Friday, September 15, 2017

First 30 Days in Nebraska



Transitions are a regular and repeating part of my life. They come and go in waves and sometimes overwhelm me. As I was wrapping up things in Davao and preparing to live in the US for a year of home assignment, I wanted to prepare my heart and mind as well. I decided to post a small insight or observation from the day on Facebook to record my journey for my last 30 days at home and then for my first 30 days in Nebraska. Here's a collection of what I wrote: #first30days

Day 1 of being back in the US: Glad to be able to help my sister mow the lawn. Almost feels like I've always lived here.

Day 2 in NE: It's impossible to instinctively know what time it is when it's cold (< 80 F) all day and the sun doesn't go down til almost 9 pm...oh and you're jetlagged.

Day 4 of furlough: Hanging out with siblings is nice!

Day 5: Belly laughs that end with tears in my eyes

Day 6 in NE: According to a local, Haiti and the Philippines are the same place. LOL!

Day 8 at "home": Craft night helped me to settle in and not feel like I'm living out of a suitcase.

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9th day of furlough: Helping siblings with yard work, they're sweating and I'm enjoying myself.

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Day 10 in NE: Who knew that you could buy a fishing license online while out on the water?

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Day 12 aka Day 42 of transition: Connecting my phone isn't as easy as buying a SIM card load at the sari-sari store. #imissglobe

14 days since I left Davao: Finding a daily or weekly routine is harder when you don't have a class schedule.

15th day in NE: It's so quiet here that I can clearly hear my stomach growling.

16 days since I left Davao: Each day there are moments where it feels like a friend from the other half of my world should be by my side or I should be by their side. Time and distance don't negate those connections but they do make my heart hurt.

Day 18: Saw a partial solar eclipse in Davao in 2016 & a total eclipse in NE today. Living globally does have perks!

Day 20 away from Davao: I miss the warmth of the tropics.


Day 23 back home: I do love the beauty of a big sky!

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Day 27: Today I cleaned out the kitchen...oops, she doesn't belong in the trash!

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Day 29: It's so refreshing and comforting to spend time with good friends from my other life on this side of the world.

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30th day in NE = 60th day of transition: At the State Fair viewing the animals and walking around in a SEA of red t-shirts...yep I'm definitely in Nebraska.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Last 30 Days in Davao


Transitions are a regular and repeating part of my life. They come and go in waves and sometimes overwhelm me. As I was wrapping up things in Davao and preparing to live in the US for a year of home assignment, I wanted to prepare my heart and mind as well. I decided to post a small insight or observation from the day to record my journey for my last 30 days at home. Here's a collection of what I wrote. #last30days


30 days til I leave Davao for NE: I will miss small hardware stores manned by a smiling tindera.

29 days til I leave Davao: Finding community and connections where you thought that they had withered away.

28 days til I leave: Even an honest to goodness "see-ya-later" causes me to tear up.

27 days til I leave: I will miss 🛌 💤 during in the 🌴

25 days left: Supper sorted for less than 120 pesos ($2.50)!

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24 days left until my departure: I will miss my motorcycle that gives me freedom to go anywhere, and I'll even miss the funny looks I get when people realize that a white girl is driving.

23 days left till I leave Davao: Loss reminds me that things that seem permanent aren't, so I need to
 put my hope in my eternal God.

21 days til I leave Davao: Sari-sari stores--a perfect place to pick up the garlic I forgot to add to the market list and to strike up a conversation with a neighbor.

19 days until furlough starts: An early start to a long day at school is more bearable when there's others to work with and time with good friends to end the day.

18 days til furlough in NE: Nearly empty closets make me feel both accomplished and empty inside.

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16 days to furlough: Caught in the middle of "I'm leaving so I need to pass tasks on to the next person," and "There's so much to be done and I'm not gone yet."

15 days left until I leave Davao for a years furlough: Half way there! I will miss serving parents and colleagues.

14 days left: In transition, alone-ness rears it's ugly head and it stinks! But I'm so thankful for the multiple communities I belong to!

Day 12: Like a tongue returns to a new filling, so my thoughts seem to always come back around to "Is this the last time I'll ever get to...?"

11 days until I leave: Last night in my house. What a blessing this place has been!

Day 9: Even a LONG day on little sleep in the midst of a depressing circumstance feels less burdensome when you can laugh with friends!

8 days left until I board a plane: There's nothing like a good cry to tire you out and to make the world seem better.

6 days til furlough: Enjoying the pool at the end of the day. Thankful for friends who let me use their extra bedroom by the pool.
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5 days (or is it 4 since it's after midnight?): Genuine care is a 3 course (2nd two shown here) meal painstakingly and lovingly cooked just to treat me!

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4 days to go before getting on an airplane: The chaos of packing is real!

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2 days left: One last ride home in the rain, the kind of rain where you are soaked in less than 2 seconds.

TODAY I leave Davao for a 1 yr furlough in NE: So thankful for my 16 years here and the lives that have impacted mine. Who knows what the next 30 days will hold?


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dependency and Strength

I like to be independent. Being single, living overseas, and carrying responsibility all mean that I have to be self-sufficient and willing to do things on my own. There's a strength that I experience when I set out to accomplish a task on my own.

As a teacher, I feel effective when I'm helping others - recognizing their problems and finding a solution so that they can be successful. That's a large part of my job. A good teacher helps their students.

But this video reminds me that  I can rob my students of the same strength that I feel when I do something on my own. Living in this paradox of serving but not stealing independence from my students is a balancing act. It requires me to be dependent on God's direction and draw strength from Him.