Dec 27, 2010

Merry "Far-Away" Christmas

So, of course Mark and I are navigating this marriage thing, and this missionary thing all at the same time. This was our first Christmas as a couple, and although we had a great celebration with the missionaries here in Honduras...we were both missing home. It is a strange thing living on the mission field.

Visitors often ask me what it is like living in Honduras, and I have to tell them the truth, "When you are there you miss here and when you are here you miss there. You always feel split right down the middle."

This Christmas was no exception. Well, maybe it wasn't a 50/50 split for me...more like 70/30 and the bigger part was on the US side. Last year I was with my family in the States for Thanks Giving AND Christmas. The year before that was my first Christmas in Honduras, and everything was so new and adventurous, that the sting of loneliness was kept out of the picture.

I am learning a lot of things:

  1. I am complete in Christ no matter where I am or whom I am with.  
  2. We are in charge of establishing the traditions in our own families. (It just so happens that I have a family of my own now, and although we are still a small part of our bigger families, we have to start setting up our traditions as "The Youngers.")
  3. There must be space in your life: space to breathe, space to rest, space to be with Him. 
  4. Sometimes it hurts, and that is OK.
There are some other lessons I am learning as well...but they haven't quite defined themselves yet. But those 4 are pretty BIG all by themselves. They are all difficult for me to grab on to, and even more difficult to implement in my life on a practical level.

I am so grateful for my family that understands I am where I am supposed to be. I am so grateful to God, who continually confirms that for us in undeniable ways. It is all about Him anyway.

So Merry "Far-Away" Christmas! I love you guys and gals, and I miss you train loads. I hope your New Year's plans will include Honduras in some shape or form. Live blessed, not busy.

Dec 8, 2010

Where did all of the margin go?

November 14, 2010 was my 2 year anniversary of living and working in Honduras. I didn't realize that it had past until today...December 8, 2010. Not that it is really a big deal, or that I would have thrown myself a party or something, but I think that missing it is an indicator of the business of my life. I missed a couple of my friend's birthdays, and my dad' is a little out of control.

I am not sure what is going on. Everything seems to be in the air above my head, just out of reach, and then WHAM, one of them comes crashing down and that is the one I rush to work on. What is happening to me? There is no focus, there is no is all damage control.

I think there is some unspoken pressure for me to perform. I am "fresh" and "new" to the mission field, so I feel like I am supposed to work harder and longer than anyone else. I'll be honest, this pressure doesn't come from anyone but me. I keep asking myself, "Why am I so tired?" Maybe it is because I have been running non-stop for 3 years. I have got to find some sort of order before this whole thing comes tumbling down.

So for the next how ever long it takes, I am going to be focusing on not burning out. If I go down, I am no good to anyone. I can't hold myself to some unachievable standard, and then get upset when it doesn't work out. I crave encouragement from people, approval and verbal affirmation - but that shouldn't be what drives me. I think I need to realign. I have got to find some margin - that space between you and the end of the rope. I can't keep going all the way to the end of my limits, over and over again, and expect not to burn out.

If you are praying, pray for clarity, for God to show me what is driving me to perform. This isn't going to be easy, but I don't think I am alone in this struggle. Maybe we can walk this road to discovery together.