Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Being here.

While driving back from dropping off Yoonseo in Harrisonburg, Dad and I were jamming to some good old Second Chapter of Acts. I heard from good trivia about them, including the fact that the beautiful alto that I thought was one of the sisters of the group was actually Matthew Ward as a young teen. The kid (and the man) have some pipes! Here's a song that showcases his sweet vocals: Star Light, Star Bright.

Well, it has been some time! I originally thought that I would give up writing this blog, but somehow it's therapeutic to write out happenings. It also helps me with my attitude, to not view my life in the U.S. now as an ended adventure, but simply a continued one.

The first part of the continued adventure begins not even 24 hours after I landed in the U.S. I called to check about a job lead to see if I could get more information, and instead was asked to come in for an interview. That day. As soon as I could. So after hanging up the phone I headed up the road to Winebrenner Theological Seminary to interview for the administrative assistant to the vice president position they had open. Less than a week later I found out I got the job! It will pay enough to allow me to live with my bestest of friends, Gabby before she leaves for South Africa next year. One more little personal message from God telling me to stop worrying so much about stuff. It's covered. This year has had so many moments like that, where God shows me a specific worry I've had and then shows me how it is small beans because he happens to be the one getting things done and taking care of people around here.

The second part of the adventure was a trip to the Philadelphia area for a Fickett wedding! Weddings tend to be joyous in general, but Fickett weddings are extra joyous. A very big congratulations to Seth and Natalie! It was so fantastic to be surrounded by so many beloved people at once after being of the country for so long. Love and hug tank was "oversploding" by the end of it. It's a very good thing to come from being surrounded by lovely people in Korea to being surrounded again by lovely people in the U.S.

Which only continued with a week at Roxbury Camp! Not only did I get to visit with some of those nearest and dearest to me, but I also felt like I got a much-needed, direct-in-the-vein spiritual nourishment. I was blessed immensely by Grace and Peace Mennonite Church in Korea, and by the wonderful people who translated for the English speakers week after week (thanks Yoonseo and Jae!). However, there is just something about hearing spiritual truths and encouragement and worshiping in your own native tongue. It's like speaking on a real telephone after listening through a walkie-talkie or something. You just get it a little more deeply. The two biggest things that have stuck with me from the week:

1. When you hear some spiritual truth, don't be looking around or busy thinking about who you think "needs to hear it" the most. Instead of farming off nuggets of God's word on to other people, how about examining yourself? It most likely applies to you! 

2. We have to be digging into the Bible. Calling myself a Christian and not spending time reading and studying the Bible is  like trying to say I've got working lights when all I have is a light switch attached to nothing. No source, No life. Also, any study of the Bible should conclude with me asking the question, "So what does this change?" Because as John Fickett once wisely said, it's not just Bible study, it's Bible "do-y." 

Phew. Those are toughies. Still working on implementation...

Then, after Roxbury came one of the most exciting parts! Yoonseo finally arrived in the U.S! I want to personally give a high five and a slow clap of honor and amazement to those of you who have been in/currently are in a very long-distance relationship. Because it's not easy, especially ones that deal with conflicting time zones. I did it for only three weeks and it was kind of the worst. It's very easy for one or both of you to feel very isolated, left out, and in my case very insecure. I need a lot of reassurance that people still like me and care about how I am doing (even from boyfriends) and I like to know how people are doing themselves, what they're up to, how I can pray, etc. So, having to receive or not receive that mostly through impersonal methods like texting because of distance and timing was very, very difficult. It was fantastic to see him again, like my heart could breath a little easier. We're still kind of far away from each other, but the same time zone helps a lot. Also, two hour drives are kind of small beans by American standards. It's hard to get much of anywhere in a country this big without driving that long.

So what's next? Three days into my new job, I am excited for students to arrive, and excited to soon be finished creating a computer (instead of paper)-based contact list. Data entry unfortunately does not make my heart sing, but I recognize my need to learn better organizational skills, something I think this job will give me some excellent training in! Though Excel may not be the most interesting, I am also getting to do some book editing, which I do very much like.

The main thing is learning to be here. And really be here. I guess it's an ailment of many young adults, and especially ones that travel, that you're just kind of 'hanging out' until the next big change. And that feeling of just 'hanging out' can make you feel a little detached and anxious for things to 'finish' and be on their way. It's also a little tough to realize that I'm going to have to take a break from being a teacher for a while, which really made my heart sing. The obsession with 'having the proper documents' in the U.S. can be a little frustrating sometimes, though I understand why it exists. There is always volunteer work needed, so I'm hoping to get involved somehow in some ESL classrooms along the way.

I sure to miss those little kiddos though, with their funny Ls and Rs and verbs at the end and their fancy pencil cases and their silly conversation questions. Who will ask me now whether I like dinosaurs or dragons better and why? Who will ask me if I would rather eat a chameleon or my own hair? At some point I think I'm going to grieve a bit for the loss of that experience.
Grieve, and then work on letting what I experience now be just as meaningful and full of delight.

Delight is easier when you have such great people around...check out the quotes!

Quotes from the (New) Community:

Overheard at Sapporo Sushi in Waynesboro:
Little Boy: "Girls have armpit hair too when they grow up."
Little Girl: "Well my mom doesn't have any."
Little Boy: "Well, my dad has a bunch! a whole pile of it!"

Evi: "These apples are really soft!"
Dad: "Those are peaches."

"I see how it is! you think I'm a dog just because I'm a brother!" -Josiah's dramatic reaction to being told he had to share the sink while brushing his teeth.

Abby: "Danny! It's past curfew! the Roxbury security is going to come get you!"
Danny: "No! it you're silent then you are legal!"

Mom: "Dr. B knows what he's doing..."
Hope: "I don't know, he's pretty old...He hasn't been to doctor school in a while. Maybe you better look it up on the internet."

Abby: "Evi! gross!"
Evi: "You know what? Jesus smells my farts and says, 'mmmm I created it!" soooo..."

"Strike anywhere? My granny's fanny!"- Hope's reaction after trying to light a match on the underside of the table.

Abby: "I couldn't get a whole row to apply the wrap text function in Excel today."
Hope: "It wouldn't (w)rap text? that's Ludacris!"

And finally, I leave you with this:

A Fart Haiku by Abby and Hope and Evi

First fart of the day
that broke wind in these panties.
Will I sail away?

Thanks for reading!