I write from a familiar chair at my favorite coffee shop in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s a bit of a novelty to refer to a frequented haunt of any type. I feel so used to floating through comfortable spaces like a phantom that being a “regular” anywhere is a welcome change. At long last, my most regular view is not out an airport terminal window or through the windshield of a car.
It’s been a while since I’ve written. Since arriving in Omaha, God has been kind enough to open a variety of doors and allow me to quickly construct a temporary “normal” here in Nebraska. Here’s a snapshot of my current and pleasantly routine existence.
I’ve been able to jump into a church family in the form of Bridge Church, a fiery and intervening body of believers passionate about engaging their community in what many consider the “ghetto” of Omaha. They could use a bass and piano player in their band, which quickly settled the matter of my involvement. I will play tomorrow for the second time and have thoroughly enjoyed being welcomed into the family.
Sunday afternoons have also provided the opportunity over the past couple weeks to participate in women’s pickup basketball, which has been a fantastic opportunity to stretch my legs and dust the rust off my jumper.
One of my principle responsibilities for InterVarsity is to support two groups of collegiate student-athletes that are meeting together weekly to study the Bible. On Mondays, I have been able to meet with the student leaders during their lunch hour to help them prepare for the group study on Monday evenings (which I also get to attend).
On Tuesdays, the second of my two groups meets and I have had the pleasure of leading this one for the past few weeks.
I am thoroughly enjoying building relationships with not just the student leaders shepherding both groups but each of the participants.
Among other jobs, I have been trained as a barista and now work a few shifts a week at a local coffee shop. It’s been a fun gig so far. I have enjoyed learning new things and getting to work alongside a group of fun-loving fellow baristas. On Wednesday nights, I also attend a Bible study with a group of CrossFit and fitness enthusiasts. We talk about our latest workout escapades and then discuss the Bible. It’s a great time.
In addition to coffee shop shifts by day, Thursday evenings hold either another young adult Bible study or worship rehearsal. That and the occasional long bike ride or run.
I will be starting a second position as an administrative assistant at Creighton University starting next week. Fridays will probably find me in the office.
Friday evenings have thus far involved basketball-watching, writing, reading, hanging at favorite coffee shops, cooking, etc.
I’ve gotten the opportunity to travel a couple of my weekends here to participate in regional InterVarsity events. I’ve also enjoyed making Saturdays a day for working on projects and visiting friends in the area.
Other weekly staples include working out most days of the week, meeting with contacts and students, exploring the sites and attractions of Omaha, hunting for good live music, and spending time with my host family.
It’s been a revitalizing few weeks and I look forward to the rest of my time in Omaha. As I’ve mused to friends here, I am building a comfortable nest and meaningful relationships here in Omaha from which it will be hard to step away come the end of May. But to step away I believe I’ll be asked. Summer plans are still in development, but indications are that I’ll end up in Europe again. More details on that as they solidify.
Right now, I’m thanking God for a version of life that involves favorite spots, newly spawned friendships, an outlet to play music, and the amenities that come with remaining sedentary for a hot second. Pray if you think of it that I will invest well and make wise use of the short time I have here in Omaha to impact lives and help build into foundations that can surpass my departure.