It's mid July and our time in Minnesota is winding down. This summer seemed to fly by at warp speed, as did this past school year. The birth of the twins seemed to be the spark that kicked life into high gear and we haven't looked back since!
We have had a delightful 6 weeks stateside. We have enjoyed spending time with family and friends, hanging out in the kiddie pool, being part of my best friend's wedding day, seeing my brother and his new wife, taking naps, playing in the grass, watching our beautiful babes take everything in and learn new things, watching our kids interact with the children of so many of our dear friends, spending time together as a family, eating good beef, worshipping at Sovereign Grace Church, riding bikes with a trailer for the babes, etc.
Yet despite all these wonderful things, this year--like every other year that we come back for a visit, I never feel quite at home. Part of it is living with other people, living out of a suitcase, having people constantly around, not having our normal routine, etc., but I think we have reached a tipping point in our life now. Mike and I have been feeling the effects of being in Thailand for four years. We have now lived in Thailand the same number of years we lived in Minnesota as a married couple, we have been in Thailand almost twice as long as the number of years we spent worshipping at Sovereign Grace. This next year, Mike will have taught the same number of years in Thailand as in Minnesota.
In all of this, our church body has changed and we feel like we don't know half the people anymore, some friendships are perhaps a little more distant from not keeping up on a regular basis through the year, former acquaintances are not really acquaintances anymore, and once familiar places are not quite as easy to remember how to get to anymore, conversations are more updates because our worlds are just different.
Parts of me grieve all these changes that I feel and observe, knowing that the longer we stay in Thailand (or wherever we live) the more pronounced they will become. Despite change not being anything out of the ordinary...close friends stay close, acquaintances drift, policies and populations change...it doesn't make the sometimes abrupt feeling change (due to being overseas and only coming back for a few weeks in the summer) easier.
But even when my heart aches for things of this earth though, I delight in knowing that Thailand is where we are supposed to be for this season.