I AM SOOOO ready for a break. I'm utterly exhausted. Just everything is worn out. I'm tired, I'm emotionally drained, and I'm just so ready to be home for a while where there are no expectations on me. Or if there are, they're ones I've been able to understand my entire life. It will, indeed, be a relief.
Well, I guess there are the wedding expectations, but I'm looking forward to that if I can just figure out how to make my computer properly make a music CD again. It's been a long day.
My heart is also heavy right now, thinking of the Nolan family who lost their daughter, Katie, on Mount Hood this past week. I can't even begin to imagine the sorrow they're experiencing right now. And to have such a tragedy strike at Christmas time just makes the pain all the more intense. It has the ability to make the once joyous holiday season a time of sorrow for years to come. It was a comfort to read the words of her father and to see that, as difficult as it is for them, they're able to rejoice that Katie is in Heaven now, praising her Father there. Imagine celebrating Christmas with Jesus! As I've been thinking so much of her, lost in the snow this past week, the image of her there with Jesus celebrating His birthday gave me a sense of comfort.
I didn't know Katie at all in recent years, but I always had great times with her in the past when we visited their family. I best remember a time when they were living in Klamath Falls and we went to visit them. I can't remember the exact reason that she and I didn't go on a drive with the family, but I remember what a great time we had watching the old Parent Trap movies. They had 1, 2, and 3, and we watched them all, or at least most of them all. We ate chocolate chocolate chip cookies. The type that are rolled in powdered sugar and then get all cracky on top. I'm not sure why this memory is so vivid in my mind, but it has played over and over since Mom first sent me the news that she was missing.
As I read the CNN reports I was very impressed to see all that she has done in the probably close to 20 years since I last saw her. She too traveled the world, and ministered to people in need. Her target was prostitutes, a little different than babies, but it really showed that her heart was totally sold out to Jesus. It's always so hard to understand why God calls home people who are seeking to serve Him and are still so young with so much ahead. But I know His ways are better than ours, His thoughts so much higher.
All I can say is that my heart is really going out to her family right now. May God wrap His arms around them and allow them to see how much He loves Katie and rejoices in her presence with Him in Heaven.
It's late and I really need to sleep. My trip will begin tomorrow afternoon as I head to the airport to stay the night. My flight isn't until 9:40 AM, but there are no trains that leave early enough for me to just go in the morning, so Mark and I get to enjoy Prague airport all night together. It will be nice not to be alone this time at least. And then, 19 or so hours later, I'll be in Portland. What a wonder.