Leaving Haiti once a year helps me to pay extra attention. Makes the "last days" each time feel extra deep. Makes me see beauty in well-worn places, makes me feel deep gratitude over seemingly shallow things.
I can't wait for some always long-awaited time with dear family and friends for myself and even more for my girls. I can't wait be able to have short-term yet preciously "normal" relationships with them...like being able to CALL Elisa any time I think of her, being able to go to the store with my sister and get coffee with her and love her baby, being able to meet for dinner, being able to see the grandmas who just aren't into this whole internet thing.
I can't wait to go to the doctor...to learn something about this baby other than that they (singular. Well. I think singular) are kicking me. I am so thankful for the kicking. But I will be thrilled to know something, to see something, to hear something other than this kick and lots of prayer. I follow all you dear ones on Facebook and I rejoice over genders and google over ultrasound images and love hearing what your doctors are telling you. I know these are luxuries, not necessities...but it will be fun to join you in luxurious knowing.
Between living overseas AND being pregnant, I can't WAIT to eat so many things I can't even tell you. I find myself thinking about weird and fabulous foods (and someone else making them) WAY more than I should be.
I can't wait to stay home with my girls for a little while. To wake up in the morning, to eat breakfast with them, and then instead of kissing them and rushing off to a very busy morning that never allots enough time to get everything done... BEING with them...doing school with them first instead of after, not balancing them with dozens of other people, many days, all day. To stay in my pajamas past 6:30 am and NOT have anyone know.
I can't wait for a dishwasher, for grapes, for ice cream, for all the little special dumb things that make America razzle-dazzle to my girls and to us. The penny horse at Meijer's that is just for NO reason, slushies, slides, kids menus, smooth roads. Machines that sell stickers, helium, parades that throw candy, things designed for nothing other than AMUSEMENT. It's crazy to them. And fun to watch.
But Team Taco Tuesday makes me want to cry. I know you think I don't know what a gift it is to have the community that we have. But I do. I DO.
Leme and Jodenel, Phil and Em, Rosa and Caleb, Junior and Lucner, Claudin and Simeon...I mean, everyone is going to do GREAT. But I love watching them do great. Praying for them as one who intimately knows. Hearing their laughter and voices, knowing their struggles and triumphs. Helping. Being there. Doing it together.
I love that the girls daily head out in search of Granny or Uncle June. That I find them, on my way home from work, shelling peas by Granny's feet, wiping sugar she's given them off their lips, telling me all the things going on in the cafeteria. That I find them, squealing over Junior's newest pets, fixing bikes with him, talking his ears off.
I LOVE listening to Lily, and now Sofie, chatter on and on in Creole, animated and passionate, saying things in ways that make me realize I've always been saying it WRONG. Love watching them devour nasty deeply appreciated Haitian foods that I just can't come to appreciate. They are such an interesting mix of Haitian country kids of American city parents.
I love the daily opportunities to show total strangers love...cooking for them, learning about them, learning from them, growing in relationships we NEVER would have experienced short of His many bizarre connections through Haiti. It's just not the SAME in my home culture...and every time I try, I realize I am freaking people out.
I love seeing the stories, hearing the stories, being there for the stories, telling the stories. Trying to learn what He's trying to teach through the stories.
I love being constantly reminded of how badly I need Him. How deeply He loves.
I love how much easier it is in an impoverished culture to keep my perspective closer to His. The moment I hit American soil, I instinctively start noticing that my clothes are not in fashion, that my ends are split, that I'm always permenantly 10 lbs. heavier than I wish I were. That I'm so tempted to comparison. That I feel so self-conscious. That I feel, suddenly, that I need so many things that I didn't realize a few moments ago that I needed. Living in a community driven culture is very different than living in a material driven culture...and for me, I find it much easier to find myself in Christ and not in the eyes of the world in Haiti.
Two such very different cultures, languages, food and places all bottled up in Matt and I, and as he is always marveling (or dealing with), one of us feels things much deeper than the other :)
Just as living with one foot on His earthly kingdom and one foot in His heavenly one is always pulling, living with one foot in America and one foot in Haiti is rarely in harmony. When we're here, I miss you all there and when we're there I miss you all here and there is so very much to appreciate in both. We are so blessed simply to be His children and to have each have a call on our lives to be active on mission field earth.
My harmony, as always, is just in Him. My home, just His heart.
Such very vast mission fields, both.
So much spiritual poverty, so much need for Him in both.
Wherever we go.
Thankful He goes with us and that it's all just His, anyway.
Tomorrow, John and Dorothy arrive, and Friday, the Martin family!