So here we are, the month of December. A week til Christmas and 4 months of EMI life in the books. The past four months have been a whirlwind and I'm having trouble settling in the thought that it's time to move forward. But I also look with anticipation to what's ahead. Someone recently asked me, "What did you learn over your internship?" I can't help but laugh... What did I learn?? More like... what did I not learn? I think it'll be awhile before I can sum up this little life segment into a few words, so for now I'll share with you 'Emma's Top 30 Conclusions from a Life Abroad'.
01 . Google Sketchup can work wonders if you know how to navigate the program. If you use it too often the whole world kind of starts pushing & pulling around which is kinda cool.
02 . Measuring in meters vs inches can be a battle but one worth fighting for.
03 . One could say that civil engineers are a bit like the interior designers in the architecture world.. Both focus on the human and making buildings & spaces functional and usable for all.
04 . Design is a never-ending process that continues to fascinate and excite me.
05 . Cream tea is a lovely mid-day treat and should be enjoyed on a weekly basis.
06 . Bikes are a beautiful form of transportation in efficiency and effectiveness.
07 . African culture lends itself to free-form dancing and shouts of joy which I think should be adopted worldwide.
08 . Running a 5K for the heck of it is never regretted & always makes for a good Saturday morning activity.
09 . Pubs are a brilliant concept - tea in the morning, a drink at night, treats all day and the whole family is invited (including your pet).
10 . Brits have mastered indirect direct communication like you've never seen before.
11 . Eggs on top of your toast is far superior to eggs alongside your toast.
12 . Home is an arbitrary word and your elementary understanding of it gets pretty well destroyed when you're constantly on the move. Makes you wonder... where am I finding my stability and comfort?
13 . Pursuing what brings you joy should never come to an end - it is always worth the time and effort.
14 . If you're ever in doubt, enjoy some tea & biscuits and you're guaranteed 95% recovery from whatever is weighing on you.
15 . Communication can be difficult, but taking time to talk out the misunderstandings builds appreciation and trust.
16 . The life we are currently living will never measure up to what our hearts desire. So instead of wallowing in constant disappointment, embrace what is and find hope in what eternity will bring.
17 . Getting letters in the post is a guaranteed day-brightener.
18 . Amongst the mess, this world is full of wonder.
19 . People are fascinating and each person holds a story -- take the time to hear it.
20 . Photos capture moments that can never be re-told.
21 . Time doesn't stop and it's important to find moments to slow down and process along the way.
22 . Puddle detours in wellies are almost as satisfactory as crunchy leaf detours in the thick of autumn.
23 . The sky is quite possibly one of my favorite things and I am fascinated how it's in a constant state of change yet consistent in its presence and purpose.
24 . Community is key.
25 . Moving across the world and filling your time with new adventures does not bring escape from the realities of life and pain that follows.
26 . God isn't always pushing us to learn something new, but sometimes just wants us to draw near and find refreshment & refuge in who He is.
27 . The Lord is constant & good and He has only begun to reveal Himself to me.
28. God is immensely present in this world and the promise of hope we read about in His Word is a present day story that is being written each and every moment.
29 . He opens His arms and invites us to join in this magnificent story.
30 . His grace is bountiful and as far away as we may feel, we can come running back to Him and He will rejoice in our return.
So there you have it! Thirty little nuggets that have been looming in my mind. Walking away from it all, I'm still blown away at the support and encouragement that got me here and saw me all the way through. Thank YOU for loving well and being a part of God's greater work. You are recognized and dearly appreciated.
So the natural question is.. what's next? Solid question.
I am heading into a month of travel with dear friends ending with an extended stay in a small French village with relatives. I ask for your prayer that as I have my last weeks away from home, I can take time to be still and process all that this year has been and all that is to come settling back in Kansas City. Again, thank you for being a part of this story - what a journey it has been. Praise to The One who has been so sweetly intertwined in each moment continues to bless us each day.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!