A Big Adventure

We’re going on a big adventure soon! The three of us are visiting our friends in Vienna and Split (Croatia)! My head is spinning this week with all the final checklists and purchases, and I often get lost in daydreams about European coffee and the smell of the end-of-summer Adriatic. I can almost taste and feel the grainy, salty powder on my skin after a swim. It’s surreal that we’re able to take this trip together after I dreamed about it for so long. I finally get to go back to my second home with my husband and daughter in tow! I’m so thankful for my job and our church, the two things that are making it possible.

It’s been five years since I was in Split, and 11 years since I moved there the first time. I’ve been thinking about how I’ve changed since then. Really, living in Split formed my identity as an adult more than any other one thing so far. If I had to compare, I’d say that before I lived there I was like a nice little knitted blanket made from a few hundred bits of yarn. Lots of experiences, but pretty soft and safe. After I lived there I was like a giant quilt with a million small pieces, a stained-glass concoction of cultures, ideas, friendships and dreams. And inside the quilt is a layer of Kevlar. After all the shifting and jostling of the first few years – the uncomfortable work of rearranging myself and discovering who I was created to be – I came away with a strong, flexible core. Life can change and circumstances evolve, but I know who I am and what’s important to me. Now I get to share that history with Good Cop and the Bluebird. That’s amazing.

I was admiring the fabric of Alison Glass last night. This is the kind of quilt I’m thinking of! So gorgeous.

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The perfect quilt to showcase this fabric, by Carole Lyles Shaw

We’re nervous about a few things, mostly related to traveling with a toddler. These are long flights and she’s a very active girl. But she’s also enamored with people and tends to be observant and quiet in new situations, so it could work out well. I’m trying not to spend much more time worrying about it. We’ll have our bag of tricks and if all else fails, we’ll just put up with a fussy kid for a while. The plane has to land eventually. As for sleeping in the same room for roughly two weeks, I’m not so sure what bag of tricks can help. We might get used to being tired. :)

I’ve been following the refugee crisis in Europe more closely the last few weeks, especially since so much is happening in Vienna. We might be able to help out with some of the organizations that are providing food & shelter. At the least it will be good to be there, rubbing shoulders with refugees and praying for them, seeing their faces next to ours and taking up the same space together. Although I’ve had several friends here who were refugees, it’s still hard to put myself in their shoes; to be so desperate that it’s better for me to leave my house and travel so far with so little, just to look for a place to start over. This is such an opportunity to show grace and love, and to ask for God’s wisdom in such complicated situations. Since I was little I’ve been drawn to the complexity of life. Rarely can you find an issue that has only one right perspective. I’m a big fan of “sometimes” and “maybe,” but “always” and “never” make me cringe. Just another piece of my crazy quilt, I guess. I’m looking forward to hearing more sides to this story while we’re there.

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4 thoughts on “A Big Adventure

  1. Amen! and Amen! Our prayers and hearts go with you as you reacquaint yourself with a very familiar and dear place, and see the faces of those you love and those that are homeless and misplaced. God protect you.

  2. Sometimes and maybe are sweet words. I’ll try to find my favorite article about traveling with kids. It’s in my “stash for later”…

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