We took an “intercultural competency” test for our training time in Chicago. One of the categories was titled “venturesome.” The highest you could score was 15, a median score was 9 and I scored a 3, of course. I’m not that venturesome.
I take the same routes to and from places, most of the time. I also don’t really like ambiguity or change very much. I have no desire to jump out of a plane and if you want to try something new, I’m probably not the person you would call. Sounds pretty boring, right? Well, that’s me.
So why am I moving to the other side of the world, to a culture that is totally foreign to me in every way possible? I have asked this question before, plenty of times. Why would I be sent to a place that requires a certain amount of venturesomeness when for me that usually means ordering something new off the Chili’s menu?
As I’ve thought about this, I am reminded that God has always used the weak things of this world to show his strength. This is not a task I can manage on my own–not a chance. It’s a super-human task before me and I am sometimes scared to death of getting on an airplane and moving my family to the other side of the world. And while I can’t do it in my own strength, I know that I must to be obedient. So I’m taking my 3 points of venturesomeness and hoping it will be multiplied.
And multiplied so perhaps I can get to at least 8 or 9 or so.
Right now I’m sitting at a desk in another strange room. Since mid-December I have called many places home–this week it’s Wheaton, Il. We have brought the Princess here with us and are having a great time getting to know our sanguine little girl. How fun it is to see her without her older brothers. She’s so laidback and loves to be with other kids. What a joy to have such a little sweetheart!
So here we are. We drove here, as we do everywhere, and found ourselves spending 18 hours to get somewhere that should have taken 11-12. The problem was the lovely snow that was falling in Atlanta. Usually I love snow. A snow day for a Georgia girl is one of the best things in the world. I remember times as a girl when snow was predicted for the next day and I could barely sleep that night–such was my excitement about the possibility of a day out of school and the rare opportunity to play in the powder. In Georgia it only takes about an inch of snow to close everything down. It’s a beautiful thing, most of the time. However, yesterday I was not as excited about the snow since I was not A) going to be home to enjoy it by a nice fire, and B) we had to drive through it to get to our destination.
There are times lately when I really struggle to be fully content with what is going on in my life right now. I know we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, but sometimes I find myself wishing things looked differently. Like yesterday, I wanted to be in my own cozy Lakewood-like home, sitting by a fire with my family. I wanted to know what the rest of the year would probably look like. I wanted to be with the people I’ve been doing life with. It’s strange to me to be back in the place where I grew up– I feel so foreign and disconnected. It has never been the place my heart wanted to be and I find it still isn’t. The bright spots of course are the family and wonderful friends we have there, but still when you are just passing through it’s hard to feel settled.
So these are training days. And the training is not just formal as in Colorado or Chicago, but every day, it seems lately. I’m learning the hard way how to keep my emotions from determining my happiness. How to make “home” wherever we are. And how to appreciate the little things from day to day.
Ok, so I have been hit or miss with my writing lately. I’m not referring to my blog, but rather the story that has been in my mind since last summer. The story of two characters I truly LOVE, but that I can’t seem to develop as well as they deserve. But I’ve decided that I’m not allowing myself the excuse of being too busy anymore to write. It’s now or never.
So what is it that ladies want in a romance? I’m not talking a steamy, blush-worthy paperback romance, but a story about two people who really belong together, but it takes them a while to get there. Do women still like these stories? I do. I love the idea of adding a bit of romance to my otherwise, practical existence.
I also have an obsession with British characters. So you can bet there’s going to be one in almost every story I write. Currently, I have a lovely British character, but I’m a bit worried about his dialogue–is it authentic enough? It’s these little things that clog me up and keep me from being super-productive. But I would really love to see the end of this novel. I’d love to see it printed, but who knows.
So I’m back in the swing of things with writing–with much fear and trembling along with joy and excitement at the possibilities.
I’m really glad God hasn’t told me not to look back–yet, because if that were the case I would be a pillar of salt right now, just like Lot’s wife.
Today, Jack told me he wanted to go back to Dallas–back to his house and his friends. We cried together as we connected emotionally–both of us grieving the loss of the life we left behind.
In this crazy time of transition where my earthly possessions could fit easily into one room with a walk-in closet, I keep looking back at my life in Dallas and longing for my view, my friends and my own space. It’s not good, I know. But I’m a woman and I’m having trouble with this whole leaving my life behind thing.
In my attempts to shake off the melacholiness that has taken over my mind I started to think about how Jesus handled transition. I wasn’t sure this was going to make me “feel” better, but I gave it a try and found that Luke 14 shows us clearly Christ asking those around him to leave it all behind and follow him. Jesus always seems to be focused on the future–not the past. Though this got me thinking. He was also human and humans like what is familiar. I tend to believe, and this is in no way biblical, that in the middle of such a draining ministry, Jesus had to at least once think of how nice it would be to be back at his mother’s house where he could have a nice meal, work on a cabinet or something and just put his feet up at the end of the day in solitude.
So as I come to the close of yet another draining day of trying to manage three small kids in the midst of the greatest transition of our lives, I am tempted to look back on days that were not perfect themselves, but that are comfortable and have familiar places and familiar faces (like the rhyme?) all around. And I truly miss them and the people that were a part of them and while I don’t want to go back– I am looking back today, and probably will continue to look back sometimes, with great fondness and appreciation for one of the stops along the journey.