if a facial expression could describe how I have felt about living in england the past 7 years, this would be it.
seriously, i have found it so hard and have been pretty cranky about it. bless richard’s heart.
it’s really been nothing to do with not liking england…don’t get me wrong there was an angry, hating everything that was different phase. but it has been more about what, admitting there are things i like about england, means issue. like, if i admit i’m happy am i betraying my family? if i say i quite like life here, does that mean i will never move home? i have almost felt like i need to hold onto my disdain as a way of preserving my heritage. or ensuring that everyone knows i still miss home.
this is ridiculous. i am american by birth. texan by the grace of god. and living in england with the love of my life and our 2 kids. these can all go together. i can admit that england has good qualities without betraying the states. i can enjoy living here whilst still grieving being away from my family. the two can live side by side. they have to. because i live here now. who knows for how long. but if i am determined to be miserable as long as i am here, just to prove that i still love my family and my home country, it will be a very long, however long, you know what i mean?
i realised this this weekend whilst listening to a south african woman talk about loving the people of the country you are in and getting god’s heart for that country while you were in it. something in me cried, ‘yes! i want that!’ something very, very small. most of me wants to put up my fists and yell, ‘no! its not like home and i miss home so i’m not going to like it!’
the nice thing about god is that he can work with something very, very small. just like an embryo turns into a kid that runs up to you after a nap and says, ‘i missed you so much,’ (yes, it made my heart melt and was so precious. i love that boy), a very small and reluctant, ‘yes’ can be turned into a heart of compassion towards an adopted country. at least that is what i am hoping in!
in order to add my small and slightly pitiful strength to what he can do, i am going to do what i love to do, and make a list. an ‘english love’ list. i’ll give you what i have so far, and add to it as i think of things. who know, maybe we will all be amazed at how a cranky, ethnocentric heart goes all compassionate and loving with the strength of god…
english love: take 1
- its green (granted this is because of all rain…) but its really green and lush and pretty.
- it’s pretty easy to find healthy food without looking too hard or traveling to far. no GMO’s in this country baby.
- the people are sensitive to others’ privacy. you may call it reserved, and it usually bugs me because i interpret, ‘getting all up in my business’ as being interested in me. but after a while here, i can see that they are actually trying to be honoring. i like that, its nice. cause when this american wants some privacy or some space. she can get it.