Thoughts from the Box Factory

I have a baby asleep on me and another one who is finally content to stay in one room and play. Since I wouldn’t dream of moving and disrupting what is the only moment of peace I’ve had all day long, I’ll sit here and write an update. It sure beats counting the ceiling tiles.

We’ve been living in Oklahoma now for a full four days. This is the longest span of time that we’ve spent in one place since returning to the US last month! It’s been great to have time to see our families, visit with them, and take the time we needed to transition back to life here. Our last few weeks in Japan weren’t easy, and we left feeling pretty wounded. I never imagined that a pastor leaving a church in a GOOD situation would cause some people to have such negative and hurtful reactions. There were only a couple of families who felt betrayed (which everyone else had a hard time understanding, us included, since pastors rarely spend their entire lives in one pulpit), and even though all but one person sincerely apologized publicly for their actions, I’m ashamed to say that I still resent the way we were treated and that I will probably never be able to forget what they did. Praise God for Wes and for oneness in Christ in this awful time. If God did anything through it all, He reaffirmed our call to ministry and brought us closer together. I’m still working through it all, still trying to figure out how to minister without taking a beating from unhealthy people, how to forgive… just a tough month. I just wept as our plane left Okinawa, remembering the really amazing times, the precious people who we loved serving alongside, the memories our family made there. God was good in sending us there, and He was good in calling us away.

Anyway, we’ve been having a good time here in the land of plenty. I had forgotten just how amazing Wal Mart is. Wow! I told Wes during our first trip that I couldn’t find anything in the entire store that I didn’t need. I needed it all! I did refrain from buying all but a few items, and now that the newness is starting to wear off (after about twenty trips), I have the clarity to see that I don’t actually need everything there. It’s been fun looking, though.

Our girls are finally over their first American illnesses. We ended up taking both of them to the doctor at different points because their symptoms were so different. Ana just had a few days of throwing up (which didn’t seem like “just a few” at the time), but poor Emma had two solid weeks of constantly runny diapers. We were changing her every hour. Miraculously, though, she didn’t get dehydrated, and even more shocking, she never stopped smiling! There’s nothing sadder than a sick baby, but Emma’s sunny disposition sure made it seem a lot better.

Speaking of people/things being on the mend, our car still needs to go to the shop. The other driver’s insurance finally gave us the green light, and we’ve been driving a rental car for a week now. You’ll be glad to know that when it comes to front end collisions, the 2007 Hyundai Sonata can take a hard hit and just keep on trucking. Well, when someone reattaches the entire front bumper, rehinges the hood, fixes the headlights, etc, etc. I think I was too prideful about driving a nice, new car. And right before we were about to do our final walk-through and sign the papers on our house, God took care of that. It’s just stuff, we told ourselves as we dragged the front part of our brand new vehicle out of the road and continued to drive with the hood threatening to fly up. And it is. Just stuff! Wes and I played a game as we drove our wreckage to the bank to close on our house, listing things to be thankful for. It wasn’t our fault, the other driver had insurance, the girls weren’t in the car, it didn’t happen in Japan where we would have likely paid thousands of dollars to have everything fixed, we weren’t hurt at all… see? Always a silver lining!

There are still boxes all over our house, but I feel like I’m making some progress in the unpacking and organizing. I found our waffle maker a couple of days ago, so it’s been bliss since. Mmm… Most of our stuff was packed up before we left for Okinawa, before Ana was even born. It’s like being newlyweds again, opening up all of the things that were in our first home… realizing that most of it isn’t baby friendly at all! Wes did the honors, though, and broke the first precious keepsake (on accident, of course), so that our girls won’t have to feel bad if they do likewise with the others. We’re glad to have a home that really feels like ours, and we’re looking forward to making it more and more liveable and less and less like a box factory.

My shoulder is almost completely asleep now (Emma weighs 17 and a half pounds!), and my arm
and hand will likely follow in a few minutes. So, I’ll close for now.

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