When I thought about coming to America for home assignment, my last choice on time of the year probably would have been exactly when it was scheduled (January-April). Winter--overall gray and dreary and blah in Ohio. Just plain nasty. Spring--well, I live in "the land of year-round spring." So what's the big deal? Fall--now that is the season I really miss... colorful leaves and apple cider and college football. I love everything about the fall.
Much to my surprise, I have really appreciated the seasons this year. Yes, even the gray and dreary and blah Ohio winter. I haven't seen snow in years, so our few dustings were rather enjoyable from the warmth of the house. I really don't do well with cold thanks to all the years I lived in Texas and now PNG. And now spring has sprung. From the flowering pear trees of southern Ohio to the red buds (my favorites) of West Virginia to the cherry trees in the DC area--they have taken my breath away. It has been as though all of creation is singing out praise to the Lord! I think my delight stems from not having actually been in the north during the spring for almost 10 years now. I had forgotten how absolutely beautiful it is.
One really great thing about this time of year is spring break. I got a little one of my own thanks to no services scheduled on Easter weekend. I traveled out to the Washington D.C. area to spend a few days with my good friends Justin and Amber and family. The kids were also on their school break, so we enjoyed a some fun activities together... bowling, decorating eggs, etc. And what a blessing to attend church (and not have to speak) on Easter morning. BTW, congrats to Dr. Justin who successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation the day after I left! WOOOOHOOOO!!!!!
Another very special part of my trip to D.C. was getting to meet the famous Timmy Morrison. What a precious little guy--so full of joy! Here he is sporting a bilum cap from the highlands of PNG. And seeing his parents and Aunt Sara was pretty cool, too.
From D.C. I traveled through Virginia and on to Tennessee, visiting my friends Joann and Tera and their families along the way. The last stop on my spring break tour was Nashville, TN. I got to hang with my brother Aaron for a few days. He took the day off on Friday and we enjoyed an amazing 8 mile hike along the disappearing river to Virgin Falls. Oh, glorious day!
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
~ Isaiah 43:19