Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two More Days

Goodbyes are not just at airports. No, there seems to be a two-week line, that once you pass, in some way you are saying a small (or large) goodbye. About two weeks out you start waking up with that feeling—sometimes happy, sometimes not—that you are going. Change is in the air. The suitcases may or may not be out, but an informal (or formal, for type A-ers) list is being made of what will make the cut, and what won’t. At the end of meetings or lunch out, you squeeze them a little tighter. You order that special something that you can only get there, because who knows when you will get it again. You pause to watch the sunset and have all kinds of nostalgia and wonderings about the future.
One week before leaving the heat turns up. You stop doing the things that aren’t necessary to do, and get busy with the things that are (and hopefully keep sleeping and eating). You start giving away food you know you won’t eat, at the same time as making twice as many trips to the store for the things you think you will need. Piles of paper are dropped in the trash as it suddenly becomes clear you will never do “that,” it just looked nice on Pinterest. You’ve made all the calls to those people who you must have one more time with.
Leaving well is about organizing your stuff so other people (who shouldn’t have to) don’t have to. It is about making sure all the dishes are done and the fridge is clean. Leaving well is about making sure you and those who love you have time for closure. About saying the things that need to be said, and letting go of the rest. Leaving well is being prepared to arrive well: stepping from one life into another doesn’t pause and reset. And when you are married and have kids, leaving well means doing all that times a million.
Three days out you’ll get your period or your computer crashes or someone gets sick and all your timelines and lists get thrown out. You toss it all in the air and hope it lands, folded, into the suitcase. You realize you just can’t go through another round of goodbyes because you will fall apart and so you nicely excuse yourself to soak in a tub and forget for a couple of hours. Forget that everything is changing, and just be still.
Until you arrive at those airport goodbyes, which are already mixed with the adventure butterflies, because in every change there is hope, even if just in the unknown. It isn’t until the bags are checked (and not overweight) that the first sigh of relief escapes, and you turn your energy on to hoping that the long flight has personal TVs. Because really, thinking about anything else is overwhelming.
Once the fun of seeing everything small and insignificant wears off (about an hour into the flight), you let yourself feel tired for the first time in two weeks, and you get lost in the world of in-betweens, because you don’t normally get to be lost (unless you have kids and then you just hope everyone on the flight won’t hate you and the kid will just sleep).
It isn’t until about two weeks in that you start to unpack your goodbyes. What they meant and what they will mean. It is long after you’ve put away your clothes and hidden your suitcase in some corner, closet, or underbed. After you’ve figured out your new system to feel clean and normal. If you don’t leave well, life will go on. You might have forgotten stuff, forgotten to hug so and so, forgotten to thank your mother enough, but the things that matter, we work hard enough to fix, or we make do.
But it is a good feeling to know you left well. It is a great skill to leave well, built up over years of diligent habits. Some leavings turn out better than others, and most of that is not in our control. But talk about it, read about it, iron it out in your heart: don’t let it sneak up on you just because it is hard. And always remember, it is a blessing to have a place to leave that is worth leaving well.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Sunday Funday

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
Sunday Funday happened on Monday this week because on Sunday we celebrated 6 years of Cajueiro Claro:

It has been a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving week (end). Even though we were far from home, we had so many friends have us over and coming over, and my mashed sweet potatoes turned out perfectly. Thank you for your prayers as we leave this Thursday for ze US of A. We are excited to be sharing at the Christmas bazaar on Saturday (Come!) and with the kids at Shelbyville Community church on Sunday. Next week's Sunday Funday is going to look and feel VERY different. 

