I see a lot of themes happening in and around me lately; themes like rest and 'abiding' and choosing what's best. I think because of that (and in part out of sheer exhaustion as I acclimate to this two kid thing) this blog has been filled with less words and pictures lately. We've been a wee bit quiet these past few months (or alternatively, words are falling out all over the place.) and so I can imagine it is all a bit confusing if you're a regular to celebrating daily. Thanks for sticking around. It matters.
I have a handful of draft posts just waiting for finishing touches. Lots of travel tips and reflection stuff. A good mix of baby pictures, you know, the usual.Yet, I'm slow to click the publish button.
Something I am learning as a writer, at least for me personally, is that some of the best truths shared are truths that have time to be practiced. I'm finding that a lot of these truths nuggets I've discovered about motherhood, being a wife, living in a country not my own, making new friends, how God is present with the lonely, etc. are easily shared in trivial phrases and quick tweetables, but they're incredibly hard to live out. I'm learning how often I shut down any sort of conversation with as, Paul Tripp has preached, christianese phrases like "[hard life stuff]....but God is good and faithful." and I'm just hesitant to share any thing this life is dealing us when I've got a sneaking suspicion that I don't know the half of it. Everytime I start writing about it, a week later I'm scoffing at what I wrote previous.
The longer I get to chew on these truths, the more quiet I become.
Perhaps my failure rate at making use of what I know is what's keeping me quiet? Or perhaps sometimes blogging just seems to be adding to the noise of the internet. Regardless, there's been a whole lot of reasons why those handful of posts have been sitting in draft form.
A big "perhaps" reason is because: Seasons. There's a season for pouring out and sharing and there's a season for resting those words and letting them gain more flavor and meaning-like my favorite soup on simmer. Give it long enough and the words can come out tasting just right. At least that's what I'm hoping for. Also, there's a season for perfecting your awesome lego house building skills. Which, just FYI, I'm dominating at (do you see that spiral staircase action?!)
So, I hope that as we stumble into our second year living abroad, this blog will hold a whole lot more posts published, but I suppose we'll see. I want whatever we choose to share to be worth your dear time reading. Because the whole world likes to take a little bit of our attention and I hope anyone who stumbles over here can use what they get here to be more present in the lives of the people that matter-and of course celebrate a bit more. I know that's what I'm working on.
We haven't been back for over a year and man do I ache happy joy aches at returning. We have some 20 hours of travel ahead of us this week and now with two littles, I'm a good mix of "what are we thinking!?" and "THIS IS GONNA BE GREAT." After a blur (a half second, really) of getting to taste what we're missing in Minnesota, we're off to visit family and do work trips and visit some more family. Just to fly back home eight flights total and two weeks later. I know we're crazy, but I keep telling myself this is just doing a sort of international travel bootcamp. Everything is going to seem so easy after this, right? Right.
I can't decide if this trip will be bittersweet because we'll get there and it'll all feel so familiar and wonderful, or if we'll get there and it'll all have changed. Either way, I anticipate a lot of processing when we get back to good ol Helsinki. There will be joy and grief regardless. But, I'm getting pretty good at having those two coexist in my heart. So, as my favorite Finns so often say, "no worries."
All that being said,
Could you be praying for us? Praying that Elias does decent on our trip there and back (because, uh, when he's not happy he's a SCREAMER), and that if it all feels like it's going to hell (and I start sweating and can't nurse because I'm getting all nervous about a screaming baby and can't letdown and am frustrated that he won't take a bottle) that we can take a big bite of peace and realize that even in this, Jesus is present? Can you pray that Eowyn, with her FULL heart and DEEP emotions will be able to process all these "hi's and goodbyes?" She's a girl who mourns having to wait a week to see our friends again from church, so my heart aches at even trying to help her understand the next time we'll see others. Can you pray that we can abide and be present and be gracious amidst jetlag and expectations surely unmet (it's already so sad how many people we've had to say 'next time' to regarding getting to visit one on one because of such a short trip...) and that we can figure out how to celebrate well and also take care of our children, who will surely have more needs being in such unfamiliar places? Just GRACE, with a little (big) slab of mercy smacked between two big slices of patience. It'll be a blur, I'm sure. Yet, we have hopes of pleasant blurriness and God honoring responses in those not so pleasant moments.
I've been praying through what God might have for this and I, while it feels a bit ridiculous to even say this considering all that's coming, feel like he has a lot of rest for us. But God has a way of making improbable things realities. So, I'm holding on tight to being excited.
Cheers to doing hard things that make you a little sweaty and a bit smelly! And oh praise Jesus that he gives us good friends to retell stories to (thank you in advance for your sympathy laughs at the potential wild misfortune and grumpy traveler comments headed our way.)
Also, praise Jesus that we have so many hearts on the other side of the ocean that make this trip 100 times over WORTH IT.