>> 11.25.2012

Watch out for giant spiders that crawl on you in the middle of the night.
 It's Sunday morning, and ever since I've had a child that wakes up earlier than I would like, I've begun to experience what life can be like on a Sunday morning before "get ready for church" madness starts.
There is time to sit and drink coffee and wander through Facebook, and think about things I don't normally have time to think about.

Like all of the dreams I once had, and the way reality has played out so different (but also aligned right up) than I thought it would.

I wanted to be a missionary in Africa for a good chunk of my life.
I'd go to missions conferences at church and soak up everything the visiting speakers had to say, and I could see myself there, living in a cave and telling people about Jesus. I wanted to live the rough missionary life--the one with no electricity, no modern amenities, no distractions from the reason I was there.
When I went to Panama and stayed in a hut in the middle of the jungle, and slept on a slatted wood floor, being woken up by monkeys and goats running underneath our house on stilts, I knew that I was in a place I could stay forever. I could see my life stretching out in front of me, and I was thrilled. The world wasn't big enough for me, and I wanted to go everywhere and live with everyone and love them.
So I went to Moody as an International Ministries major, telling myself that I wouldn't let anything distract me from my goal of going out and living in discomfort so that others could hear the gospel.

These babies were so sweet.

Obviously, things changed a bit. *wink*

I got married, and had a baby, and although I did move to a foreign country, it is a thoroughly Western foreign country and I'm not exactly living in a cave like I had planned.
In fact, I'm living on the knife edge between "desperation" and "enough", so much so that often my thoughts are consumed with figuring out ways to get just a little more, so that I can be just a little more comfortable.
I am distracted by things and this is the opposite of everything I ever wanted.

I definitely got bit about 2.5 seconds after this photo was taken.

I am an all-or-nothing kind of person.
In order to shape my character, I have to make the change all at once and cut the offending issue out completely. 
No "adjustment period", no "gradual change" because I'll just slip right back into that habit.

I wanted to be a missionary in a third-world country because I knew that if I didn't have the option of having something, I wouldn't want it as much, and I wouldn't be distracted from my whole purpose of being there in the first place. 
No nail salons around? Guess I don't really want a manicure that badly after all.
No electrical outlets? I don't need to blow-dry my hair.
No clothing stores? I don't need clothes that make me look skinny/fashionable/etc.

I shared the hut with this lovely and his parents.

I think a lot of this is coming up since we're getting ready to move back to America, the land of even more excess, and I am worried about who I am going to become. 
I know who I want to be, and I know who I am, and I don't necessarily know how to make the two match up.
Maybe it's copping out, to just ask for all of the temptations to be taken away, and maybe I'd still struggle with jealousy and covetousness just as much, but...but. I'll never know.

And I think I've got the word "failure" rolling around in my head for so many reasons.

Our society always raises up those people who didn't let anything (or anyone) distract them from their purpose in life, and I always wanted that for myself. To be so focused on what I was supposed to do that I didn't let anything get in the way.
So now that I'm here, worrying about cars and houses and furniture and Christmas presents, I just can't help but shake my head in disgust at how very far away I am from where I thought I'd be.
Not only that, but I'm leaving this "foreign" country where I thought we'd be living forever after only two years, and that kind of feels like a failure as well. 
And I know that it's not. I know that we're not crawling back to America with our tails between our legs, but that we're making the decision to move where we feel like we ought to be, but...but. The perfectionist in me is still crying out, "Can't you see anything through? Why do you give up in the middle of everything?"

And sometimes I just don't know how to keep her quiet.

It was so hard to get these two to sit still for the camera.

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