What a whirlwind of a month both figuratively and literally. But then again anytime you trek across Colorado and Kansas via i70 you are bound to blow to and fro. It’s just how it goes.
In January I traveled 2000 miles (all by car) and visited nine schools across three states (I went to Oklahoma too). I was scheduled for ten school visits, but what’s a girl to do when school is canceled due to the weather?
I survived a cold snap that left us at twenty degrees below zero (before calculating in the wind-chill), navigated icy roads and met countless teens that forever left an imprint on my heart. What is so crazy about being a speaker is while you hope to leave a lasting impact the truth is God is using both speaker and listener to share His love. I pinch myself I’m not only getting to chase a dream but live it too!
One chilly morning on my way to Byers, CO I called my husband to chat about our “purpose in life”. I’ve never felt so positive I’m living my purpose that God has for me right now. I say “right now” because I know as I grow He will continue to use me in new ways that I have yet to dream…
A recap of my January 2018 adventures…
The funniest: at one school when I revealed my “show and tell” (aka: my ankle) within a few minutes someone vomited. I guess it is safe to say I made a memorable impact??
The scariest: I had my first encounter with a teen that carries the weight of being bipolar. I triggered a nerve with this young man. He could have very easily out maneuvered my every move. While he was frustrated and angry we were still able to “talk” despite my growing concern for my safety. I will not add any more of a description other than there were many witnesses and all turned out okay in the end.
The most fun: it’s a toss-up between Eisenhower Middle School and Beloit High School. Why? When an audience is interactive (laughs out loud, cries, gasps, and expresses any emotion in general) a “performer” feeds off of it! It becomes a “conversation” instead of a performance. It is so much fun!!!
Most humbling: the emails and messages I have received from teens I met since the first of the year. And yes, I respond to every one of them (took me all day last Monday). I’ve made it a point to respond to every message. Sometimes it takes me awhile, but if I didn’t respond I didn’t receive it!
The bummer: my power steering went out on my car on my way home. I was passing back through Colby when I pulled off the highway and into their Ford Dealership. I love Kansas folk… honest, trustworthy, and always ready to treat you like family. If you end up at Ford in Colby, KS ask for Chris!!
Best hotel: The Clyde Hotel in Clyde, KS. Reminded me of my late Grandma Jean’s house. It was the smell that triggered the memory.
Best Bed & Breakfast: Aunt Janet’s in Liberal!! Nothing like calling your Aunt Janny’s house home for a few days. (Want to meet Aunt Janny? Please refer to Scene 3 in “Blood Sweat & Tiaras”)
Best Food of the week: Bisteca in Liberal, KS. Owned and operated by a couple of my friends from high school (who are now married)! Seriously yummy!!
Performance Highlight: While singing my intro icebreaker (this year’s song of choice has been “Ain’t No Mountain High”) I shifted my attention from my eight volunteers to my audience of 800… to my pleasant surprise they all had their phones out – with flashlights on – held high overhead and were swaying with the music. It was pretty cool!
Toughest: An audience wasn’t cooperating (on their phones – walking around – talking to each other) so I went rogue… within three minutes I had them back in my universe and went on to deliver a dynamic message that took on a whole new look and feel. It was so rewarding yet left me completely spent! All that mattered… I reached them and it was magical.
Audiobook of the week: I listened to “The Encore” by Charity Tillemann-Dick. An absolutely inspiring/fascinating listen!!! A true story about an opera singer that received a double lung transplant and went back to singing. Amazing!!
There are so many more memories that will forever be recorded in my mind and eventually other areas of my journal, but I’m calling it a night here in Colorado. I’m happy to be home with my Roberto. It is time to go relax and hang out.
Hugs, peace, and love from my little corner of the world!!!
And most important: Thank you Lord for these amazing encounters.