It’s Just Geography

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Have you ever been to or lived in Colorado?  Have you ever driven through Glenwood Canyon and gazed in awe at the stunning mountains towering high above you?  Have you ever hiked to Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs where a breathtaking lake with crystal clear blue/green water sits high up on the side of a mountain?  What about a stroll or bike ride in Waterton Canyon, complete with wildlife and waterfalls?  Have you ever slid down the Great Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley on a sled and buried your toes in the warm sand?  What about enjoy one of the hundreds of amazing camping spots throughout the state?  Have you ever taken a chair lift to the top of Copper Mountain and skillfully maneuvered down a diamond black trail on skis in 3 feet of fresh powder or taken that same trail in the summer but this time your mode of transportation is a mountain bike?  Or spent the day enjoying refreshing water rides at Water World in north Denver, complete with just over 70 acres of thrilling rides, relaxing lazy rivers and yummy food?

Those are just a few of the hundreds of things that can be enjoyed in the beautiful state of Colorado.  Up until about 3 months ago I had lived there my entire life.  I was born in the heart of Denver and lived in various metro area suburbs throughout my 48 years.  Never, ever did I think I would live anywhere else… until Proverbs 16:9 repeatedly entered my mind and heart.  The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

After watching Phil work 2 jobs, sometimes 3 jobs to take care of his family for several years, I realized something needed to change.  At the time, I didn’t know what needed to change I just knew I didn’t see much light at the end of the tunnel.  Yes, the Lord is our light but I was starting to strongly feel like I was the one holding us back from getting in a better financial position.

You see, I was pretty attached to Colorado and the people who lived there.  I’ve never been one to enjoy change and I certainly avoided initiating the change!  However, several verses kept coming up in devotionals, prayers, bible reading and discussions with dear friends and I started to wonder if I was obeying God by being so determined to stay in Colorado.  Was my fear of change and the fear of leaving the only state I ever lived in trusting in the Lord?  Was I so stubborn to stick to the plans in my mind and not let the Lord direct my steps?  After some time I felt very convicted that I was not trusting the Lord with my future and the future of my family.  Why was I so scared to leave Colorado, when most of my favorite people would be leaving with me?  By January 2019, I realized we needed to make a drastic change and so my prayers shifted from Lord help us to find ways to meet our needs easier so Phil doesn’t have to work so many hours, to Lord, where is it that you want our family to live and serve you?  Well, the Lord answered those prayers with the selling of our house and the buying of the house where we now live.

Here we are…. in beautiful Fort Smith, Arkansas.  I have no regrets and I do not miss the big city AT ALL ya’ll!!!  While we haven’t yet explored Arkansas much I’m confident we will find just as wonderful adventures here that we had in Colorado.  Seriously, I don’t miss Denver or the 4 million people that live there.  Sometimes I miss the mountains… Colorado does have STUNNING mountains people! I miss my dad and step mom but it turns out they are leaving Colorado as well and moving to South Carolina.

We miss Phil’s brother Andy and his girlfriend Renee.  We spent most of our birthdays and holidays with each other so we definitely feel that loss.

Us visiting with Andy and Renee in June when we went back to CO for the CHEC conference.

What I miss the most is the people that were the closest to me like family but also my friends.  I’m an introvert so I didn’t have a dozen close friends, only a few but I miss them terribly.   My dear friend June has walked this journey of faith, marriage, parenting and homeschooling with me since the day I became a Christian back in 2000.  As a side note it’s her fault we homeschool… along with Kevin Swanson… I read his book The Second Mayflower.  She has been a mentor, a trusting friend to share my dreams, fears and joys with, and a prayer warrior for me and my family.  Not to mention she taught my oldest two kids writing and transported my kids to Spanish classes in our early years of homeschooling.  Her family has been such a huge blessing to my family over these 19 years.  For me she embodies Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

In addition to June is my dear friend Laura.  Laura and I have been very close, sometimes inseparable for about 3 years. I remember first meeting Laura and I remember thinking ‘I don’t have time for another friend!’ so I kind of put her off for awhile.  But our faithful Lord had other plans.  After a few play dates getting our kids together we clearly hit it off.  Over these 3 years we have grown very close; we have laughed and cried together.  She was a huge help in getting my family packed and moved and even though I’m 820 miles away from her she still encourages me daily… thank you Lord for texting!  Laura is the strongest woman I know and has endured things that most of us can only try to imagine but she has stayed firm in her faith and has leaned on the Lord.  She is such an inspiration to me.

It’s these two friends I miss the most.  I do miss our church in Colorado but honestly, the church we have joined here has had me in awe with the love and service they show to one another.  I miss the Button family who was kind enough to let us stay there for 10 days before the kids and I moved here and also hosted us when we went back in June.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  I wrote this verse on many of our moving boxes as a reminder to me not to fear but to Trust the Lord.

God is faithful my friends!  2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.  Moving here was a step of faith for me and I feel strengthened.  I feel like my tight grip on Colorado has been released and it’s quite freeing! The Lord I love is here along with my steadfast husband and 5 amazing children.

Really, it’s just geography.

A Colorado sunrise, June 2019

An Arkansas sunrise, June 2019

A walk around Belmar lake with my friend June 2019. These pictures were taken with my phone and are completely unaltered.