It’s been a while, eh? (that seems to lately have been the first line of all my IMs and e-mails, unfortunately)

Things here have been complicated of late, but nonetheless fulfilling and important. The clinical director left the farm rather abruptly, causing some difficult discussions among staff. Two guests were asked to leave the farm and two more were suspended for bringing and using alcohol and drugs on campus. The discussion around that has been very life-giving; we are tackling hard subjects as a community and are coming out better for it. And yet it’s still quite difficult to be in the midst of at times, for guests and staff alike.

Orchard house, our newest guest residence, is soon to be occupied — furniture arrives next week and people will probably be able to move in near the end of February. That means some gearing up in the residential team to help coordinate the move and figure out paperwork and systems in the new house. Also, the other two houses are getting new furniture and carpeting… how fun!

There are quite a few new guests and some new staff, making the community morph in different directions, some of which are unclear as of yet. It continues to be amazing to me how much the community acts as an organism in itself and how much the feel of the community as a whole changes with the entrance and exit of individuals. Thus, the interests of the community are constantly changing; a few months ago chess was huge, then music, now theater and movies and Scrabble… It makes planning a good activities calendar a fun challenge.

In the mean time, I keep wanting to learn how to iceskate backwards and keep not having a chance — the weather is cold one day and warm the next, making for bad or nonexistant ice. Instead, I’ve been crocheting an afghan and reading and practicing piano and socializing with friends on my off time. I hope to find a way to learn pottery soon, but have yet to find a teacher.

Last week, on a bit of a whim, I went to the Atlantic Ocean in Connecticut and watched a sunrise on the beach, collected some great shells, and generally enjoyed being on my own in the peace and quiet. It reminds me of how much exploring there is to do around here and of how much I need to continue to plan that into my time here.

Today I’m working on laundry and practicing piano for church on Sunday before I head back to work tonight. Sometimes I just love working nights and having days off!

My friends are incredible and my church is amazing, as I continue to tell you all… it continues to be true, in fact becoming more and more true (or at least I’m noticing it more and more).

In all this and other things, I find that God has drawn me to precisely the place I need to be — I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now. God is good, inspite of (more accurately perhaps, because of) the mystery of Her ways.