I was pondering how I’ve readjusted to Russia on various occasions, and I realized that having a child definitely makes a difference. I’ve struggled to understand other ex-pat parents in the past, and now I am getting there myself.
Without kids (or a husband), I would arrive and hit the ground running. Back to the orphanage the next day, or getting called up to teach Sunday school because someone else was sick. Just kidding, that’s an exaggeration…of course I had the jet-lag, and it’s worse flying east than west! But I got into society…I had to.
Fast-forward to this past Sunday: almost 3 weeks after arriving, I got on the metro the first time, and went to church. When you delay re-entry, you are in a bubble of sorts. Maybe it is easier on your health to take one shock at a time, first getting used to your home-away-from-home before venturing out into your culture-away-from-your-culture. And actually, I was in domestic bliss-checking out the new shelves Vladimir put up in our kitchen; rediscovering cups and plates; setting up David’s new toys and books….But there’s more to life, isn’t there? We are meant to go out and see people! We had colds though, so had to be quarantined a bit.
Those of you who hit the ground running and/or come on a short-term trip with a packed schedule: You get tired! You’re immersed! You have to face your fears ASAP, because you can’t wait a week to mail that letter or make that phone call. Short-term missions has its critics, but there is a vulnerability there that makes you seek God in every little moment.
Not sure where I’m going with this….marathon vs. sprint, perhaps? We are in a “slow and steady” phase of life, with occasional bursts of panic frenzy more intense activity…like this week, while Andrei has been teaching at two different universities and preparing for 2 upcoming conferences. But we’re really thankful for where God has brought us so far and for whatever the future holds!
Another thought from today: Took D. to an athletic field to run around (please oh please go to bed earlier tonight) and we came across an middle-aged man (after an injury?) doing PT with a trainer. It looked like he was learning to WALK again. I hope this doesn’t sound totally inappropriate, but I wanted to watch! Isn’t it amazing to witness a healing process? Not to gawk, but to see how far a person comes. I peeked a little bit and noticed how hard they were working to take steps…we went to the store and came out and they were still training! I wonder what he went home and told his family…was it a triumphant day, or a setback? Sometimes it may feel like we are limping along, but aren’t we advancing all along, thanks to the Great Physician?