Its been a little bit since we blogged. We had about 2 weeks to get settled into our place and start regular meetings with the team here to plan for the year, and then this past week we hung out in Tirana. Sickness has made us have to slow down. We haven’t experienced any serious long lasting sickness, but it seems every other day one of us is struggling with some head, tummy, or throat issue. We are looking forward to being at 100% 7 days a week instead of 3 or 4.
I started to write that so far, 3 weeks in, we are still smiling, still laughing, still taking everything in stride. And then that night I had a real moment where I wasn’t. We had gone out for dinner for our date night and talked about all the good things and some of the frustrating ones, but even then we were still encouraged with where we were. And then the pins began to drop. I came home to find that all the photos I was putting into this post had not uploaded and had error messages. I tried to re-upload them and the internet wasn’t working. Then when the internet was back on, the upload failed again. And again. And then I remembered that I hadn’t been able to download zipped files correctly either, and I wanted to throw the computer across the room. (Just a side note– technology and I don’t get along).
Then I went to check on the laundry, where I was (foolishly) trying to get some denim stains out of my white canvas purse (said purse also has leather parts). I had done this before on a quick laundry setting, but it hadn’t pulled all of the stain out so I tried again on what I thought was a stronger and better setting. Did I mention our washing machine is in Italian? I pulled it out to find the denim stains replaced with tan leather stains, the leather bottom depleted of all life and color, and the leather straps starting to twist and stiffen. And this was the last pin to drop.
I got so upset at being THWARTED in everything that I just went and laid on the bed and cried. The crying didn’t last very long because, well, its just a purse, but it was one of the first times the struggles of living overseas had built to an emotional point. But thankfully God gave us (me) perspective pretty quickly and I could see some of the silliness of it all. I actually found a way to fix the leather bottom by conditioning it with oils and just accepted the new (not white) color of the canvas, and then this morning the stiff leather strap snapped in half. So there’s a new challenge 🙂 Said purse before and after:
Looks like someone needs to learn how to use a washing machine. Oh, and an oven (which is only half installed, btw). And a car (whose button decals have rubbed off and the manual is in Italian). And maybe even a microwave (which has no words, only symbols).
Pray that we will still be able to laugh these things off and not let them burden us as we continue to adjust to life here. Pray we would lean on God in those moments, not on our own ability to fix ourselves and the problems. Pray that God would get us to 100% health very soon. Thank God with us that we are loving this place and these people!