I guess things are back to normal.  Or are they?  I think I have decided that there isn’t a normal quite yet.  I cannot believe that we have been here long enough for my parents visit to have come and gone.  We helped them plan their trip when we were in the states, and I remember thinking how far away it seemed.  Well, it has come and it has gone.  Unbelievable.  And I live in Peru.  Also unbelievable.

Before their arrival, Greg mentioned to me that he thought their visit would be exactly what I needed… refreshment.  I cannot explain to you how refreshing it was to have them here.  I now know that it is impossible to catch up on all of the things you would like to do with people you love and haven’t seen for 5 months.  But we made the best of it.  We did some of the tourist stuff, but more than anything we just took it easy and enjoyed each others’ company.  I cannot express the joy I felt seeing my daughter play with her grandparents and wake up in the morning calling for her Pop and Gram.  Yes, we are able to Skype with family (which is such an incredible blessing), but you really don’t realize how much you miss all of the little moments until they are right there in front of you.  They now know what expressions she makes with her face, what things make her tired, the things that make her laugh and giggle…  I could go on and on.  The simplest little things were such a blessing during their visit here, and I will cherish them all the more.

Sacrifice is part of this missionary journey for our family.  I struggle with the fact that I am choosing to sacrifice time away from family and friends that are so dear to me and my family for my children.  They can’t make that decision because I already have.  I come from a background of living in the same town as my grandparents.  The relationship I have with them is priceless.  I want my children to cherish their grandparents like I cherish mine.  That is part of my prayer for their future.  I am blessed beyond measure to have parents and a mother-in-law that will make the trip here to see us and make an extra effort through Skype and other means to have a connection with their grandchildren.  Thank you God.  I can only look to thank You for those things.

So I guess I wanted to post that I haven’t arrived totally at feeling like I am home.  I really had a hard time not imagining myself fitting into my Mom’s suitcase to go “home.”  But the states aren’t really home either.  It isn’t where all of my memories of Ana and Greg remain.  It isn’t where my next baby will be born.  It isn’t where I have set up house and made a daily routine.  Arequipa is where I have done all those things.  It is my home, it just doesn’t quite feel all together like it yet.  And that is okay for me.  I am still transitioning.  I am moving to a new neighborhood in March.  I am starting my language classes again this coming month.  Ana begins her second year of preschool after the summer.  The work is getting launched in the coming months in the area where we are moving.  And lots more visitors are coming… which equal refreshment.  God is good.  He knows what we need and when we need it.  He is patient with us, and he guides us in his way.

I did really well when we dropped Mom and Dad off at the airport.  No tears, which is a really big deal for me especially since I am pregnant with extra tears.  🙂  I did really well until I told Ana to say goodbye to Gram and Pop.  She burst into tears.  She didn’t understand why she was having to say goodbye to her two newest favorite people in Arequipa.  But she did.  Me… I lost it.  That was a little much for me to handle.  And the taxi driver on the way home probably thought that Greg and I were in a fight.  But they were good tears.  I had seen my parents and was filled with joy.  I felt a sense of renewal.  Now when we Skype, they can recognize which couch I am sitting on.  When we move to our new neighborhood, they can envision what the block looks like.  Now when Ana sees them, she can talk about memories she made with them right here in her home city of Arequipa.

The baby will be here in July.  Along with it comes my mom and sister.  I will have to admit that I am just excited to see them as I am to see this new little face growing within me.

Oh, and next week we get to host our people.  We can’t wait to see you Mark and Marlee!  The guinea pig is calling your name.  🙂


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