Much has happened since my last post 4 years. Unfortunately I haven’t followed up about bumps in my journey, kept up with sharing some life-changing joys, or stayed in contact well with the many people who took part in our life-changing year! After this quick update, I plan to reach out to people from our adventure to learn what is new in your faith journey and kingdom work while inquiring who are the leaders and what are the leadership styles which have influenced you most. I’ve designed this to be a part of my focus during my last semester of seminary. I will be graduating in December 2015 with a Masters in Theological Studies in Christian Leadership from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina!
Back in October of 2008, I had a health issue involving serious vision problems and headaches. Turns out that the Neuro-Ophthalmologist was wrong… the issue directly stemmed from my mountain bike accident in 2001. A physical therapist diagnosed the problem: my occipital muscle was inflamed due to my not fully recovering from the bike accident, therefore it was causing severe head pain and pinching my optical nerve causing drooping and double vision. With the help of physical therapy and the continued care of my chiropractor (especially craniopathy), I’ve improved! I still get headaches fairly regularly but my vision is back. Thank you for your prayers!
Richmond Smith and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary this November!! It was an amazing community celebration consistent with my out-of-the-box, experiential style. We have been incredibly blessed with a home and our beautiful daughter, Iona Grace. She is named after a very special place in Scotland. She is fun, smart, and amazing… not that I’m bias at all.
God’s timing is perfect which we often don’t see until hindsight. I’ve been wonderfully blessed to spend the last 8+ months taking care of Iona while I finish seminary. This wasn’t our original plan. After my maternity leave from the YMCA of Western North Carolina in winter 2014, I worked and took classes for 9 months until my position was dissolved due to budget issues in January of this year. It’s made things a little tight, especially with tuition bills, but it’s been worth it! I won’t get this precious time with Iona back.
Another blessing for where God has me right now is that I’ve been able to spend more time with my parents who live in Black Mountain where I lived for many years (20 minute drive). They retired in 2009 which brought them back to North Carolina. Unfortunately, my mother has struggled with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) which returned this Spring. My father has also been struggling with the beginning stages of dementia and major digestion issues which landed him in the hospital twice this summer. Please pray for healing, restoration, hope, and joy is spite of these challenges.
Another change has been in my faith community. We’ve been active with the Haywood Street Congregation which is best described as ‘holy chaos.’ Haywood is a diverse community centered on Christ. I connect well with the unexpected, relational, Spirit-led, unconditional love they exude! If any of you ever comes to visit, I would love to share this community with you.