Reads from the Interwebs;
1. Are we complaining too much? The balance between authenticity and whining. Hard to find. 
2. The cure if you are bored with the Christian life; "Because sometimes the Gospel looks like a plate of food and sometimes it looks like a job. But it always looks like showing up."
3. How to avoid becoming a "White saviour". I am really loving everything from Craig Greenfield these days--I couldn't even wait until Sunday to read his stuff. THIS. IS. POWERFUL. And so important. Sidekick manifesto; because "In the story of poverty's end, we can only be the sidekick."
(this awesome graphic is NOT MINE...check out the real thing on the above link) 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Less than two Weeks Sunday Funday

We are leaving in less than two weeks, so if it isn't on my list, it isn't happening. If it is on my list, we hope for the best.
We did go to the beach, and it was amazing:)
Our other video is from last weeks' Sorvetada;

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Thursday is Thanksgiving! And all us "Internationals" here in Brazil get together for a wonderful time; I am always blessed by it. Here is an international view of Thanksgiving. And the cost of being gone. 
2. Gotta say--this Thanksgiving I am thinking "Thanksgiving-and-then-Gilmore-Girls" we two of my best friends are coming over and we are sitting. And watching. On Friday. YES:). Here are 10 questions we want answered. And what a great idea: Gilmore Girl themed devotional? Why do I love that show so much?
3. Welcome to holiday season. I would love any of these (22 Gift ideas for cross-cultural workers), except #7 which I already have. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Beach Sunday Funday

I am really looking forward to a short trip to the beach. While we live an hour and some away from the ocean, circumstances this year have hindered us from having any beach time (biggest hindrance: I am stingy. With time and money). Ana hasn't been to the beach since she was three months old, and I am pretty sure she loves eating sand, so we are going to have a blast.
This week we enjoyed being in a country other than the USA, and November 9th was our 3rd anniversary, rather than "The day we found out who our next president would be."
We saw one of our core team families off, as they return to the USA for a bit, and then move to South Brazil. We will miss them terribly, but being used to good-byes, we hugged and smiled and waved and knew we'd feel the brunt of the change after this phase of transitions. Our lives are speeding up as we try to fit everything in that normally would happen over another year...

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. I read this last week, and it wouldn't get out of my head! SO TRUE! When you want a different life. 
2. I am not ignoring the USA completely. I have read plenty about it through social media. I am just not sure what to say. But this piece, about missions, seems to say it perfectly. Trump supporters--welcome to the world of missions to the culture of Hillary/Bernies! Hillary/Bernies--welcome to the world of missions to the culture of Trumpers! This 1963 quote from Max Warren is it: 

"Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion 
Is to take off our shoes
For the place we are approaching is holy
Else we find ourselves
Treading on another’s dreams
More serious still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival.

We have to try to sit where they sit, to enter sympathetically into the pains and grieves and joys of their history and see how those pains and griefs and joys have determined the premises of their argument. We have, in a word, to be ‘present’ with them.”

3. For a minute I thought to myself "But I've never really been betrayed." Then I remembered. I tend to bury hurt pretty far down. When the ground swallows you.
4. So you are thinking about serving overseas? Send this to anyone you know thinking about this! There is no rule/guide book for missionaries, but this online community sure helps (and I wish I had it back in the day)!
5. The benefits of parenting in China. I want to put together a list of benefits of parenting in Brazil! While away from home, sometimes we forget there is good stuff too!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November Sunday Funday

Every Sunday I take a look around our small yellow church in Cajueiro Claro and see my daughter running around like a crazy woman. And I smile and think, "I am so glad this is her normal."
Halloween isn't really celebrated in Brazil (although for some reason, it was the reason why the kids in Guadalajara didn't have ANOTHER school day on Friday, November 4th), and we don't really celebrate it either, but I do like an excuse to dress up, or at least, dress up Ana Sofia:
Wednesday, November 2nd, was a holiday here, Dia de Finados (much like Day of the Dead), which means lots of flowers are sold. We enjoyed some good family time. Caid preached again today, and it was a blessing. This next week is mixed feelings, as our good friends, the Soares family, will be leaving for the USA and then moving to Sao Paulo. Wednesday is our 3 year wedding anniversary: 

From the internet: It's not all about war. Not too much else to say--happy voting everyone, and I hope to see love shared the day after.