Summer 2018: Headed for the Hills (of Scotland)

I write from my childhood kitchen table in the quiet of post-exodus calm. Ryan is off to begin his senior year of college in Michigan, Theresa back down to her Chicago haunts, Kim and Chris departed to spend the weekend with Ryan and get one more adventure in before school starts, and my parents back into their regular routines. The entire family occupied one space yesterday, an occurrence becoming more and more noteworthy these days. It’s like a comet sighting. We made the most of it, enjoying a time-stilled evening of love, joy, pizza, nitpicking, and singalongs. But time has ushered us forward and we each move steadily closer to our respective school year ahead.

The fam playing word games – typical evening at the Schwaars’

I drove from Nashville back to Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, ending an enchanting and woefully short summer in the music capital living with one of my best friends. Nashville was good to me — I made good friends, reconnected with old ones, made music, met fascinating people, had adventures of many kinds, and was enlightened by further exposure to southern culture.

Exploring Chattanooga with my summer roommate

I have asked God for years to move me to Nashville at some point, and it was grand to get a taste of the place for a few weeks. I hope someday to end up there again. We’ll see what He does.

Last time I wrote (I re-read that post a few moments ago — quite dramatic. Wow. ?), three doors loomed. The amount of time over the past couple weeks in prayer and in conversation with a few folks wiser than me processing my next move (at varying levels of consternation at any given time) makes it hard to encapsulate the thought processes — plus, that wouldn’t be very interesting to read. I will cut to the chase.

Playing with some fantastic musicians at a Nashville bluegrass party

After wrestling and finally reaching a point where I felt like I could come to no other conclusion, I believe God is moving me toward Scotland. Assuming He comes through and makes all the logistics pan out, I’m going to attend the University of Edinburgh this year to earn a master’s degree and be involved with their women’s basketball program in some combination of coaching and playing roles.

A daunting number of questions remain in flux. Just your minor logistical questions like where I’ll live, how much this whole thing will end up costing, if my visa will come through, what my role will look like for the team, what the academic program will entail, how long I’ll stay, where the money will come from, how my involvement in various State-side projects and freelance roles will evolve once I get there, and what God has in mind for me to do. It’s dizzying how many things I can start but have no ultimate control over and have to rely on God completely to arrange. But I’ve seen Him come through before — if He wants me in Scotland, He will come through again. And the thing I am most confident in is this: I cannot shake the feeling that God is calling me to be there.

Tennessee in all its splendor

So guys, I’m going to Scotland.

I’m leaving for Europe on Thursday of next week. I’m headed to Ukraine to help dear friends there with a basketball camp. The next couple weeks between Ukraine and ending up in Edinburgh are still to be finalized — I’m waiting on some details from a couple different contacts about meeting up in the UK on the way. But a plane ride next Thursday across the ocean is the next step. Here we go again!

Until next,




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