START WHERE YOU ARE!
Six years ago today I awoke in Colorado on an air mattress in the bedroom of a rental house with red curtains. The giant
u-haul awaited unloading… but I was smiling.
I thanked my Heavenly Father and vowed that I would always be happy EVERY DAY in COLORADO for the rest of my life!
I had done it… emptied and sold the house, got admitted into graduate school and moved our oldest, Desirae, with my husband Mark to join our son, Christian in his senior year of college in the same city. Our youngest, Tonya, would return to MN. to finish at the University of Minnesota. I had fulfilled a dream of 26 years to move to COLORADO and a dream of 27 and a half years of moving out of Pipestone, which I planned shortly after my Mother slipped into eternity.
I had never intended to stay in my hometown, as I was a new college graduate, returning only to help with mother at home in the last stages of cancer.
But God works in His own timing, not mine. There was a family to raise in a big old Victorian House with a huge backyard… and lessons to learn. I was to remain in Pipestone to acquire healing from a difficult childhood. Two of my work positions allowed me to interact with my parent’s contemporaries, whom showered me with affirmation and filled my cup. They were so proud of where I had been compared to where I was now in marrying a wonderful Godly man esteemed by the community as the Editor of the paper. I had kids that were thriving in this little town. The same little town that had considered me and my family of origin, second class citizens, as we lived out our endurance on the North End of town.
I now believe God chose to give me my family there… to receive this healing from my parent’s friends, neighbors and relatives. Still, I could never release this desire to move. I often said, if I die before I leave here, you don’t have to write my name on the epitaph… just write, “She always wanted to move,” and everyone in this town of 4,500 will know it is me!
Actually there were wonderful periods of happiness interwoven with this unending desire to move… including my first year of marriage, in spite of all the challenges of my and my brother’s grief, dad’s grief and heartache, and sickness from an unexpected pregnancy. God knew He needed to plan my family, as I was too scared. He knew I needed to experience the joy of a family and childhood… just on the other side, as a Mother.
I had wonderful times of learning and teaching scripture through church and women’s studies such as Christian Women’s. I was a speaker for a season as well, with 90 people attending to hear my testimony in Pipestone!
I was bathed in prayer during my second pregnancy, when I only had two weeks of illness, and was delighted when Christian was born only a week apart from Desirae, as I wanted them three years apart.
The community surrounded me with love after the unexpected death of my father, and the immediate illness from our third pregnancy that same week… unknown to us at the time! That was when I said, “Why would I live anywhere else, with all the help and concern I’ve had through this tender time and difficult pregnancy?” There was the kindness of our neighbor, Mrs. Foley, whom I visited with for six years across the white picket fence. There was Joyce, Linda and Julie, my three closest friends at the time of my father’s death, standing like an unshakable wall of strength as I walked out of the service at the funeral home…
After Tonya was born, we began a new chapter in a wonderful home to raise a family. Each of the kids had their own bedrooms, I had a spare bedroom and bath with a wonderful finished basement and a delightful backyard filled with everything I dreamt a child should have.
We went on to enroll each of our kids in every activity under the sun through the Recreation Center and school. They had the swimming lessons I did not, including a weekly family swim at the Rec. Center. They were all in sports and choirs, had part-time jobs and training in church with dedications, baptisms and confirmation. My goal was to give them the gift of happy childhood memories, which had bypassed our family’s house on the North End of town. I believe we did that.
So when I awoke on this day six years ago in the state of COLORADO I knew there would be wonderful things to experience, explore and learn. I already had my EVERY SATURDAY schedule created… an attraction, a hike, a festival and a sporting event…with the attempt to include extended family in the activities as well… FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!
Now as I write we have three young adults, educated, living on their own, gainfully employed and one married! Let the adventures begin, because COLORADO, here I come!