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!
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
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! 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 via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!