The sway of life, back and forth, two steps this way and one step that way, a spin or two, countless dips, crescendos and rests. It is the dance between the familiar and the unfamiliar. No matter where you are or what is going on, it is always in play. The dance.
Several years ago, we moved from familiar to unfamiliar as we moved into another culture and another country. That move way a crazy tangle, as the unfamiliar steps outweighed the familiar ones and nothing seemed right. It was a tough time for us. We were fighting to quickly learn and change the unfamiliar things into familiar ones. Little by little, we adapted and learned the dance. We weren't experts, by any means, but we survived and learned to move in and out of situations and life.
Another change in scenery was much easier. The dance seemed a little more familiar than unfamiliar. There were slight adaptations to be made, but it came easier this time. We learned to laugh when we made mistakes, and to give ourselves grace when we weren't perfect.
Last week, we found ourselves in another country and culture yet again.
The dance seemed equal parts familiar and unfamiliar there. In some ways, it seemed easy, like the gentle sway of life 'back home' and we adapted quickly. In other ways, it was very foreign and we found ourselves making many mistakes. The street signs and driving customs were quite different and caused us to have many exciting moments - luckily we can laugh about them today! We
were blind to the ever-so-slight mannerism differences that distinguish 'alien'
from 'native' and count ourselves blessed to have had people around us who
pointed them out to us and helped us navigate the dance a little better. We learned a lot. We laughed a lot. We enjoyed the dance.
Whether you leave the country
or you never leave your county, you will inevitable experience the dance. When you try out a new church, you
enter into the dance of new verses old.
When you begin a new class, the dance begins.
When you drive in a different region that you are unfamiliar with, that
balance between familiar and unfamiliar begins to rock.
How you navigate the dance is the key.
Welcome to The Dance that is
life! May you enter with passion
and laughter and an eagerness to learn!
Who am I? In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a Southern Living / Martha Stewart wannabe, a soccer mom, and a short term mission team coordinator / intern director for missions in Mexico... you name it, I probably tried it!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! We have three incredible children... two adult boys who live in Texas, and the Sarah (14) lives with us in whatever country we are serving. I'm still teaching, still taking photos, still leading teams and mentoring, I just do it all in full-time service now! And I'm working hard at giving Southern Living and Martha Stewart a run for their money! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers and immigrant peoples, writing, and trying to figure out what life looks like for a Texas girl serving Christ in Southern Europe. Life in His service is AWESOME! I'm happy to share it with you here... Enjoy!