Monday, July 28, 2014

2 months in the US after being 2 years in Tonga

2 months in the US after being 2 years in Tonga.  Culture shock was really interesting those first few weeks back.  It’s amazing how quickly we acclimate to our surroundings though.  But there is something astounding about that first encounter with hot water on tap or in the shower.  The excitement in the ordinary.  My girls did their laundry in our hotel in the bathtub!  I walked in to find they had stomped on their dirty clothes and then hung them up to dry all over the bathroom!  My son Indy had to ask me how to turn on a kitchen faucet and you should have heard them exclaiming about how much food is in kitchen cabinets!  The washing machine is still pretty cool to me.  Six year old Alei looked outside at the dark clouds and said, “mom, not a good day to do laundry”!  I was happy to tell her that didn’t matter!

Oh the things we take for granted here.  There is so much here in the US.  Soo much.  More than enough. Living with people who have so little has opened my eyes to this.  I know everyone and everything is telling us we need more or don’t have the right tools or gadget.  But it’s so not true.  It’s so easy to start believing it to!  But i’ve seen and experienced living with much less and i can tell you that you don’t need alot!  So get rid of stuff!  Share the nicest things you have (and not just from your excess)!  And it’s not just materialism.  Spend hours with someone you think is weird!  Make eye contact with people.  Stop trying to push your agenda and just listen.

That being said it’s really hard to do all this on our own strength.  I tried in Tonga.  I really wanted to be that awesome missionary wife showering blessings on everyone in my path.   And i failed miserably.  Those poor souls that had to live with me or came in contact with me (like my family!).  Love is what makes the difference.  I see how love motivates everything my husband Chris does.  He has the same misgivings as me and shares the same frustrations, anxiety, and struggles.  But he is motivated by love for God and the people God has called him to.  So it doesn’t really matter what he faces.   He sees every trial as an opportunity for something positive and way to minister to others.  I am praying God gives me this same desire.  It’s not there yet, not even close.  I still feel that ache in my chest thinking about going back to it all.  So much of me does not want to go back into the struggle.  I’m so afraid of entering the place i experienced so much darkness and depression.  I still battle the desire to have a nice house, a car, and washing machine.  Everyone has their own difficulty in life that they must face almost everyday.  We need God’s grace and the strength to give up what we want and to give in to what God wants.  We could spend a whole lifetime learning what it means to lose our lives for Christ’s sake so we can find true life.   People tell me all the time, “I couldn’t do what you do.”  Yeah, me neither.

Light in Darkness

Strength in Weakness

Peace in Chaos


If anyone is interested in hearing about our experiences in Tonga we would love to get together and share our stories with you while we are in the U.S.