vast and wide and most importantly for them.
You may ask, how will we accomplish that? Certainly, through prayer and God’s guidance. Tom will work with a pastor in a nearby community, building their small group ministries. We’ll both reach out in Tralee to people both in and out of the church, to help them develop an understanding of God’s love that is deeper than the hurts and hardships previously imposed by governments and the church. This is not a one time in and out mission trip. We expect we’ll spend two to three months a year in Ireland, establishing long-term relationships with people. Currently, it will just be Tom and I, but over time I expect others may take up the mantle and also spend a couple months at a time there.
I’ve just finished reviewing my Writing Goals for 2014. In many ways this has been a great year for my writing and I’ve learned much. When setting my goals, I learned I had too many things on my Goals List and did not allow enough room for flexibility. When talking about flexibility, I’m thinking about two things in particular. I didn’t realize I would be ask to help out with some ghost writing which was a great experience for me. I hope to do more in the future. I’m also thinking about something I started and wanted finished by Year End. I thought it was going to be a short story. The more I wrote, working on it, the more I realized it was not going to be a short story but instead a novella. I tweaked my goal to be: have the first draft of The Madeleine completed by year-end. For those of you who write you have probably already experienced this, but this was my first big project and holding the printed copy of The Madeleine so I could start editing was a pretty amazing feeling. I’ve started the editing process and suspect it will take me awhile. I’m starting 2015 so excited about this accomplishment; I’ve not yet set my writing goals for the year. I’m sure that will happen soon.
Expect to hear more about The Madeleine as my work progresses.
Best wishes for your goals and plans for 2015.
January always has many ‘new’ things to offer. This year we are seeing the snow that was lacking last January. I’ve taken some time to set not resolutions, but instead new goals for myself. I hope to be gentler with myself and have set expectations to challenge me, and keep me on target. I’m learning to embrace a new decade and realize truth never changes. I only get older one day at a time and my attitude about each day is what makes the difference! For some reason I lost sight of that truth momentarily as my birthday approached. I’m glad to have regained my sight and I’m looking forward to the adventures and surprises that both this year, and this decade hold for me. My greeting is a little late, but Happy New Year to all of you!
Summer has arrived! I’m loving it! The vastness of the sky, the green of the hills and the snow capped mountains are captivating. I’ve heard it does not get much greener than what we are experiencing this year. It matters not. This is my first year here and I’m appreciating every day. (The scene is the same location as my header for the blog so you can see the change from winter to summer.)