Friends, as I look back through my blogs this year, the common theme to emerge is noticing that I was late in communicating with you. Things are no different this time around. I guess all I can say is that the South American culture of relationships over efficiency has infiltrated my life and impacted me in such positive ways. Author Shauna Niequist has a new book coming out soon called Present over Perfect. My guess is she will address some of these concepts. I’ve learned that people are more important than tasks, and that stopping to say hello or finishing an important conversation, being present to others and listening well is more important than racing off to the next calendar item.
My time in Bolivia ended so well and sweetly. I had countless precious moments with friends that were more like family. I also had a bucket list of adventures that I worked through with those in my community, crossing off item after item, making memories and laughing a lot. These moments were rich, and I want to say thank you for understanding that my priority in those times were the people.
I’ve been back Stateside now for 5 days, and logistical details are pressing in, asking to take over my time. I’ve been able to drive my new to me wheels around, a logistical need I’m thankful has been taken care of! I am still on the search for housing for the fall which could potentially entail furnishing an apartment. Yesterday I purchased new tennis shoes for my part time PE position at Northshore. I had to say “ciao” to my old ones. They had multiple holes and the sole was falling off! Today, though, my Superintendent Holly called and told me that they had done some restructuring and asked if I would like to be her assistant instead of teach PE on the days I am not interning. While I was looking forward to exercise, working more directly with the students, multiple days of athletic wear, and ponytails and french braids, I think this will be a better fit.
Dates are coming up quickly! I am headed out to Chicago to see my dear college friends and pick up one of them to bring them back to Iowa. From there the following week we will leave for Seattle and drive out together on the #outwestepicadventure. Watch out for Facebook and Twitter postings of Nicky seeing western states, some for the first time! Soon after arriving, my summer classes start at SPU and the beginning of August I begin my work at Northshore Christian Academy!
It’s hard to say that my leadership adventure is beginning since God’s promptings are ALL over my story. But it’s true that my Seattle life is starting soon. It is bittersweet to say “ciao” to La Paz and hello to the Pacific Northwest. I covet your continued partnership with me in the meantime. After selling multiple items and returning to the USA with only two suitcases and a carry-on, there are many items I will need to repurchase. Also, with a gap in my insurance and job in the midst of pursuing my graduate degree, I have many financial needs.
NICS will process support for my account, 003505, until August 31, 2016. If you are a monthly automatic donor, your gift will be cancelled when either 1) you tell NICS to stop them or 2) on August 31, whatever comes first. Any support received after August 31 will be returned to the donor. If you feel so led to, I would humbly and gratefully receive your gifts until August 31. All of my gifts will go towards my financial needs mentioned above. If you would like to give securely via the web, follow this link. Make sure to select designation of “staff support” and then either put in my name or project number.
Finally, I ask for your prayers. It is a big transition to live and work in a foreign country, return to your passport country, and feel like you don’t belong in either place. My biggest Ask is for grace and peace as I transition cultures, jobs, and communities. I also need prayer for the remainder of my logistical needs to fall in place. And lastly, please pray for continued whisperings of God as I journey in my leadership, but specifically for his wisdom as I make decisions this upcoming year about what’s next after I graduate June 2017!
I want to thank you for journeying with me during my La Paz season. My goal is to update from Seattle, one last time before August 31! If you are on my postal mailing list, be on the lookout for my paper update!
Our last wallyball!