Saturday, March 11, 2017

Perspectives change over time....

My mind has been reeling lately about what I should post about next... everyday I have a new idea, and then  lack the time or energy to do it that day... Then when I have the time (like now) I can't seem to remember what I was planning to write about... The girls and I have spent a large portion of our week here at home, organizing toys, and playing with said toys, cleaning up potty accidents, and doing all the extra laundry. My patience has been thoroughly tested between my almost 4 year old and my almost 2 year old, and  when we leave have left the house all the boundaries that both my darling little girls know, and can stay with in are tested, and tried until we return to said home. The only exception has been playing with the wonderful kids on our street, and church last night. To be fair we skipped playgroup yesterday because of attitude issues before we needed to leave, and did lots more walking this week than we have in a while, but still... We are forming friends which is so fun, and weird... because lets be honest, making friends is kind of awkward and weird...but it feels good to be settling into our  new found friendships and church families, and life feels normal....

So... now that our weird exhausting week is over, the thing I was continually reminded of this last week was how different things look the more you look at them. The more you see the same street the more you notice. The more you look out the same window the more you see, the more details, the more that is there. I believe this is doubly true living in a new place, especially a new country. Everywhere I look I see things I hadn't noticed until this week. I think about how things looked the first time I saw them, and how many things seemed scary or weird that are totally normal now. I found myself looking at our street wondering what seemed so ominous about it in the dark when we first moved in? What felt scary? All I can conclude is that it was new, it was different, and it was city. Everything was new and different. Now knowing more language, I understand more, which helps fear to dissipate, we explore more, we know the faces on our street, and know who does or doesn't belong. I no longer feel like I walk out and am unsure which way to go, or which tuk tuk to get into. I know that I can trust our tuk tuk guys, and where to find a tuk tuk if they are busy. I know how to get to where I may need to walk, and I am always noticing things I never saw before on the walks I do most often. Even our favorite market, the first time I walked in there it felt like I had tunnel vision and couldn't ever see myself shopping in there, or navigating the vendors outside on the street with two little girls, guess what!? Now I do, and I am even sometimes able to do it all in Khmer. (Not always, sometimes watching the girls, paying, and shopping is too much for my brain to add another language too, but we are working on it.)

All of this has made me think about how I see God, how I see Jesus, and how I see the Holy Spirit. As a little girl God was someone way up there, in heaven, that sent Jesus because He loved me. The Holy Spirit was a feeling I later associated with God's presence, and eventually hearing God's voice. As a teenager, God was my best friend, and Jesus was the answer to all my sins, and still if I could pull it all together He loved me. As a college student God was someone I needed to share with others, and honor at all costs, and was becoming an intimate lifeline, and friend. Then as a 20-something adult  my view of God has morphed into this hybrid of all of the previous views I have had of Him. I am no longer just a little girl looking up to a giant God I don't understand, nor am I a teenager looking for acceptance from God. I am also not a college student seeking to debate, or win arguments for Jesus, I am somewhere in the middle of all these facets of views of God, and something very new... Well new for me.

Now I understand more about Him. Just like I am understanding more and more about where I live. I am growing in my understanding of His heart for people. I am growing in my view of how much my God loves people, and attempting to allow Him to pour that love out through me. I am understanding that this whole thing has so little to do with me and so much to do with Jesus. The Holy Spirit isn't a weird feeling, or something mystical, but a close intimate friend that I rely on daily to guide my intuition, choices, and my parenting. He is the reason we are here, we are here in Cambodia because God brought us here. I struggle sometimes singing about Him being the only way or laying down my life, because  I am living that more than I ever have before everyday, and sometimes it's easy and wonderful, and sometimes it is hard, and hurts. I know He is worth it. I know He is good, and trustworthy, and I know I want everyone I come in contact with to know Jesus, and how much He loves them. I want to see their fears erased as they fall in love with Jesus and find freedom, I want to see the striving to please Buddha or the spirits drop away because Jesus is all they need.

Yes we are here for engineering, yes, we are learning language, yes, we are here to train design professionals, but it is all nothing without sharing Jesus, without the hope and the freedom that comes with Jesus. Some days it brings tears to my eyes to vocally say Jesus is all I could ever live for because even though it is true, it hurts a little bit. It hurts being away from many we love, and trying to navigate a new culture and language is hard. It is hard when all I want to find is Lysol for cleaning around our apartment, and I just want something I can read, and I can't find it... (I know this is a funny example but I was really frustrated about this the other day.) It brings tears to my eyes because Jesus is worth it, and the value of what Jesus did on that cross is so much bigger, to me now, and I understand more of it now than when I first believed as a little girl.
Family selfie on the couch. 
Snugly Amirah.
Layla's newest thing is sticking stuff in her shirt to carry it with her... Paci in her shirt here!