Sunday, May 24, 2015

Active Waiting

Here we are, 10 days later and still waiting to hear about our return date.  If we do not receive our LOI (an official letter of invitation from the Qingdao Government) by the end of Monday (tomorrow here, today in China) we will miss graduation.

I have very conflicted thoughts about all of this, which I may digress on in an upcoming e-mail.

But in the meantime I have been attempting to "Actively Wait".

This year in BSF we studied the life of Moses.  This covered the period of time that the Israelites wandered in the desert.  At all times they had to be ready to leave on a moments notice.  They lived 40 years following the leading of the Cloud/Pillar of Fire.  Sometimes they would remain in a place for a day, sometimes months or even years.

I can't imagine.

This living on the edge is starting to get to me.  I have used this model (with appropriate planning in place when possible) for our travels this spring, and it has brought me great comfort to rest in the Peace that the Father has us in the right place at the right time.  He has over and again confirmed to us that He has a plan.

But as we draw nearer to returning to China, and don't know if it is one week or one month away, I am growing weary.

Does that mean my faith is not strong enough?  No wonder the Israelites are known for their complaining.

In the meantime, I am attempting to balance being present in the moment while at the same time preparing for the future.  This week we celebrated Lizbeth's 5th birthday (where has the time gone?!-also in a blogpost hopefully to follow with some pictures).  I am also helping my parents move, an arduous task as they have lived in their past home for 22 years!  But at the same time, I am making shopping lists, to do lists, sending emails, preparing documents, purchasing high quality shoes, researching pollution masks, and the list goes on.

It's hard to live in two places at once.  At least after today we will have a better idea of a leave date!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hurry Up and Wait

Last week we were finally given the news that the first step (and apparently most important step) of the visa process was approved.  Hurray!  This important step means we will most likely be headed back to China this summer.

After waiting 2 1/2 weeks for this answer (not to mention the months leading up to even starting the process), this set us into a flurry of activity to get documents mailed to China and copies scanned and e-mailed to the appropriate parties.  This all led up to...more waiting.  The past few days have been quiet as we wait for the next step of paperwork to be processed on the other side of the world.

Once the next two steps are completed in China (in the next week or so) we will once again rush around to plan a trip to San Francisco to complete our visas at the consulate, then off to China we go.  Latest word is we might even be back in time for graduation, which is in three weeks from tomorrow!  Yikes!  Talk about moving fast.

As we muddle our way through the process I am a mess of emotions.  It has been a good year.  It has been so wonderful to be near family again and build/renew relationships in the community.  We have been so blessed by everyone here.  It has been exciting to share our vision with others and meet so many people interested in what we do. 

On the other hand, I am ready to move forward.  I am ready to rejoin our community in China.  I miss my friends.  I miss our activities.  I miss Lizbeth's preschool and being involved there.  I miss our restaurants, setting up my own home, living near the ocean.

But in many ways, I still feel so many loose ends.  I have not completed my DONA certification yet.  My parents are in the middle of moving.  My brother is recovering from an accident.  We haven't been to the zoo recently, or camping with the kids, or up to see my grandmother's grave.  We will miss a huge Greene family reunion, a cousin's wedding, a friend's reception.  I will miss the clean air and quiet countryside and the freedom of driving my own car. 

So, yeah, a mess.  You can Think of us during the next couple weeks as we are saying good-bye to so many people, places, and things.  And if you live in the area, you can even stop by to have a cuppa, cheer me up, or even help me pack :-)