Thursday, May 1, 2014

Things I've Learned Living Overseas

We leave in a few short weeks to head back to the states and it's been the source of some reflection for me.  I wanted to think over the last few years and compile a list of some lessons learned.

This is by no means a comprehensive's only meant to be a list to remind me in the future of how God has molded, shaped, and allowed me to be challenged over the past three years :)
*Learning A New Language - this has by no means been a piece of cake.  Slavic languages are NO JOKE.  So being a challenging language in the first place, then add in the birth of two babies and becoming parents, and well, I'm just glad I've been able to get this far :)  I'm thankful I've learned to communicate and can get around town with my Slovak.  God's grace, for sure.

*How To Be A Family - we've had lots of time just the four of us to learn and grow.  There hasn't been much help (not like having family nearby) and at times we've felt alone, but it's also strengthened us as a new family.  J and I have really learned to work together as a team, which has been a good thing.  Of course this is a process and we'll continue to learn how to work together as a family, but these three years have been important ones.
*Driving Manual - Haha! I was so nervous about doing this in the beginning, but thanks to Sonya and the hubs, I slowwwwwly gained confidence and can now say I'm a legit manual driver.  Now, it's still not my favorite thing to do, but I can get from place to place and feel generally ok about it.  That's success in my book!

*Contentment - I've been learning to strive for full contentment in Him.  I think this is a lifelong lesson, but I've been consistently reminded of the importance of contentment in Christ over these past three years. 
*Navigate A Large City - When we first came I was so intimidated at the thought of getting lost in the city.  I was oh so nervous about catching buses, trams, trains, etc.  It was intense for me having come from a city (and country) where everyone just mostly drives from place to place.  But slowly I've grown confident in my city-navigating skills and now fearlessly can get from almost any place in the city to another.  Yesssss!

*Appreciation of Technology - Man, technology makes the world a smaller place! Thanks to Skype and my iphone, we've been able to keep in touch with our family and friends from around the world...I don't take technology for granted these days.
*His Plan Is Bigger - The biggest lesson I've learned while being over here.  And I, again, think this lesson is a lifelong one as well.  It's so easy for me to have plans in my mind and heart, but at the end of the day I realize all over again that I am just plain and simple, not in control.  He's got it planned out and I am but a small, small part of it all.  I'm sooooo still learning this and will continually be, I think.

Some of these lessons learned are simpler, others are a bit more heartfelt, but either way I've been learning a lot.  Bottom line:  We've experienced challenge, joy, hardship, love, fun, friends, disappointment, and a whole plethora of other things during our time here...and we're thankful for it all.

1 comment:

  1. I love this kind of post! I too have a couple drafts started with similar content. It's good to reflect and good for others to read too. I don't know if I knew you were driving manual! Good job! While you've been learning a whole new way to drive I, on the other hand, have driven a total of 20 minutes in the past 3 years and that was on a back road! I think I'll have to relearn basic driving when we go back to the States! And amen to learning about contentment! Totally relate to that and definitely agree it'll be a lifelong pursuit. Love you friend and love your heart!


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