Nov 27, 2012

There and Here: Thankful


Coffee steaming and that bright nighttime moon moving towards my friends on the other side of the world, I sit here in my living room simply thankful.

How fitting that we went over Thanksgiving.

I'm exhausted and stretched thin, staring at piles of Christmas Ornaments in my living room floor, but I'm joyfully thankful.  Thankful that my feet can be planted on the ground either here or there and I can be fully present in the moment... savoring it for what it is and soaking in the beauty.

I was so scared to go.  What if I loved it and didn't want to go home? What if I hated it and couldn't wait to get home?  Fundamentally both were fears of not being able to be fully present in the moment - living in either the past or the future... joy-stealers.

But it wasn't like that at all.  I ate a steaming plate of baozi and enjoyed every bite.  I watched my little girl clamor up the great wall, blonde curls blowing in a breeze.  She shared my lap with a love-hungry little boy, who scooted up to me on his bottom from across the room, and they both laughed.  I held one of my dearest friends' newborn babies, remembering the day almost two years ago when she held my sweet girl a few hours fresh.  I sat with a friend over a cup of hot coffee, talking about what it means to love Jesus and love others and have peace no matter the circumstances.  I found a discarded piece of the village to bring home with me.  (It will fit perfectly in that spot on the kitchen wall, reminding me of ancient ruins restored to places of life and beauty in the broken.)  I listened to my joy-FULL daughter delightedly calling out ShuShu to all the kind uncles (and aunts) she met and saw big smiles spread across surprised faces.  I enjoyed jiaozi made by my favorite jiaozi maker in all of China.  I worked with the seamstress to design new products (with my sister-in-law and childhood best friend) while Cora played in the seamstress' living room with her granddaughter, happily munching on an apple and watching Chinese TV.  I had lunch with my oldest Chinese friends and her family, marveling at how easy it is to pick up where you leave off.











It was hard and exhausting and stressful at times, but it was so very good.  And this time, when I left China, I didn't leave with tears.  I looked forward to my cozy little home, seeing my sweet girl reunited with her Dada, petting my very own village mutt, and of course, sleeping in my own bed.  I left thankful.

I may never be able to be in both places at once... but for the first time in two years, I know my heart can be split and it doesn't have to break.  



7 comments:

Laine said...

Praise the Lord!

Yes, how fitting you got to go on Thanksgiving!

I am so so so happy that you did!

T & T Livesay said...

love that last line. love that you got to go back. praying for you as you process and prepare for the Christmas season.

Lori Poppinga said...

Wonderful! God is good and his provision is always right on time. Looks like you had a wonderful trip and sharing it with your daughter brought both places together.
Keep up the God work.

Shari said...

So glad that you finally found peace in your heart:)
Looks like you had a wonderful trip.

abigail said...

bracelet louis vuitton
bracelet vivienne
collier chanel
collier juicy
collier louis vuitton
collier vivienne
main bracelet chanel
Porte cles chanel
Porte cles louis vuitton
echarpe
echarpe louis vuitton femmes
echarpe louis vuitton hommes
bottes & boots
high bottes chanel hiver femmes

Kristi said...

Carrie, I've read this post about five times now. It made my heart smile with you and the last line gave me such encouragement... "I know my heart can be split and it doesn't have to break."

Thank you for sharing your heart!

Carrie said...

So I haven't read comments in a long time, and I realize most of you might never see this... but...

@Laine - Thanksgiving truly was the perfect time!! :) @Tara, thanks, friend - I really need to write you back from long, long ago. You've been on my heart this whole month. @Lori - sharing it with my daughter DID bring both places together. You are absolutely right! @Shari - Thank you, friend. And thanks for your prayers these last couple of years. :) @Kristi - I'm so glad! I know you live with a "split" heart, too. But realizing the difference between split and broken gives me more joy and peace than I thought possible! :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails