Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A View from the Piazza - #2 - The Honeymoon is Over

It has happened before and if we ever go overseas again, no doubt it will happen again.  Anyone who has ever been an expat will tell you that you reach a day when your homesickness collides with difficulties that comes from living in a foreign country.  No matter how bucolic a place, no matter how beautiful the place is (and Italy is both), you still face challenges.

Our challenges are more than when we went to Trinidad, between Sophia and I's medical needs alone.  But also our unknown visa situation adds another level of distraction as well.  All of these things converge to just make me want to go home to a land where I don't need a visa to live, I don't have to fight with the bank about "suspicious purchase activity" and I can navigate the medical system.  Add on the language barrier, which would exist even if I'd put forth some effort into learning Italian, and it's complex.

To be honest, it is a little discouraging.

I miss home.  I do a pretty good job of making this a home here, yet there are little things (and some big) that make me yearn for Houston.  There is good news on the way - in about an hour, we get our air shipment.  Our blankets, our toys, our kitchen utensils, in addition to all the new baby stuff.  It will be a busy day and one in which I might even put homeschool off till much later so we can just get organized and enjoy "our stuff."

I will tell you this expat thing is not for the faint of heart - no matter your family status!

So, between bouts of feeling sorry for myself and keeping tabs on the girls who are completing their punishment from yesterday (it was a bad day yesterday all the way around), and trying to reach another pediatric oncologist, who I'm praying speaks English, I have been seeking the Lord for encouragement.  I've sent off a prayer request to my faithful friends in the States, but all of them are still asleep right now.  So in the meantime, I have the Lord and the Lord alone to depend on.

My favorite verse for encouragement is Joshua 1:9.  It is one I come back to over and over again to restore my heart and mind when I'm struggling.  It goes like this:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

The Message translation is a good one too: 

Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.

Can't you just hear these words in Sting's voice, sounding out "Every breath you take....Every move you make...I'll be with you"?

Despite my momentary lack of courage to keep facing these challenges that I have no power to overcome, I will tell this mountain to move.  God will either move it or move me around it.  I'll take either way right now, I'm not picky.  There are better times ahead, and these momentary stressors will eventually, in one way or another, be behind me.  

It's one of those days when you just have to keep walking, you just have to keep believing and in some cases, you just have to keep swimming.  Our shipment will be here very soon, so we will be busy and that in itself is a blessing!!! 

I promise pictures and a happier post later in the week. 

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