Thursday, April 15, 2010

10 Lessons I've Learned in the Last 3 Years Since Moving to Colorado

This is a picture of me just a few weeks after we'd moved.

We moved from San Diego, California to Denver, Colorado in December of 2006, 3 years and four months ago. It was extremely difficult and stressful at first, as any move can be. But now, as I sit and reflect, I discover I've learned valuable lessons since coming to the foothills of the Rockies.

10) I need sunglasses much more here than in California. We are a mile closer to the sun, so when it shines, it can burn your eyeballs.

9) New vocabulary is important - ground blizzards, snow boots, artic front and back-splash. Expanding your lexicon is key when living in a Denver winter.

8) The sun shines here more days than in San Diego. This is true and my brother Phil told me this many times while persuading John and I to move here. What he didn't say was that many of those blue sky sunny days are also 32 degrees. :0)

7) A dog can be a valued member of the family. We adopted Scooby from the Dumb Friends League here in Denver. I never thought I could care for a dog so much. But alas, he has inched his puggle paws into my heart.

6) Writing is an adventure! It wasn't until I moved to Denver that I seriously started writing and submitting my work. In the last 3 years I have had some wonderful successes and some debilatating rejections. The life of a writer is lonely and emotional and I love it!

5) A writing group like Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild is a gift from God to me. I belonged to a writers group that met once a month for critiques in San Diego, but WFTJ meets once a week with teaching, encouragement, laughter, chocolate and critiques. I am so blessed to be part of it.

4) Writing a weekly devotional is a blessing. This week I wrote my 67th consecutive Joyvotion. Every single time that I sit down and tell God "I have absolutely nothing to say, Lord" He whispers in my ear words for encouragement that I can pass on. What a delicious treat to serve God in this way.

3) I can speak! For most of my life, I've wanted to be a professional Christian speaker. For most of my life, I have listened to the enemy tell me that I was not good enough to stand in front of women and talk. Since coming to Denver, God's truth has been made real in my heart. If I allow Him to be in control, He uses my speaking to bless me and others. I now speak often to women and I am always amazed. God is good!

2) No matter our geography, God is with the Iobsts. Jehovah Shammah, the LORD is there, moved with us. :0) When John went through a horrible motorcycle accident a year ago, God demonstrated love to us by allowing us to bathe in His comforting presence. We see Him in the black sky at night, stars so close we could reach up and unscrew them like light bulbs. John and Noah and I see Him in the glorious mountains, huge protectors that seem to guard our town. And we see Him in the seasons, the silent white snow, the birds' song in spring, the colors of fall and the warmth of summer. He lives in those beautiful waves in the Pacific ocean, but He is also present here. And everywhere.

And the number one lesson I've learned since moving here:
1) God has woven a tapestry of new and old friends into my heart. When I left San Diego, I believed that I would never make friends like the ones I had in my 20 years there. How in the world would I ever be able to share my heart with someone new? God knew how I felt and has brought such wonderful ladies into my life. Women who encourage me and laugh with me and walk with me. What a blessing to have new and old friends, each precious in my life.

It was the hand of God that moved us here. And He has proven Himself faithful again and again.


Courtney Walsh said...

I love this Robbie. Moving IS such a difficult thing, but sometimes I wonder if God just likes to shake us he can teach us all over again!! Love that picture of you!! San diego to Denver??/ TOTAL culture shock!! lol :)

Megan DiMaria said...

I'm so glad you moved to Colorado.


Robbie Iobst said...

Courtney, it is difficult. I can tell you've experienced it. :0) I absolutely agree that God loves to shake us up and girl, He did just that when we moved. Talk about culture shock - A week after we'd moved into our condo the first of two blizzards hit! AAARRGHH! :0)

Robbie Iobst said...

Megan, you are one of the gifts God gave me when I moved here! :0)

smithsk said...

Though I have moved further north & out of CO, I'm glad I met you an got to know you. Your encouragement still ministeries to me.

Lynn said...

I remember that first winter! It was our first here also, and what a winter. The snow kept me busy shoveling and enjoying the crisp air instead of sitting inside worrying about my two deployed kids.
As always, I learn and am greatly entertained by what you write.

Diane Marie Shaw said...

Robbie, I remember my move from Illinois to Colorado. I was used to cold and snow but I left all my family and friends behind. I had never lived anywhere but Illinois. It was really hard.
I love Colorado and I love Words for the Journey. All the ladies have been such an encouragement to me as I walk this writer's journey.

Robbie Iobst said...

Susan, thank you!! I'm sad you moved to Wyoming but I'm glad we can keep it touch via the internet.

Lynn, I was in such culture shock that winter!! Looking forward to the 29th!

Diane, I am so glad that I get to be a fellow writer with you!