Sunday, August 23, 2015

Well, this is different!

When I started this blog nearly nine and a half years ago, it was intended to give people a peek into our lives as missionaries in Japan.  One of our first posts was about the 920 square foot apartment we had moved into after months of searching for a place to call home in 2006.  I snapped photos regularly to use for blog postings, and enjoyed opening the door on our version of cross-cultural life. I never thought that within the decade we would be living in America, with three cars in the driveway!  This past month the Lord provided a vehicle for one of our sons--mind you, he hasn't yet gotten his license, but he's close!

Among the changes in our lives since we've been back in the US is the rhythm of the summer.  As we watched photos of folks vacationing in our favorite place in Japan in July and August, I was balancing the recovery from foot surgery with teaching at SIMGo (our candidate training program) and meeting many missionaries coming through our offices for end of term visits, writing the paper for my graduate class, and helping to plan and lead the SIMReconnect,(our spiritual formation retreat for missionaries on home assignment.) Last week we had SIMStart where applicants come to be evaluated by the mission.  And this looks like a regular schedule for our summers--always with some bonus thrown in (last year was Ebola, this year was a graduate course and foot surgery).  

And now, while our friends both in Japan and the US are sending kids back to school, we see a little bit of open space in the schedule.  We have our eyes on the end of September when we've booked a vacation for just the two of us. But before then...we have a birthday and an anniversary to celebrate and Stan will take part in a Trauma Healing Facilitator Training course to be held at SIM.

Another change we have in being back in the US is that we've been able to have visits from family. This month my sister came to visit from California. It was her first time to see where we live, and she enjoyed our back porch for resting and reading on those days when I needed to be at the office a while.  It was good to have time to sit, talk, brainstorm, reminisce, and we also were able to Facetime with our brother in another state. Unintentionally, Stan flew out of NC hours before my sister flew in, and came back hours after she departed. So, aside from two young men that made themselves rather scarce, it was truly sister time!

We've also had our first foray into Worker's Comp with a son who had  the tip of a finger cut off in a workplace injury...just hours before Stan was to fly to CA.  It isn't pretty, but it could have been much worse, so we are grateful though a little impatient with the process of getting appointments with hand specialists.

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I hope to write a few post related to my "grief" study this summer. While I am not going to claim to be an expert, there were some interesting models of grief that I hadn't heard of before and I hope to take some of what was presented in the class and share it in what hopefully will be an easy to read format. A number of people  have asked me for gleanings from the course, and I realize this is a big topic--not only for those of us who serve cross culturally, but it does permeate our lives.