We have had the incredible privilege for more years than we deserve to spend two months every other year in Colorado. Our jobs require us to relocate for that time to prepare for an organization-wide conference and classes that are offered to our staff.
Colorado is my happy place. Majestic mountains, dry, cool weather, trees and flowers I’ll never find in Florida–spectacular.
We flew from Orlando, where the temperatures were into the 90’s and the humidity was uncomfortably high. This is my norm; I’ve gotten used to heat and damp.
Just because I’ve learned to live with such weather doesn’t mean I love it.
Arriving in Denver, the sun was smiling on us, a wonderful breeze was blowing, and the temperature was a balmy 80.
It’s not merely the beauty of this place that wraps me in its lovely embrace.
What draws my heart are the memories we’ve made through the years here.
We’ve been coming here before we became parents. When our oldest was born, her first summer was spent here, where she interacted with other littles and figured out what it meant to have friends.
I’ve serious issues about possibly missing out on any grand experience, so the summer I was pregnant with our fourth child, I kept putting off returning home because I didn’t want to go. I gave birth to Courtney in Colorado–almost unintentionally.
All six of my kids have spent significant time here, making friends with those from all over the states and around the world. They’ve had the chance to experience others whose circumstances and stories are dramatically different from theirs. They’ve encountered different cultures, different viewpoints, all in this wonderful state.
I come back here, and I remember.
I walk by the park early in the morning and remember the hours we spent there, climbing, swinging, and sliding. Taking my kids on their first train ride through the park, hearing them scream with delight and a little bit of fear.
The geese are everywhere, and I remember the first time Melody tried to feed one; the goose chased her down the sidewalk.
I remember John and I taking walks around the campus when the kids were in bed and a neighbor would watch them. We would finally get time to connect and enjoy the peaceful nights polka-dotted with a multitude of stars.
I remember a certain tree where I’d go to sit for a time of quiet, an opportunity to connect with my Lord. Thick shade, leaves in a plethora of greens, roots that formed the perfect seat.
God tells me it’s good to remember. To look at what’s past and recognize God working in the details of my life. How He has consistently shown up when I needed Him. In the remembering, I find faith for challenges I encounter now.
Because God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in the next big thing. The next great experience. But so much value comes from remembering, from seeing how life has worked because of the God who loves and works in me.
An experience better than the mountains.