I was texting my SIL in Togo last night (amazing, right?), and we got to chatting about our next trip to the U..S. (2017-ish), and I’ve been having strange apprehensions this time around about what is usually a welcome time. So I wrote out my specific apprehensions, and  I want to list them here and figure out ways to work through them.

beautiful image I caught yesterday-- worthy of a calendar!

beautiful image I caught yesterday– worthy of a calendar!

  1. I feel more and more of an outsider when I go back to America. Fourteen to fifteen years of history have been lived without me, and I feel less and less American in my cultural experiences and expectations. … This political season in the U.S. has a certain darkness to it that is …. weird to me. Instead of solidarity or patriotism, it’s feels, from afar, like a long, slow earthquake is creating new fracture lines…. And at the same time, it becomes harder and harder for me to sympathize with certain issues, because … I am just in tears thinking about how glad so many people on earth would be for the chance to live in America. From the outside, from the 2nd- and 3rd-world outside specifically, it’s an amazing place of wealth, freedom, and opportunity … comparatively speaking.
    1. My answer for this, so far, is our home church. They are an amazing place of healing and diverse unity. The oaks of righteousness. The shining stars of my life. They are not perfect, but I think of them, and I am comforted knowing that I am going there. They are so good at loving and making people feel loved.
  2. We are considering putting Skyla and Vika into school.This raises of huge level of stress for me.
    1. So I talked to Vitaliy, and we are both OK with not putting them in school. We’ll delay this decision, and home schooling is a fine option, too.
  3. Fundraising. Period.
    1. We are reading Scott Morton’s book Funding Your Ministry, and … we may start this process while we’re still here, in our comfort zone. Fundraising takes us out of our comfort zone, so maybe it’s better to ease into it while we’re still here in our comfortable place. …. We’ll see.

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