We watched one of our family dvd’s tonight from about 3 years ago. It was about the same time of year–late April, springtime–one of my favorite seasons. It was so funny. The kids laughed so hard watching it. Sierra has changed so much–it was hilarious to see her stomping through puddles in the lane, and pouting when she got told no about something else later on ( I let her stomp in the water as much as she wanted :))
The gut-ache kind of took me by surprise. Hard to explain, but feeling like I was right there, walking through the back yard carrying the video camera…..Watching the grass green up, seeing the tulips come up that I planted in front of Abe’s barn, planting flowers in the other flower beds, putting in the garden, starting to mow, crops going in in the fields around us, blue sky….
And, the wind. I conveniently forget the take-your-head-off-most-days wind we had out there. Matt says I conveniently forget all the things I DIDN’T enjoy about the places we used to live. The learning curve we had with our well, snakes in the house, ants…..
Our Missouri house was always much better in my memory too That old bridge & the hill in the winter or when it rained, well, those aren’t the things I think about…..only swinging on that front porch and how quiet and peaceful it was…..
When we did our cross-cultural training at MTI last fall, we talked about grieving things we’re leaving behind. A lot of things I thought I was done grieving–maybe not. I’ve told Matt that it’s better if I just don’t think about it, just keep walking forward, focus on the present, and not dwell too much on the past. He did comment that he wasn’t sure how healthy that was Don’t worry–I’m not avoiding it, just trying not to focus on it.
It should, at least I think it should!, go without saying that I miss PEOPLE far more than things–our families…..
And yet, there is a piece of my heart that still misses this place…
Maybe not so much those THINGS….but my life there…. I was trying to explain to someone the other day, in Portuguese, that even though I miss it there, I know God wants us here–beautiful as it was, and as much as I liked not having close neighbors so that I didn’t have to remind the kids 14 times a day not to run down the hallway because downstairs it sounds like a herd of buffalo stampeding, or to try not to drop something every 10 minutes for much the same reason, or just not to talk so LOUD……there are a whole lot more people for us to impact in a much smaller radius where we’re at now, and where we’re going. And our older girls have pointed out more than once that they’re glad we have a nice view from our apartment here in the middle of the city–we’re less than two blocks from a huge park/zoo with hundreds of trees, and as the girls put it ‘it’s not like Chicago where all you can see is buildings’. Granted, their impression of Chicago is visiting the American Girl store the past two summers, and at that spot in the city you are surrounded by quite a few skyscrapers. I am thankful to look out and be able to see some sky and not just another building
I just finished reading the biography of Mary Slessor, a missionary to Africa about 100 years ago, (check out the link on wikipedia-she did not have an easy life) and realize all over again how easy I have it. Which at times makes me more grateful, and honestly, sometimes just makes me feel guilty. And we have good friends getting ready to leave their house of 30 years, the place where they raised their babies, and spent many hours with the Lord and pouring into the lives of others, to move to Kenya. They have 3 times as many memories there as I do of our house in Anchor, and I know that in my head, (enter a bit more guilt), but my heart still hurts. We’re reading a book with the kids now about another African missionary, and some of the things that the people she works with endure…I think to myself, I have it really easy. More guilt, and, my heart still hurts. Just being honest here.
If you’ve heard Matt & I share about how we got to this point in life, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a missionary. I wanted to get married and farm with my husband. BUT, I came to realize life was about more than my dreams and what would make me happy. There is a greater purpose for my life here, and I really do desire to fulfill whatever God has for me to do, wherever. He’s given me great peace about that, and I know He walks with me every step of the way. That doesn’t automatically make it easy. But then, things worth doing aren’t always easy.
So all this thinking and writing spurred a little trip down memory lane, more pictures below if you’re interested….