September 17, 2012

On Leaving [my heart] and Returning to [what isn't so] Normal.

My friend Line and I at the cathedral in Cologne, Germany.
I need to work on my jumping picture technique.
Rule no. 1: remove the scarf. 

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I abruptly stopped blogging 2/3 of the way through my time in France. While I don’t have an adequate excuse, I will make a humble attempt to explain.

I made phenomenal friends from all over Europe while attending a conference nestled in the Hansel-and-Gretel-esque forest of Germany. At this conference my faith in small groups was restored while sitting in damp grass and reading the Bible aloud in three languages. I experienced God in settings as vast as a pew in a gymnasium to a mosque under construction to a massive cathedral full of art and tradition.
My CONNECT 2012 small group. I love and respect these girls so much.
They are strong, fearless, independent, warrior women.
They will be used to change Europe for Jesus.
Immediately after returning to France, I packed my two (very heavy) suitcases and began my (very long) journey back to America. I said goodbye to a country and to people who I had lived and breathed among for three months. I briefly visited Madrid, a city so alive with music and wonder and chocolate and churros.

Thirty-six hours after returning to my own bed, I left on a journey camping across the southwestern United States—from Springfield, Missouri to Portland, Oregon, by way of the Grand Canyon, visiting friends and family and making forever memories—with a boy who has settled into a special place in my heart.
Rangers for a day in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
We escaped near death by coyotes, ate delicious food, wandered through caves 80 stories underground, saw a potential alien abduction in Roswell, watched a woman wrestle a pelican in order to cut a fishing lure off its wing, and traipsed through the redwoods with my family. I’ve left my heart in Portland among my favorite mountains and rivers and green. Where the people are weird, and that's ok.

My busy life of part-time work, and full-time seminary studies, socializing, churching, and all-around-general-being-awesome has returned in full force, while I kick and scream and long for the slow pace of life I took for granted (and at times resented) in Europe.

Bear with me as I continue to process my thoughts and feelings about my time in France, and all the cool things God did in my heart. I’ll share more stories and pictures in due time. 


  1. So beautiful, Kelly. Reading this makes my heart happy. (And the picture of food makes my stomach jealous.) Looking foward to hearing/reading more.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! The churros were amazing!

  2. Loved the passage about reading the Bible in three languages...Years ago I used to volunteer as an interpreter for a missionary in my home country and it always gave me chills hearing the Word in English and Russian at the same time. Yay for you!

    1. That's awesome! Yeah, it was so cool...I was in a small group with girls from Germany and we read everything in English, French and German. SO powerful!