I feel like I haven’t blogged much lately at all! I’ve posted here and there, but not much about what I’ve been up to or how I’ve been feeling. I’ve certainly been busy! I’ve wanted to fill you all in on what’s been going on in my life, but for some reason when I sit down at my computer, I’m too tired to put thought to type.
I hope y'all all understand.
Tonight I decided to do just that, put thoughts to type, and we’ll see what all comes out of this little brain...
I’ve been here 3, knocking on 4 months. Just as expected, I’ve hit that point of culture shock where you start to get frustrated with your new culture. Lucky for me, I’m generally a positive person, so it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve dealt with some homesickness again, like I had my first couple of weeks.
The normal homesickness was compounded a little by the arrival of my new niece, Zoey! She’s a cutie patooty, dark brown hair and dark blue eyes! I love skyping with her and the rest of the family. I know I probably wouldn’t have been out to see her yet anyway, but it’s weird thinking that she’ll be 9 months old before we’re on the same continent. How much she’ll grow between now and then! I knew that when I signed up for this, of course, I considered the ages and changes in all my little nieces and nephews. Ethan was 9 when I left, but he’ll be 10 when I get home. Abby’s 5, but she’ll be 6. Zander’s 2, but he’ll be 3. Zoey wasn’t born, but will be 9 months when I get home. It’s so wild to think about how much changes in a year! Now, before some of you nay-sayers get to sayin’ “you can’t live your life for other people,” let me stop you. I know that. But their little lives are important *to* my life. Everyone that’s heard me talk for more than 5 minutes knows that my family is very close! Being involved in their lives improves my life, and I’d like to think that it’s a symbiotic relationship.
I’ve heard some people mention how lame it is (paraphrasing a little, but that was the jist of it) to want to be near your family your whole life, but I think that’s a pretty narrow-minded world view. Not everyone’s the same. How boring would that be? Some of us are wired to find joy in being near family. Some aren’t, I get it. But I love being close to my family, and I also happen to loooove world travel and adventure! That’s a completely normal paradox, right?? I am all about getting out into the world and seeing what’s out there, but at the end of my time away, I’ll always want to be within good driving distance from the big-ole family gatherings. Not everyone is made to be away from home forever. I bet it’d be a lot easier to live overseas if the family were here! That emotional support can be pretty spectacular. It’s the simple joy of being near people who like you.
On that note, this past week or two, I’ve found myself missing having roommates. I have had some great roommates over the years. Lately, I miss having someone live in the same space as me, to just be companionable. I suck at living alone. I miss sitting on the couch doing nothing with someone else... but I don’t necessarily miss having someone else to share a bathroom with or someone else to make dirty dishes that stay in the sink for days, like mine do!
While I’m sitting here missing my family and friends and old roommates at home, I lean on my incredible support system of friends here. I have the most amazing church at Wolgwang English Ministry! I get to see them on Sundays for worship and cell groups, and every other week we have a midweek gathering, plus social events here and there (at least once a month). What a blessing! God has been so good. As it is His nature to be :) When I miss church on Sunday cause I’ve been traveling, I’ve noticed that my grumpy pants show up more. I feel off-centered without the fellowship and community of other believers. It’s a result of the amazingness of the Holy Spirit! Having a good church is like having family overseas. They’re there for you, they uplift you, love you, call you out when you’re being an idiot, spent time with you, support you. WEM builds up the Body of Christ and leads the congregation to strengthen our faith. I’m so glad Marisa dragged me along to Wolgwang back in February! It’s made such a difference in my life here.
If you're praying for me, could you pray that I get over the hump of culture shock quickly? I don't like feeling apathetic or frustrated with my place. Could you also pray that I catch up on my devo reading? I'm perpetually 10 days behind... I'd love to actually read the day's reading on the day it is, not a couple of weeks later. Could you also pray that I get into a routine that has more purpose behind it? I struggle with waking up on time and arriving places on time, and I bet part of that comes from lacking a clear purpose. I'm not over here to just live my life as extended playtime. I'm here for a reason. I need to remember that!
Thanks y'all. Keep up the support... and show me some attention in the comments section!