God, My Story, Travel

What Is Your XYZ?

2019 Travel…

This year has been pretty dynamic in regards to travel for me. Putty invited me to go along with him to the National Leaders’ Conference in England. I tried to give reasons why this wouldn’t be advisable, but I was pretty much told by a mentor that I had to go with him because it was an overseas trip! You see, I wasn’t too excited about figuring out how to reorder my life during this excursion, but with Putty’s invitation, the prompt from this mentor and many other encouraging words from others, I made the necessary plans to travel overseas. 

While there, we connected with the National Directors of the Vineyards in the BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg). They asked if we might be interested in coming to speak at their National Conference later in the year. I knew in my heart I would be going on this trip with Putty. He agreed and it was doubly confirmed when my mother broke out in tears of joy that I would get to see the place where she raised four of my siblings!

But in between these two trips, Putty received another invitation to speak at the Vineyard National Conference for the USA. Again, after such a great trip to England and a much anticipated trip to Belgium/Netherlands, I was eager to attend this conference with him too. We drove together to Ohio and had a great time connecting with so much of our bigger Vineyard family! 

2009 Travel…

Getting ready for the long plane ride to China!

I forgot how much fun travel can be! Before I went to England, I hadn’t been overseas for the previous 10 years. That was another year of travel for me. In 2009, Putty and I went to China on a mission’s trip. We taught together, ate together, and had adventures together, although he had the biggest adventure alone when he got stuck in Hong Kong due to overlooking the number of visa entries he had. Oops!

Additionally, in that year we took a trip to California to visit our good, good friends and see the new life they were living out there. They had been called to help with a church plant and we were heart-broken to see them go, but we always made an effort to support them and help them follow the leading of God in this adventure. 

Olsons, Putmans, Whiskers & Lan

Our other trip that year was to visit my brother & sister-in-law in Colorado. It was so wonderful to spend some extended time with them and meet their sweet cats. We hiked, ate good food, and enjoyed each others’ company. It was something that filled my heart as I reconnected with my brother who had lived ‘Out West’ for so many years prior. 

Growth Years…

These two years, 2009 & 2019 will be marked as ‘Year of Travel’ as well as ‘Growth Years for Brittany.’ You know, as much as I balk at getting out of my routine and trying new things, I always end up better for it. As much as I dig in my heels and act like all the planning is overly stressful, when I’m on the actual adventure itself, I realize how much I needed a change. (Can I get an ‘Amen!’?) My regular routine is safe, comfortable, and at times boring. Traveling and new adventures are potentially unsafe, uncomfortable, and … exciting! So why do I resist it so much? It’s simple… I forget. 

I Forget…

I forget the good things that come out of adventure and risk. I forget that life isn’t just about doing the same ol’ thing day in and day out, but it’s about LIVING! I forget that relationships develop differently in the unfamiliar than in the familiar. My husband once said in regards to something else that I needed to have a tattoo on my hand that said, ‘XYZ is fun!’ It was said a bit tongue in cheek, but the idea of it was that I needed a constant reminder because I seemed to forget so easily!

What is your XYZ?…

So what is your XYZ? What in your life do you KNOW is fun, but you keep forgetting? What do you resist doing only to discover that once you did it, it was actually fun and life-giving? For me, there are more things than travel that I forget are great. I forget that having deep talks with a close friend are really life-giving. I forget that spending time in reflection actually brings me to a clearer understanding afterwards. I forget that practicing my piano and singing really brings me a lot of joy! I could go on, but I’d rather hear from you. What is your XYZ?