04 February 2014

Change affects perspective

A little more than a week into our long process of (eventually) moving to Lansing, I'm still struggling to figure out a schedule. The normal-ness of my life in Amsterdam - the morning prayers that I may or may not have gone to, the university a healthy bike ride away so that it was ideal to head out to at the end of the morning when/if I got bogged down, the presence of those I loved and knew long all around me - these have been replaced with a different normal, and a temporary one at that.

To some degree, such a huge change causes some loss in perspective. Every day tasks - simple things like where one buys or does this - can become overwhelming. It is the sheer amount of things that I have to make choices about - on simple things like grocery shopping - that compound to make me feel that life is absurdly complicated now. I am thankful that I have lived in the States before, as that has helped a lot with settling in and making choices, but I still feel like I spend an absurd amount of time in every store I go to since I read all the labels on everything.

In the midst of all the challenges of a new place and my growing realization of how hard this change can be, I am also overwhelmed with thankfulness. Especailly thankfulness for the blessings of home in Amsterdam. I miss the normalness of Matthijs being around and the small things he does, like setting the table for our breakfast every single day. Thankfully, we email back and forth a lot and can skype with each other. Yet, it has helped me realize anew how much I can start taking those I love for granted, so that it is only after I am absent that I recognize how great a blessing they are in my life.

But there is also a thankfulness for the communities of which I am part. I am thankful for the community back in Amsterdam who has taught me so much about hospitality and how to care for and reach out to others - and about how one can dream big about making a difference in the world around us. I hope to take some of the crazy dreaming to the small communities happening here in my neighbourhood in Lansing. But I am also deeply thankful for the church community here in Lansing, I have been accepted and been made to feel welcome to a degree that I associate more with an intentional (small) community than with a church family. It helps that I go to everything and am hoping to take on a leadership role, but it still surprises and delights me. I believe that this is how Christianity, community, and church ought to be.

In the midst of the struggles that come with all the changes, at the same time the change has opened my eyes up again to how blessed I have been and how much I am loved.

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