So. Yes. Neglected little blog.
In the interest of full disclosure, during the past couple of months I have had many thoughts about posting here. I have refrained for at least one reason: In preparing to leave the US, an expat strongly recommended that any blog posts be very carefully thought out, and refrain from venting online with little thought to the audience.
The second reason, closely related but a bit more personal, is that I didn't want to turn my blog into a constant stream of complaining.
For I have complained. I've complained to God, to my friends and family back home, and (hopefully a bit more thoughtfully, but none-the-less) I've complained to expats here.
The transition has been hard. Things (as is probably typical of most expat experiences) have not gone the way we imagined. There have been many, many good things that have happened, and wonderful people we've met here, and we're careful to thank the Lord regularly for the gifts we have received while being here.
I'm finding, though, that no matter what gifts I have in life, what known balms, the thorns and pain of my experience will always take front and center. I'm sure there are many sanctified people out there who really, truly focus on the blessings of life and are not as innundated with the difficulty of life. I am not one of those people.
Spiritually I am growing, I believe. A friend once said that having a child will reveal cracks in your marriage. I would take that sentiment and say, "Moving into a new culture will reveal cracks in your relationship with God, spouse, children and, well, in everything." The unseen and sometimes undefined pressure that one feels (culture shock) is ever present. Even when I stay at home all day, the knowledge that doing any small task will require hurculean effort causes me to think twice about how desperately I actually need to do that task. (Which is why Charis will be getting her 12 month shots a month late...!)
I pray that the Lord will give me strength in a way that I've never appealed to him before. Adam and I are completely humbled at the sheer number of times we fail each day. (I absolutely, completely and utterly failed at making french toast the other week. FRENCH TOAST. It might be the single most simple dish ever, and yet: Total fail.) Endurence and energy are now commododies that are absolutely vital to me, whereas when I was in the US, it was usually a prayer I'd toss up to God when I'd stayed up too late the night before an early morning at the job. (On that note, I take naps here more days than not.)
I think it will get better. I guess Hope springs eternal, and if I were absolutely hopeless I would have turned around and headed back already. So, it's a good thing.
But until it gets better (I've heard it never gets "easy" per se), I trust the Lord to provide my every need, whether that is simply the energy to clean up the Kitchen, or the energy for a 2 hour grocery shopping trial where you're guessing at prices, translations and "What IS that green vegetable, anyway?"