"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Friday, December 4, 2009

Love & Hate

…or for those who prefer, LIKE AND DISLIKE

Since we did a post of the loves and hates after we had been in Zambia for a bit, it is only fair to do one on the adjusting back. It won’t of course be exhaustive because there are too many and they could go on and on. Some are silly, some are annoying, and some of course are really frustrating!

-I love taking a hot bath, just about completely submerged, without having to heat water for an hour. I love hanging out with my closest friends and laughing.
-I love the leadership of our home church and receiving the support from them that we need. From our time at MTI, they unfortunately seem to be the exception, not the norm.
-I love being able to connect so quickly with other missionaries.
-I love hearing that people read our blog and check it every day and appreciate that we are so real.
-I love going to the store at a moment’s notice, if I want to. I do have to break out of the habit though of getting myself a treat just because I made it to town. Paradox-ally, I hate being able to run to the store at a moment’s notice!
-I hate that my children have been hurt. I hate that they have to learn these tough lessons about God and life at such a young age; but I do love that they have a more complete view of God. I hate the conflicting and confusing emotions that they are going through and don’t know how to deal with—and the behaviors as a result. But I also love that they WANT to go back to Africa because for the most part it was a good experience for all. I love that they have a heart for other cultures. I love that we all learned that our Father has gifted us in ways that we never knew.
-I hate not knowing what I want to do with my life (I have always pretty much known). But there is also a nervous excitement about what might be next.
-I hate not knowing how “I” am going to provide for my family, I LOVE seeing how my FATHER is taking care of us at every turn. I love seeing the body of Christ doing what it was made to do.
-I love all the new friends we have gained all over the world and I love that we have the technology to stay in touch with them.
-I love seeing that GOD is at work everywhere and I hate it when I see Christ’s name tarnished by sinful children (me included in that).
-I love knowing that my Father has more in store for me and my family. That HE has used us and will continue.
-I hate having to go through the hard, ugly stuff of life to gain the growth that I desire.
-I loved the climate of Zambia; I really hate bitter cold weather.
-I love being able to eat an excellent piece of beef. I really did not like the beef in Zambia.
-I love being able to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. But I hate that I cannot buy the really good fireworks here that we used to celebrate the holidays with over there.
-I hate that I don’t feel completely comfortable or confident in this culture (I don’t feel like I really fit in, on the inside), I loved that I felt comfortable and confident in the Zambian culture and I feel like I have lost some of that somehow coming back here. I don’t fully understand it and it is hard to explain but other ex-pats and missionaries will probably understand what I am trying to say. I know part of it is just still being in transition.
-I loved the diversity of Zambia, yes diversity. It was one of the most diverse places I have ever been. There was western European, eastern European, Middle Eastern, North African, New Zealanders, Aussies, Irish, Chinese, the white Africans and more. And I enjoyed it, it made life interesting.
-I hate not knowing what people know (or more aptly, think they know) and what they think. As shocking as it sometimes is, you do get used to the bluntness and come to enjoy the directness. My sis tells me that is how it is on the East Coast as well. Brian is starting to think he would fit in pretty well out there; he and his Jersey friend get a long pretty well.
-I hate having to lose my naïve-ness, but maybe I should have long ago. We are both easily trusting-we see the best in people, that they will do the right thing. I always say to myself, “I gotta think they would see and…” I guess I am just a Garage Logician at heart! Now I say that, but then I have to add, “Well, I would think they would, but I have a really hard time believing they will…”
-I hate that I am more suspicious of people and their loyalties. When we look at our close friends, we see it is God, Family, and Country-priorities, in that order. Where do work and friends fit in? Friends are mostly in with Family, and we have always been quick to put people in our Family category, apparently much too quickly. So when we get hurt by them, it feels more like a betrayal. Our expectations are probably off. Work is in that category, but definitely below friends.
-I hate that I am losing trust in people-that is the hardest part. We don’t want to not easily trust others-how do we turn that off?
-I hate feeling like the Lone Ranger. This next part I won’t go so far as to say I hate, but it is very disheartening and discouraging to have conversations with people who agree with you on any matter of issues and encourage you—in private. But then when it is time to take a stand, they go into hiding and don’t stand with you; heck most of them won’t even acknowledge you.
-I love that despite my LOVE and HATES, they are only temporary. I LOVE that my Father LOVES me-always has, always will. He’s moved mountains for me, provided the cattle on a thousand hills and sent His Son-to die. For me, little old insignificant, unworthy me.

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