After being subtly called out about my lack of blog updates, I felt inspired to write, or maybe just guilty for my own hypocritical teasing of my sister's idle blog. :) I've got a lot of thoughts tonight so we'll just see where we go.
It seems like being back from Africa has been one big crazy adjustment, and honestly, I don't feel like I've slowed down until just recently. When I got home to the States, I went through the whirlwind transition of visiting family and friends, getting a job, getting my first apartment, and moving to my new life in a city I'd never been to before. Then it was onto the first days of new teacher orientation, then the first days actually being a teacher, and somewhere in there I learned something about being a basketball coach. Now, here I sit, 10 months after returning from Africa, after living as a resident of Arkansas for almost as long, with almost a year of teaching and my first basketball season under my belt. Where in the world has time gone?
It's hard to believe, and sometimes I question if all of this is real. I just mean that so much of this first year of teaching/coaching has felt like a blur as I've struggled to keep my head above water. Don't get me wrong...I absolutely love my job and I never dread going to work, which I think is a huge blessing. But transitioning from the slow pace of Africa to the insanely busy pace of first year teacher and basketball coach maybe wasn't the smoothest or smartest thing I've ever done.
These past few weeks have been better though. My season is over, and I'm so enjoying getting home at 4 instead of 6 or later. Spring break starts Friday and I can't wait to hit up NYC with some friends. The weather is getting warmer and more spring-like and basically it's my favorite time of the year.
This evening I was enjoying the weather, sitting outside on a friend's deck catching up on my latest Beth Moore study (Esther...it's a good one so far, but of course, do we expect anything less from Beth? :) For a brief moment, I almost felt like I was back in Africa. The air was warm, Beth was in front of me, and I was donning the black Adidas capris that so frequently comprised my outfit in Uganda. That daydream ended as the rush hour traffic zipped down the road at a speed much too fast to be a beat-up Ugandan vehicle, but for a moment I was back there. The smells of burning trash, cow manure, and body odor came rushing back to me, and I was home. It's amazing how quickly, even if only within my mind, I'm back where my Spirit feels most alive. Back in the place where I was most changed.
But tonight I realized, I've got to stop living there. I'm here...and I need to live here. I don't really think I've been stuck in the past, but I think I've been looking for ways to make this home like that one. I've been yearning to hear God simply and easily as I did on my balcony in Mbarara, instead of searching for Him through the mess and noise that this American life can bring. I've got to take the moments to be quiet in a world where noise is a constant companion. God is in this place as much as He was there, but it seems so much easier, at least for me to fall into this trap of letting the busyness crowd Him out. That's my heart tonight. I am so thankful for the stillness of this afternoon and I want to seek that out more than anything. Because it's there that I meet Him and I am changed.