Tuesday, March 12, 2013

So This is How "It" Feels

     It all started with sparse moments comprised of deep sighs of contentment, moments very dissimilar to those I had experienced in the States.

    We all have those special times where we breathe in deeply the scent of Spring, blooming cherry trees and sweet grass. Maybe your moments are dusty fields and the sounds of bat hitting ball and cheering fans. Of course, there is the wonderful taste of turkey and cornbread stuffing or the sight of an evergreen tree resplendent with lights and ornaments. Sights, sounds, scents fill your heart with warmth and contentment and bring smiles to your face. They are little blessings from God, however small they may be, that lift your spirits. We all have them, take them for granted even. All these blessings and the feelings attached to them make up this funny little place we call home.

     And after one plane ride across the ocean, home is gone. 

     You lose your footing. You have to learn new ways of relating to your environment, even relating to God. But, slowly in His time, when you have learned He is your moment, your Christmas, your Spring, He blesses you again with these little gifts. My first "gift" was the scent of Frangipani in the wind right before the first rains of the season came.  

How oddly pleasant and familiar, I thought.

Then I started to realize I was singing along with our neighbors' Karaoke and actually enjoying some of the songs. I even knew which ones were "oldie goodies" and which were newly popular.

That feels sort of normal...

After a fun learning curve at the market, I have started craving and cooking Khmer and Thai foods. I'm even planning on packing a few packets of curry paste for our furlough, so I won't have to completely do without it.

I don't think I am going to fit in America anymore.

   They call this stage of culture shock Acceptance. I am here to tell you it is a wonderful place to be. Culture stress and annoyances still exist, but it is as if you are walking in grace each moment. God has used this stage to take me to a completely different level of gratitude and awareness of His hand in my life.


  Note: I plan on refocusing this blog on vision casting and resource compilation for missionary moms. Please keep checking back in over the next few weeks as I get things more organized. If you would like to contribute as a writer, please message me on Facebook. Lord willing, this blog with be a blessing to many!

     Have any of you felt you reached the Acceptance stage of culture shock? What was it like? Do you have nay encouragement you would like to offer others in different stages?

1 comment:

  1. I will have to say that there are days that I feel like I have reached the "acceptance" stage, but there are definitely days that I have not. I have lived in Arequipa close to five years. I have given birth to two babies here. I have celebrated more anniversaries with my husband here. My kids know the Peru national anthem better than the US. My kids think that it is absolutely normal to get into a crowded bus to take us to our destination. It is a weird feeling when my children call a place home that is so different from where I grew up. My oldest daughter chose Atomatada (a Peruvian dish) for her birthday meal this past year. I have been here so long that that "normal" is completely different than five years ago. I forget to "warn" guests of the things that are not normal for a US visitor, because they are normal for me now. On the other hand, I go through times where I yearn to be with family. I miss seeing my parents in person and smelling the foods I love so much from my childhood. I am still annoyed at my water being turned off without warning here in Peru KNOWING that it would never happen in my "home" country. I don't know that I can ever reach the point of not being frustrated with so many things like that here. Can't quite bring myself to "acceptance" in some areas.