Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Unexpected blessings

If you've been following this blog or have read anything in the last couple of posts at least, then you know that things here in Rome changed a bit when Lynda returned to the States and I gained a new married male colleague. I don't like change at first, but am capable of adapting fairly quickly. So, things are still a bit new and I am finding my way in them. The biggest change for me has been the loss of the constant companion I had in Lynda. She and I did everything together from cooking/eating dinner together, to grocery shopping, to eating out, to shopping, to traveling. And now, well, it's different. And it's been something of a challenge. But, God has reminded me that I am not alone. That He has not left me here to my own devices.

This week He has demonstrated His love for me through a beautiful bouquet of flowers my students bought me just because I'm me. He demonstrated His faithfulness to me when a friend invited me to dinner on my first Friday night off of the semester so that I wouldn't spend the evening alone. And, finally, He demonstrated how much He cares about how I'm doing when another friend in Rome called to chat and check-in with how I am doing.

No matter what circumstance I find myself in, how alone I feel, or how surrounded by people I am--our Heavenly Father is quick to remind me that above all I am treasured, loved, and wanted by Him....and there's nothing better than that.

post signature

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ace of Base, a blast from the past

There were 2 songs that hit the charts big while I was living in and around Venice during the summer of 1993. The first was Haddaway's What Is Love and the other was Ace of Base's All That She Wants. 

Any time that I hear either of these songs I am transported back in time. I can so clearly see myself as a very young...and somewhat naive...16 year old, away from home for the first time and in a foreign country all alone. Hands down, the best summer of my life. It was that summer that I fell in love with Italy for the first time. It was a summer that helped to form who I am and the adventurous spirit that drove me to apply for the job that ultimately brought me back to Italy and to Rome.

So, anyways, there I am just the other day walking through the Bata shoe store while on my way to the grocery store--yes, I have to walk through a shoe store to get to the grocery store---when what do my ears pick out amongst the chatter of shoppers? Ace.Of.Base.  I immediately see myself in my mind's eye at a disco-tech in Venice with my host brothers, Paolo and Antonio, and my travel companion, Catherine. The four of us are dancing and laughing--just enjoying the night and each other. How I wish time travel were possible! I would go back to that moment in a heart beat!

I miss my host brothers. We have lost contact and I haven't been able to find their address. I would love to write them before my spring trip to Venice so that we can get together. I wonder what that reunion would be like; I wonder what they're doing---are they married? Have kids? Still live in Italy? I just don't know and I think of them often and that short span of time when I was a part of their family.

I wonder what will trip my memory in the future of my time in Rome. I wonder if it will be a song, a smell, a phrase, or a particular food. I want to soak it all in while I am here so that one day I can look back with as much fondness as I do my time in Venice. Both were/are life-changing experiences and I am so thankful for the opportunities that God has afforded me. What a blessing to live what I love.

I think it's time for a dance party in my room...the only question is Haddaway or Ace of Base? :)

post signature