Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Culture Stress Effects the Family

This last week was hard. Our hard week came after a really great week. See we've made all these connections and are beginning to build real relationships with people. However we have also been here almost 4 months, and we hit our first round of "culture stress" this last week. We didn't even know what was wrong, until someone else pointed it out. I hear it can hit you every 3ish months your first year.

We felt lonely. We missed our people. We were tired. (language and culture learning is draining, the stress of this learning goes up as we make friends and aren't sure the appropriate ways to interact) Facebook wasn't helping, watching friends do things we love, like visit Durango, and the Durango Daddy Daughter Dance. We wanted our safe people so badly.

I didn't want to do anything. Not even the dishes. It was hard to study or go to class. I was tired, and was feeling sick.

Our oldest wasn't wanting to go out. She cried at church, not wanting to stay in kid church. She was being more mean and frustrated more easily. She was feeling and experiencing her own culture stress also.

We were tired.

God reminded me how He brought us here. He is helping us learning Khmer. He is cultivating and developing the relationships around us, and He would see us through. He is in control and He isn't surprised at our feelings.
We ended our rough week with birthday celebrations! We took cupcakes to playgroup, class and church, as well as cookies. We celebrated Layla being 2 and me being 29. Then Saturday we went swimming like we had planned but didn't know if we had the energy or the desire to do. But we stuck to our plan. We went to a pool with some water slides. It was quiet (except for the wedding happening nearby), and it was fun! We were the only ones there all morning, and I could feel all four of our souls being refreshed as we simply enjoyed one another and played. We were all physical exhausted afterwards from all our trips up and down the slides, but so full and refreshed. That evening we had some teammates over and I cooked enchiladas, Spanish rice, and we ate ice cream cake. We watched youtube videos, we played games and we laughed late into the night. (10 pm)

I love how God knows exactly what we need when we need it. I love how He allowed for our low to come when He knew we'd have a time to recover and rejuvenate. He is such a good Father.

We entered this week refreshed, and feeling much better. We enjoy a date afternoon Monday (a gift from our office directors for our birthdays), and entered this week so much better than we have recently.

I think here we call this low culture stress, but I think we hit these points in our home cultures too. They just feel different. Don't forget to see where you are. To rejuvenate, and to remember the beautiful promises God has given us as we follow and trust Him in all that we do.

Before the ice cream cake 
After the ice cream cake
Because sisters share a smoothie.

No comments:

Post a Comment