Thursday, July 19, 2012


We took a little road trip a few Saturdays ago to Iowa... or was it heaven?!  If you've seen the movie Field of Dreams, you'll recognize this site.  It looks just like it did in the 1989 film.  You can play baseball on the field and walk in and out of the corn, and that's what we did for a couple of hours. So cool, especially for the baseball lovers in our family.  :-)

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Back Where We Started

The Calvary Church picnic... we attended one five years ago, literally a couple of days before we moved to Shanghai.  Last week we were there again, playing, eating, enjoying fireworks and a wonderful outdoor worship concert, just like five years ago.  Almost seemed like no time had passed at all.  It's been funny, several people I've talked with here since we've returned have said that nothing has really changed since we've been away, and in some ways it feels that way to us, too.  Our old life was waiting here for us.
Gwen sports her glow sticks as hair jewelry at this year's church picnic.
The trick is that we have changed, and in some ways I'm not sure yet where I fit.  When we left Chicago in July 2007, I had just finished another year in a long stretch of years of homeschooling.  Haven't done that for a few years now... so what will I do here in the fall?  In Shanghai I knew where I fit, I knew how to use my time well.  I know God has good prepared for me to do here... waiting to see what it will be.
Little Gwenny dancing at her first church picnic in 2006.

We saw things and did things in Asia that changed us, we met people that we loved and have now in many ways lost.  I miss those people, that community, the places we saw and the things we experienced.

I love being back in our cozy Midwestern house, freshening it up with new paint colors, arranging our life here once more.  Our sea shipment, with all the stuff of our China life, will be here on my Chicago doorstep on Wednesday morning.  Where will that Chinese style table go?  How about the Great Wall bowl and the Chinese calligraphy brushes?  Will they look silly in this very American house?  It will be an adventure to see if we can create some fusion decor.  :-)

I've gotten my fingers into the dirt in my little side garden, the one along the garage that I put in on a whim in the late fall seven or eight years ago.  A few of the perennials I planted then were still waiting for me, all gangley and wild from lack of pruning.  I've planted some new ones and added a few tomato plants and annuals... old and new, fusion happening again.

There are familiar faces here, old friends that were waiting for us.  The girls and I stopped at one family's house tonight at the end of our bike ride- hadn't seen or even exchanged Christmas cards with this family for five years- yet they welcomed us into their home immediately for an hour of warm conversation.  Balm to my soul!  We have prayed for new friends, people we don't yet know that we can share this life with.  God surprised us over and over in Shanghai with wonderful relationships... I know He can do that here, too.

So we are back where we started... in some ways.  But not really.  We are ready to move on into whatever God has for us in this old/new life.

I'll let you know when I find out what it is.

PS.  Don't you love the creative header Carol created for me?  She is amazing!  :-)