I should...but "they" say that you should make your new years resolutions attainable.
Well, I am back in Jarabacoa, getting back into the routine of life here. Charlotte seems like a dream right now. It is hard to remember that life is going on there. I had the same difficulty when I returned to Thailand. In my mind it was this perfect & unchanging place. Of course we know that reality is never perfect and change is one of the only constants in life(or so say some philosophers.)When I got back to Thailand after 15 months, things had been built, stores had closed, vendors had moved, etc. Life was the same returning to Charlotte, and yet different. New faces had entered the church crowd (some even 'friended' me on facebook.) Others had left (Brian we miss you!) Acquaintances became friends and some acquaintances became strangers. We had our first Christmas with my nephew (my sister & brother-in-law are in the process of adopting Cody)and I no longer have a place of my own. Buildings have been finished (I cannot tell you how different the corner of Sharon & Providence looks from 5 years ago!) and new stores have opened. People at W242 seem to have 2 kids now instead of 1. It is puzzling, this thing called life. And though the world in this past year has changed more for me than for many, somehow I feel that I am the one changing the least. Yet, on other days I hardly know myself. But, this is for certain, my time home renewed in me a hope that God still works in our lives. Still molds us; still sanctifies and refines us and when I see this refining happening in the lives of my friends and family it makes me raise my arms toward heaven and dance before the Father in awe of His great mercy that we know we do not deserve.
Life here, however, seems largely unchanged (not surprising as I was gone less than 3 weeks.) I did miss my students and am happy to see them. They are a trial but one which I would not trade (at least not most days.) They are busy preparing for semester final exams. Please pray for them - their brains are not back at school yet and they have ALOT to remember. Please pray for the staff at JCS as we too have alot to remember. Getting back into the swing of school has been hard (and good at the same time.) It was very wonderful to walk in and see familiar faces. To know that all that I do during the day is now familiar and expected. There is peace in living someplace so foreign and yet feeling so 'normal'. I think there is some deeper philosophical meaning there, but I am not sure yet what it is.
I took some really horrible video today of my walk to school. It is very bumpy - I get seasickish watching it, but if you are up for the rolling, you are welcome to take with me the walk that I make several times a day between my house and the school.
I miss you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you for ministering to me during my time home. I appreciate the hospitality, the words of encouragement, the intention, the vulnerability and the banter that you shared with me. To those of you who I did not get to see while I was home (whether you are in Virginia, or NY or Texas) I sure miss you too, and Lord willing, I will visit you this summer full of stories and exciting Dominican gifts! My heart is heavy with affection but my spirit is light with hope!
Grace and peace!