Friday, September 26, 2014

What has stayed the same

I could write everyday to tell of a new word we have learned or a new experience we have had.  Honestly so much has changed it is hard to think about what has stayed the same.  Luke and Levi were both asking why time in Scotland seems to be on super speed.  Jeff and I heartily agree that there are not enough hours to do everything we want to.

This past weekend I was able to go to a Young Lives retreat.  The young moms were from Perth and Dundee and the leader is one of the first Scot to take me around town, out for a proper cup of tea, and ride shotgun while I was still hitting curbs.  The weekend was filled with learning about the truth of God's love, grace, and forgiveness.  We also got to go on one of the largest zip lines and ropes courses I have ever seen.  I am not afraid of heights and love adventure, but my palms were sweating and my heart was pounding as we zipped over towering pines and stepped out onto tight wire stretched between posts.

And that is how life feels right about now.  Up higher than what feels relatively safe, and staring down at what use to be a normal walk in the woods.

So here is what has stayed the same.  We are tied in securely to Christ.  The only reason I would have climbed that high and jumped and swayed through the course is because I was harnessed and clicked into a safety line.  I started the course knowing if I fell I would be caught.  It made the leaping a whole lot easier.  And even though it feels like we are zipping through life at a million miles an hour, He still orders our days.  He has hemmed us in before and behind.

The story of love and redemption is the same.  The scenery is different.  The people surrounding us are different too.  But we are to love and live with intention no matter where we are.  To live poured out and not held back.  I falsely assumed the backdrop would be grey and the people here, reserved.  I cannot believe how wrong I had it.  I have never lived in a place where weather changes every hour on the hour.  Blue skies, white clouds, howling wind, sideways rain, and fog thick as a blanket all in one day.  The people we have met have been generous, open, helpful, and very willing to hear our hearts and story.  The backdrop and people will change through the years but we are so grateful for the story of love and redemption that will never change.

I still fiercely love my family and friends back home.  To leave them was incredibly hard.  To be here feels easier than I thought it would be.  I know that we are exactly where we are suppose to be.  There are few times in our lives that we have felt the pieces click into place so securely.  And we have felt a tremendous amount of grace in the transition.  But when I creak open the boys doors and give them one last kiss goodnight my heart can ache and I can wonder why we are doing this so far from the people we love.  So far from the ones who helped us understand what a family is.  Christmas is coming and I know my dad and mom's visit will have to wait.  I hear my sisters laugh and see pictures of growing nieces and a nephew and it is enough to make me forget that the heart ache is a gift.  To be homesick means we were lucky enough to have had a home.  A place that was filled with laughter and shared memories.  Parents, grand parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncles that helped mold and shape us.

I am still trusting that God will use us because we are willing and not because I have turned into a better version of the American me.  I still breakout, talk too much, day dream even more, and play Lego's when I should be doing laundry.  I think being placed in completely new surroundings can make you realize your shortcomings in a new way.  And that can make even the most playful and spirited person feel insecure and quieted.  We have learned to not take ourselves so seriously in this season.  Humility goes a long way in a new country and culture.  And it is way less painful when we remember where our worth and purpose comes from.

So as we learn words like full stop (a period at the end of a sentence), lug (ear), kitchen roll (paper towels), plasters (band-aids), and jotters (notebooks), we are also learning that the best parts of life have stayed the same.

Thank you for all the love and prayers.  Our oldest, Luke leaves on Monday to go to an adventure camp with his Primary 7 class.  They have been covering adventure and quest in literature (think Harry Potter, The Hobbit, The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe) and now they get to experience some of their own for five days!  We are in the midst of packing his bag and while I am a bit nervous, Luke is not at all.  In his own words:  "Why would I be nervous when it is something this awesome.  Adventure is always worth the risk mom."  We also have started up a leadership program to train some pretty amazing St. Andrews University students to become potential YL leaders.  We are more than excited for this next step and would love pray as we move forward.

"Love must be honest and true.  Hate what is evil.  Hold onto what is good.  Love each other deeply.  Honor others      more than yourselves.  Never let the fire in your heart go out.  Keep it alive.  Serve the Lord.
                                                                            Romans 12:9-11