Cassia and I look out our windows and see a smal heard of doe wending their way up the mountain through our backyard with the snow obscuring them, helping them blend with their surroundings, and we sigh in contentment. We will miss this place. Wednesday, just after it began snowing, we drove down the mountain to spend the evening with our "homies" (home group). This was my first real connection in Bozeman. I didn't have friends yet, didn't know my way around, and had no one that took time to see how I was doing (my daddy had just died, our pastor was dying, James was seldom home as he was learning the rhythm of this new adventure...) until this group came along. Dan & Jess, Sam & Sara, Matt & Sara, Peter & Naomi, Doug & Kaitlin, Jon & Abby, Randy & Becca, Julie & Wade, & Scott & Sadie brought a sense of 'home' to Bozeman for our family.
Malinda was 13 when we came. Just earned her safe sitter certificate from the hospital and eager to begin watching little ones. Dan and Jess had just had their first child, a little bundle of pudge and smiles named Lily. When Jess returned to work Malinda began watching Lily, and has never stopped. Lils is now 2.5 ( I always think she is older because she is such a precocious little thing!) and, as you can see, they adore each other.
Our home group recently divided in hopes of drawing more families into this type of incredible fellowship. Sam & Sara have added Katie and Ryan, and we have added Erik and Amber. Matt & Sara were in Colorado, Jon & Abby have moved to another state, as have Wade & Julie, so as we gathered as a family to say our fond farewells, there was a sweetness and a sense of loss. A joy at having them around us, with us, and yet knowing there was a gap where others once held place.
We woke the next morning to thickly frosted pines and diamond dust. We just couldn't stay inside and pack or work on college stuff! Out we walked into the soft land of the quiet giants.
I took so many photos. I felt giddy. My world had changed with one snowfall. It was a world enshrouded in pale, blue winter light and proud fir trees who now bowed low. Tofer stuck close by my side (I should have worn my Yak-traks!). Took some photos of his own. Found his own kind of wonder. And shared it with me, as I did with him.
So much more fun than packing a bunch of dusty nic-nacs into boxes!
As a post script: We still have no new assignment, and do not know where we will be heading. Keep us in your prayers. We are literally and completely at the Lord's mercy. It's exciting. At least it is right now. In 2.5 months if we don't have some direction it may not be quite as fun :o).