Monday, July 9, 2012

Today's Thoughts

It's time for this. It's been awhile. I'm feeling introspective today. Really, there has been so much on my mind and heart these past few weeks. But also, honestly, I have wanted to hibernate.
16+ hours of travel, straight off the plane to Chick-Fil-A to meet my nephew Ethan!
The first few weeks of being home were great! I spent so much time with my family and my new nephew [stinker came early and was waiting on me to get home!]. I caught up with friends. I enjoyed the things of home--my bed, hot showers, straight hair, good food, fast internet, church...just to name a few. But after about two weeks, I was sitting in church, and the thought came to me--it's been easy and enjoyable thus far, but it's about to get difficult...really difficult.

Right now, I'm somewhere between difficult and really difficult. Don't get me wrong, home is great...but home is hard. Such different worlds with different mentalities and different ways of life and different purposes and ways of relating to others with different struggles and distractions. There are so many obvious differences on the surfaces, but there are so many differences under the surface too. I usually spend a good month trying to remember how to be an American. No joke. Conversations seem surface and superficial, and sometime awkward. Sometimes things or situations or reasons don't make sense. Sometimes I just don't get white people [no offense...but there are also plenty of times that I just don't get Liberians either]. It's just an adjustment.

Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into a month. I've been home for a month! The busyness of life in America has taken over. Those dang iPhones have also taken over, ha! I feel disconnected. I ache for community. I desperately want to connect with like-minded people who are [preferably] around my age. I told my mom the other day that I really feel like an alien, and I can't figure out where the aliens hang out around here. It's true.

I get multiple phone calls from Liberia every week, sometimes multiple phone calls in one day. They make me so happy, and make me miss Liberia--mostly just the people who are on the other end of the line! I hate when I miss a phone call from Liberia, but I love the voicemails of child after child telling me hello and that they're missing me plenty-o! I'm missing them plenty-o, too!

Ok, so let's get the nitty-gritty out of the way. The frequently asked questions:
Q: When are you going back?
A: I do not know. My time with ORR is finished, but I know that I will go back to Liberia. I will be home for awhile.

Q: Are you going to get a job?
A: [my toenails curl...and I try to smile, be nice and answer the question...] Right now, no. I have money saved, so I'll be ok for now. I also need the time to rest, enjoy, be still, wait, grieve, etc. I am continuing to refinish furniture (great excuse to turn on some worship music and get lost in paint therapy), and will probably just stick to that as a "job" for now.

Q: What's next?
A: That's a great question! I have no idea! It's time to get life back in the reigns, and really spend some time being quiet and still. God has given me alot of ideas, dreams and passions, and I need His guidance and clarity. It's exciting.

[Those are the three most FAQ's, but I'm going to throw in the most important FAQ that's not really a FAQ, but I sure wish it was!]

Q: How can I pray for you?
A: How much time do you have? You can pray for my continued adjustments to life on this side of the ocean. I don't want to fall back into 'normal life', but want to continue on the momentum from all that God taught me during my last 4 months in Liberia. Pray that I will take the time that I need to rest, think, grieve and reflect. Pray for understanding from those around me. You can be praying that my eyes, ears and heart will be open to His voice--for wisdom, clarity, direction and guidance. Pray that God would provide me with the things that I'm aching for--community, worship, fellowship, friendship, fellow dreamers. You can also pray that I would figure out how to live day-to-day life here in America with the same desperation and purpose that I have in's tough. I think that's a good list to start with!

[If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask...but I can't guarantee that I have the answer.]

All of that to say, I'm home...things are good, but it's also difficult...and you can be praying for me! The introspectiveness is really starting to go crazy, so I'm sure there will be much more to share in the near future. I also had a birthday yesterday (I'm ninety two years old now, according to the wait staff at the Mexican restaurant that put the candles of my cake yesterday....but I feel so young and look so good, haha!), and I really believe that, although this past year was quite the ride, this is going to be the best year yet! Thank you again for all of your encouragement, love, prayers and support!!!

1 comment:

Rebecca Pratt said...

Great blog on your thoughts Ashley. We will be praying for clarity and direction in these months to come. Much love to you!