Sunday, June 2, 2013

Some days are rough

I recently read this article, "When She's not the Good Missionary," shared by friends on Facebook. I've read a few articles about the life of missionaries, expatriates, and TCKs lately, and since every one has caused me to break down in tears, I thought it was time for me to write a post of my own. I don't usually get too emotional here, but today is one of those days.

I think what really got me about this particular article was the reason that she wrote it. A friend dropping her kids off at preschool for the first time. Of course, that can be tough for anyone. I remember the first day I dropped Kennedy off at preschool in Conway. I cried like a baby, but I know that I was crying more about the memories I had at that preschool and how glad I was that she was there than any real concern. But, when we get back in August, we are going to send Cade to preschool. And I am going to cry like a baby. I'm going to cry because he's going to a school where the majority of the students will not be speaking English. I'm going to cry because they're going to serve him Korean for lunch, and I don't know whether or not he'll like it. And I'm going to cry because he isn't going to the little preschool in Conway where I went, Kennedy went, and my mom taught for ten years. Yup, it's going to be rough.

Some days are just rough. Those days when you realize that your daughter won't have any family here to see her "graduate" from Kindergarten. When you know that if you were "home," that your family would fill an entire row because they would be so excited to be a part of her big night. When you realize that it's your fault that you've taken that away from her and her grandparents. She is their only granddaughter after all. Those moments when you sit blubbering like an idiot and trying to hide it from your kids because you certainly don't want them to realize what you have just realized, are rough.

The days when you realize that once again, your daughter has to say goodbye to good friends. Friends that she may never see again. When you realize that she has already stopped talking about the girls that she once considered best friends. When you show her a picture of a girl on Facebook-sometimes your only connection to home-and she doesn't remember her name. When you realize how hard her future is going to be. Not only does she have to struggle with making good friends, but she has to do it every. single. year. because if she's not moving, then someone else is. That's the turnover rate here.

The days when you realize that it's been a month since you've talked or even emailed or texted someone in your family and you didn't even know it are rough. This blog is great, but it's terribly one-sided. You may know what's going on with us or what I'm thinking, but we still don't know anything about you. It's hard work to keep relationships going long distance. It's harder when you realize that you're working hard to keep them alive for those six weeks when you're actually in the same country. Some people you can keep up with all year, but then you don't even have time to fit them in the small window you have because they're lives don't stop just because you've finally flown in. Those days are rough.

In her article, Emily referred to cheddar cheese. I am so grateful to be able to easily get cheddar cheese--even if it is expensive. But the days when just a trip to the grocery store for a few things is a struggle, can be tough. We've been here nearly two years. Why does a trip to the grocery store still have to be so stressful at times? I just needed a few things, but the bag quickly gets heavy when you're walking up hill in the pouring down rain while holding an umbrella and your four-year-old's hand. And some days I ask myself why we can't just pick up a few groceries without being accosted by cameras.

Some days I simply can't handle my children being photographed and touched constantly. Thankfully, most of the time I don't mind it. But some days, it makes me want to scream. What are you doing with those pictures that you take of my kids? Why do you have to give them candy all the time?! Maybe they don't want to hold your hand or sit in your lap! How are they ever going to repatriate to a country where they fit in? Where they look like everyone else? Where no one gives them special attention? Where they don't get candy everywhere they go?

Thankfully, most days are good. Most days it's easy to see how far we've come since we got here. Most days it doesn't feel like an adventure any more; it just feels normal. Most days I'm incredibly grateful that we live in a place that is safe and so foreigner-friendly. Every day I know that we are where God wants us to be and He is going to get us through each and every one of those rough days, and I'm so thankful for that!


  1. I'm glad you wrote this post. I'd never considered any of these things and reading your thoughts really opened my eyes. You guys are amazing--- :)

    1. Ah, thanks, Angela. I wouldn't say that we are too amazing...just doing the best we can with what God has given us! :)


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