I’ve been in a bit of an identity crisis this past year. We landed in Michigan May 29, 2018 after 11 ½ years living in Davao, Philippines. It’s been quite a year for me. The mission community has built in community and sense of belonging. It's been harder to find that in the states.
To be honest, I’ve struggled at times with depression. The winter weather, gray skies and lack of sun didn’t sit well with me after living in warm and hot, sunny weather with few cloudy gray skies. Several of us noticed the marked decrease of energy and hope during the long, dark days of winter.
I’ve gone from living as a full-time missionary on support salary to being a ‘regular’ person, with a husband earning a steady, consistent pay check, and I work part time as well. Overseas I earned a masters degree in non-licensure counseling, which on the misison field can be utilized well, but here in the USA it doesn’t hold much merit in finding employment in social services. They want a licenced counselor. Which I understand. And if schooling wasn’t so expensive I’d work on earning a masters in counseling with licensure. But we are paying off loans for the other degree and I don’t want to add to our debt load. So, currently, as I continue to look for employment in social services, I work as a baker and cook at the high school my son attends. That will last a few more weeks and then I won’t be working over the summer.
This summer Ben will be visiting colleges.
James has music lessons and music camp.
We’ll be taking a family trip to a debriefing center for a week (at least the boys, Kurt, and I), and I’ve planted a garden which I’m quite excited about. Living overseas I started really gaining interest in gardening. I think I was inspired by my daughters and Carlo and others who are so good at gardening. I’ve planted tomatoes, pepppers (both sweet and hot), cucumbers, squash, ube (called Magic Molly from the seed company I obtained it from).
And I continue to write. Writing, gardening, cooking, time with my family. Those are things I love and find refreshing.
My husband recently got a rescue greyhound. We are all enjoying Hunter.
My sister had sent me a bread machine earlier this year and I’ve been enjoying making breads, pizza doughs, pretzels, using the machine to mix dough for making my own parmesan, garlic, mozzarella sticks and breakfast breads. I enjoy house projects and have done some since we moved in – painting walls, organizing rooms, wiping the dust off wood working tools that have been stored the past 12 years.
We are no longer full-time missionaries, but we are full- time Christians committed to shining the love of Christ where ever we are, in whatever vocation or circumstance we are in. Transition is an ongoing journey and while I’m enjoying many aspects of life in the USA, I deeply miss many people and aspects of life in the Philippines. Recently someone asked me how I enjoyed being home and I said that to be honest I didn’t feel completely at home here anymore just as I never felt completely at home in the Philippines and I think I’ll never feel settled and at home until I am living with Christ for all eternity. They understood as they’ve lived overseas as well. Hearts are in two places (or more). I got a picture of the US and Philippine flags merging and that’s how I feel. Merged.
And my true home longing is for eternity with Christ. I do hope this next 12 months allows me to find work part time in social services. I will continue to write and enjoy my family and bake and garden. And above all give thanks in all things. I’m so thankful for this life God has called me to.