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SHE goes solo


I have always been a city girl. I love the fast-paced environment and the dropdown menu of options that a big city has to offer. If I didn't live in a big city, I always had to at least live within easy driving distance to one.

Day after day, I have gotten use to the hustle and bustle of commanding 4-5 lane highways, going to work and then rushing to some afterwork event, or just being around lots of people. While I couldn't see myself living in a cottage somewhere out in the countryside....sometimes it's nice to switch environments.

As my spring break was approaching, I couldn't help but glance at my vision board. In the bottom left corner there's a suitcase filled with clothes that is supposed to represent my desire to travel more this year. Especially travel solo.

But for a whole week? I can keep myself pretty entertained for a weekend alone if I chose, but 6 days with just me, myself, and I. Won't I get bored?

In between my worry and what ifs, I somehow clicked purchase and I sat back to review my non-refundable itinerary. I guess I'm solo tripping to Portland.

After a short flight, I touched down in PDX (Portland Airport). I looked out the window at the vast green landscape and cloudy skies that I read all about in the travel blogs I skimmed over on Pinterest. I'm here!

After assuring my family that I had landed and had not been kidnapped between the hotel and my metro ride to the hotel, I dropped off my stuff and hit the streets.

At 9AM on a Monday, the streets were pretty much empty as I trekked to my first destination: brunch. The music coming from my headphones almost seemed to disturb the peaceful environment I had just entered into...so I took them off and enjoyed the remainder of the walk in my quiet thoughts.

For the next several days, I travelled to each of the 5 Portland neighborhoods. Each day felt like two, in the best way, as I tried to explore this unfamiliar city. In the process my mind was renewed.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

-Romans 12:2

I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to clear my mind. The change of environment, pace, and familiarity allowed me to see things differently. I had a chance to step back and look at the things that God had been working out in my life from a bigger perspective that can often get narrowed over time.

Living in a big city where things are more tightly spaced, you can easily take on the stress and chaos that is around you without even knowing it, which can easily lead to the conformation of things that can impede our purpose.

Maybe the bad attitudes of your co-workers. Or the living situation that doesn't seem to be getting better.

The Word calls us to renew our mind in Him because we can often lose focus of the things that He called us to do in the first place.

The beauty of God's presence is that it will meet us wherever we are. Whether I'm in Portland or Port Richmond, I'm reminded of the benefit of seeking some quiet time with God. It's in those times we can hear where He plans to take us next.


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