In a perfect world, I would find a comfortable, cozy spot with a blanket and some coffee, and spend 2 hours free from distractions as I attempt to process, chew on, and eventually share the events of the last few weeks in a meaningful, poignant, and honest way. I would somehow capture the myriad of thoughts and feelings that are a constant undercurrent of the physical and practical parts of life. I would say goodbye with sadness to Minnesota, thankful for the life we had there and friends we made, and embrace this next season with excitement and hope! (And in a perfect world, I would be a pro at working this new computer. Alas, this is definitely not a perfect world, especially on that count.) They say that journaling is so beneficial because it helps you express how you're feeling, organize your thoughts, verbalize things. Most of the time it seems that what we are feeling is such a contradiction, it is impossible to be feeling so many things at the same time. How can we want to be in so many places at once? How can we grieve over what we are losing, and at the very same time be looking towards the future? From what I have seen, this seems to be a trademark among missionaries. Sometimes you just feel torn in two. Its a good thing nobody ever told us this would be easy. Because it isn't! So far its downright challenging, and oftentimes confusing.
Right before we left, Worthington was celebrating Winterfest, which involves, among other things, a polar plunge. You may remember that from last year. Last year, we moved here the week before Winterfest, so it was meaningful to experience it one more time to mark the end of our year here. (I did not do the plunge, in case you're wondering. I did adjust to the weather, I think, but not that much ;-). I did, however, get the kids all ready for a family fun walk at the Y. We were optimistic we could make it work. However, in typical Minnesota style, the snow was blowing so much we didn't make it out of the parking lot. But we still got the t-shirt!
Something we have really been praying for is unity as a family, and for me personally, to enjoy my children more. I am ashamed to say, but I often see them for the frustration they add to my life, instead of the joy they bring to it. In the midst of trying circumstances like moving, and everything else on my mind, I want to still grab each little moment I have with them. We occasionally see glimpses that our family time will get easier, like when the kids actually sat and "played" a game together for 20 minutes. There was no screaming, fighting, throwing things, or jumping off the couch. It was amazing. Anyways, my children are blessings and gifts, and my heart's desire of the moment is that I would treat them as such, even when they're trying my patience!
After the (non)race, we went to the Mexican bakery one last time. I wish I found the picture from last year, too. Just as when you come through trials, I think it is encouraging for our family to look back on the past year and the 6 months before that, ever since we sold our house. Many times we have been unsure of the next step (or at least unsure of how we feel about the next step!), nervous about feeling at home, about making friends, about how to get from point A to point B, about where we will live. And even though I cannot sit here and tell you its fun (yay, another move!), or I like having to start from scratch every 6 months to a year, I can tell you I can see how we have grown because of it, I can see that our family is really becoming friends with each other because we know we are partners on this journey together and we want to be there for each other, and I can most definitely see how God meets our needs and blesses us along the way.
Although this isn't how we travel anymore, Patrick and I both kept our backpacks from when we were young and free ;-) As I see my little girl, I wonder what adventures she will set out on, and when. And how I will feel about it. . .
We had a goodbye lunch out at the airport, and visited one last time with the Proclaim family. We are so thankful for the work they do, and for how many missionary pilot/mechanics they have helped get to the field. We are proud to be counted among their numbers!
Climbing the walls and running circles around me, this is about what my kids have done the past little while! Haviland is chock full of babysitters, because of the small college that's here, and we definitely plan on taking advantage of that. (Now if only we had someplace to go that wasn't 60 miles away!)
When I find it difficult to say goodbye to somebody, I remind myself that unless I had said goodbyes to other people before that, I would never have met the new person. Don't know how healthy a philosophy that is. But it does help me remember that there are many many meaningful relationships in my future. Along with having more patience with my chilluns, something else I feel God is teaching me right now is the value of relationships. People, people, people. I want to spend more time with them, not make excuses. Always so busy, kids whiny, have to run errands. I left Worthington really regretting not connectinng more with the friends we made at church. I don't want to make that mistake again; so look out - if you live within 30 mile radius of the Crisps, we will probably try to hang out with you!
And, here we are! Back in KS. I couldn't figure out how to get my new pictures onto the computer, but if I had, you would have seen a giant plate of yummy chicken and noodles, complete with mashed potatoes, that our new neighbors brought over. You know you're in KS when. . . ;-)
Pictures of our new place will be forthcoming as soon as I figure out the computer!