In the last year and a half, I've spent a total of about 4 months in Cincinnati for training for work. The first time I was here (4 weeks: mid-Nov to mid Dec, 2005), it was an adventure...new city, being single, getting a per diem for meals beyond what a reasonable person would eat, and my first phone call from Jeremy! However, I think I saw everything there was to see the first weekend I was here.
The second time I was here (3 weeks: mid-Jan to mid-Feb, 2006), it was ok at best...not much to do, per diem was still great (actually bought my laptop with the money I saved), but talking to Jeremy on the phone often was definitely the highlight.
The third time I was here (3 weeks: end-Nov to mid-Dec, 2006), I was utterly miserable...sick and tired of this cold and dingy, awful city, only married 6 weeks, missing Jeremy terribly, crying myself to sleep every night, driving home on the weekends or waiting on pins and needles for him to get here, not even the per diem made me feel better.
Just when I thought I had a chance of going anywhere else (and believe me, I'd requested!), my manager gave me the grave news...Cincinnati, again. Even though these last three weeks could have been more joyfully spent in a different city, they weren't too bad. Jeremy quit his job at Office Depot to pursue his EMT career and spent most of the three weeks here with me. His presence by far made this trip more pleasant than the last. The training itself was the most intense of all the training I've received, delving into the depths of tax law...far beyond what even most CPAs can understand. However, coming back to the hotel and spending the evenings and weekends with J doing absolutely nothing (as there IS nothing to do...we've looked) was tremendously wonderful and relaxing.
One of the highlights of this trip have been the mornings I've spent at Starbucks after our tests. I usually finished the test in under an hour, and because the instructors allowed 3 for the tests, I had two hours to enjoy a coffee (a real treat!) and a good book. I used this time to work on Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge, but before that I dove into the Word. How refreshing! I pursued the Lord and He was faithful to give me just what I needed. This morning after the the test, I meditated on 1 Peter 1. I pressed in, I prayed, I journaled. I prayed that I would have the same insatiable desire to continue this new tradition when I'm back in St. Louis being pulled in a myriad of directions by life. I prayed that I wouldn't choose something else to do over this incredibly valuable time my soul needs with the Lord. I feel so refreshed, ready to encourage, ready to all that God has for me to do, ready to bring life! Thank you, Jesus!
Today was the last day of the last phase of training and probably the last time I'll EVER be in Cincinnati. Tomorrow we're headed to Bloomington, IL to spend the weekend with J's family, then on Sunday back home to catch up on the last 3 weeks' of life we've missed there. I'm excited to get there.