Thursday, March 17, 2011

finding joy

I've been missing home more than I have in a long time this past week or two.  Although I have been feeling more settled recently (as I posted not too long ago), this past week has felt discouraging and long and I've been lonesome for so many of our dear friends, small group, and family.  I MISS YOU!!!  We have almost been here 4 months and that sounds much shorter than it has felt....I feel like surely we've been here close to 8 or 9 months by now!  Even though things are starting to feel more familiar and our "new normal" is starting to emerge, I still feel the strangeness of not being fully connected here, not having the depth of friendships or the closeness of family and (almost) grieving the things we are "missing" back home.  Not so much the physical/tangible things (although don't get me wrong I miss real butter, cheese, whole wheat flour, frozen peas, being able to read ingredient lists on what I'm eating, being able to get myself around, reading street signs etc) but the events (my niece Audrey's 5th birthday party, my niece Natalie's baby dedication, going "up north" to Cambridge for the weekend, seeing Byzz drive, visiting Abby at Bethel, going up to Duluth to see Micah, watching Charlie and Emery and Ryan David and Ruby Mae growing up, feeling baby Jude's kicks in his mama's belly, being able to be at Meggy's birth, having coffee with Katie, weekly Bible study with Shelly, going to Angela's wedding, playing bocce with the Schmidts/both sets of them, walking dates with Krystal etc etc etc, I could go on and on) and the passage of time, missing these moments of friendship and family, growing and changing.  And so you read my thoughts from this past week.

But in all of this I am fighting for joy.  I read this in Crazy Love last week and have been thinking of it often as my thoughts twist:

"It is the same way with joy in our lives.  We tend to think of joy as something that ebbs and flows depending on life's circumstances.  But we don't just lose joy, as though one day we have it and the next it's gone, oh darn.  Joy is something that we have to choose and then work for.  Like the ability to run for an hour, it doesn't come automatically.  It needs cultivation."

So I am working to find joy in the midst of missing home, on cultivating it in my life regardless of circumstance or situation or global positioning.

One thing that brought me joy this week was enjoying a lazy, sunny afternoon on our porch with two of my favorite guys in this world...we laid in the sunshine, giggling and being goofy...I wish I could have captured the moment and bottled it up to save it forever...but instead we took some pictures.  Steve offered to print them and put them in bottles if I really wanted....oh the literal, problem-solving thoughts of a man!

it all started because I tried to take a nap out on the sunny porch and lil Sonny C found me...It's not pictured, but I'm sure you can just imagine his huge grin of glee-ful excitement at "finding mama" and tickling my sleeping feet.
 then daddy came to see what was going on....

And decided he needed to add to the fun...

which he always does, quite well.

And Caleb went back to tickling feet...

There's that grin I was talking about....could I ask for a sweeter little boy?


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