**This is from my heart, so it may be gritty or raw. You've been forewarned and disclaimers have been said.**
Whew! This stay in America has been SOOOOO good for my heart. I'll be honest with you, living in a foreign country (although we have a sincere love for the incredible work we are apart of) can sometimes be exhausting. You are constantly living at a high level of stress that quickly becomes your norm. The interesting thing is that you don't realize how stressed you are until you return to your familiar home culture.
At times our stay at home can become stressful, but I feel that it pales in comparison to life overseas. The part of our time home which is stressful is also the greatest joy of coming home- it's planning, organizing, and traveling to see YOU and sharing with you about the amazing things we've seen God do in Indonesia! We have been intentionally traveling since January. Kate has now been in or through eleven states just shy of four months old. Every weekend she's woken up in a different home. She has been loved on by friends all over the States. We are so blessed to have shared our joy with you.
You guys were SO encouraging about this little blog. The place where I share my thoughts and feelings about this journey we're on. Sometimes it can feel like no one is reading it and no one except our family cares. I'm writing it for you, but I'm also writing it so years from now I'll be able to look back and remember and "re-feel" these pieces of my history with a vivid recollection.
Traveling around the States produced a fair amount of worry for us that had to be worked out and pride that had to be dealt with. Worry like where are we going to stay, what's the weather going to be like, are we going to be able to "fit in" all these places during this time, can we afford this. Pride like we're not gifted speakers, what did they think, how did I sound, will they partner with us. We were both exhausted after we shared a church because it stirred up so much worry in our hearts. Even though on the outside we appeared to be calm on the inside butterflies were fluttering around in our tummies which some how scrambled the thoughts in our minds making us stumble over our words. Each time we prayed that God would be glorified and that He would shine through those jumbled thoughts. That His truth would shine through our inadequacy. Honestly, I think He was.
Now we can breathe easily. We're finished sharing across the States. We had the privilege (honestly, it was SO wonderful) to share in Washington, California, Oklahoma, and five churches around Texas- the last six were just in February! (Remember I'm being honest here...) It would seem like we would be able to breathe a bit easier, but I find myself STILL worrying about tomorrow. Now we turn our attention to other worries like packing- how are we going to get ALLLLLL of THIS in a few duffle bags weighing 50 pounds each? What do we NEED? What can we live without? Another worry that is constantly there (this one is silly because there is nothing we can do to speed things up, it's totally out of our control) is the arrival of our visa. That sticker that takes up a page in our passport which gives us permission to live and work in Indonesia- when will it come? Will we have to change our plane tickets? Will it be temporary or longer term? Will we have to leave again in a few months to pick up a long term visa? My back hurts just thinking of these things!!
I desire/long/hope to lay down these worries at the feet of the One who can handle them all. He already knows the plan. His plans don't shift or change- it is constant because He is constant. He gave some practical words in Matthew chapter 6- "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." This kind of life without worry is a choice.
I am choosing to focus on the now and not worry about tomorrow- the packing, visas, money, plane tickets, travel...