|Photo Credit: Sunkist.com|
I remember the fretting I did before our family returned to America for a whole year in 2009. “What are we going to eat?” I wondered. I was thinking about olives, olive oil, olive paste, fresh cheese, red peppers, fresh herbs, vine ripened tomatoes and fruit from the market in Turkey.
Then we came back home for a year and got used to sweet corn on the cob in the summer, sugar snap peas, delicious peanut butter, corn tortillas, corn chips, enchiladas, and convenience foods. Beef was relatively cheap, and bananas tasted good all year round.
Now we’re back in America again for 10 weeks. Just the other morning at breakfast, my kids complained about Sunkist navel oranges.
“Oranges in Turkey are a lot better than these.”
“What?” I thought to myself. “Whenever I eat an orange in Turkey, I think about how it’s just not as sweet as our Florida and California oranges.”
Then recently, my daughter said to me, “Mom, I miss my life and my friends in Turkey.” This is the same girl who was pining away last fall, saying, “I just want to be with our family back home.” I understood her perfectly.
We cross-cultural workers are a strange lot.
When we’re on the field, we miss family, friends and food from home. Then furlough comes around, and after the initial excitement wears off, we miss our friends and life style from our “other home.” We miss our own beds and houses.
This makes me think about choosing to enjoy my life right now. Today. Instead of thinking about what I don’t have, I want to enjoy what’s in front of me: the tasks God has for me and the people God brings into my life today.
Despite stress, travel, and a busy schedule, this furlough has been a time of countless gifts:
- Family reunions, and seeing nieces and nephews who are growing up.
- Encouragement from many people who support our work.
- A ticket for my son go to a Dallas Mavericks’ basketball game.
- The opportunity to take my daughter to an American Girl store.
- Reconnecting with friends I’ve known for 25 years.
- Walking into the door of our home church and crying over how beautiful the worship there is.
- God’s amazing financial provision.
These are gifts God is giving me to enjoy. James 1:17 reminds me that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
What about you? Whether you’re on the field or on home assignment, what is something you are enjoying about your life today?