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A Life Update: Leaving California for Wisconsin

July 1, 2017

Tonight is my last full night here in California. Or, at least the last night where I get a full night’s sleep, since I will leave very early Monday morning to head to the airport.

It’s hard to believe it’s finally time to move. It doesn’t matter how many times I do this, it still feels weird when it’s actually time to leave California again. My bags are packed, and yet it doesn’t feel real. I know I will absolutely have a blast in Wisconsin, and that I will be so glad I went once I get there. And yet it’s still hard to actually say goodbye and leave. For this goodbye I’m just trying to not think about it. I’ll be staying in the states for the first time in 5 years, so it’s not such a drastic move anyway. On the one hand it’s getting harder each year to leave since my family keeps multiplying and adding more cute little members that are hard to say goodbye to. But on the other hand it also gets easier as I have more and more years and experiences to look back on and realize that God was providing and leading the whole way. It doesn’t feel easy to leave, but I know from experience that once I’m on the plane I will be ready for new adventures.

I just realized tonight that I’ll be in the states for the 4th of July for the first time since 2012. I’ve seen fireworks  many times since then, but not to celebrate America’s Independence Day.  I’ve seen fireworks in Russia for Victory Day, in Australia for Christmas. And in Fiji for Diwali (by far the most impressive of fireworks shows if we are measuring impressiveness by length of performance and number of displays.) But I haven’t seen fireworks to celebrate our Independence Day in 5 years. I’m so looking forward to celebrating the 4th of July IN America this year!

Fireworks in Brisbane for Christmas

It’s hard to believe I’ve been home now for 7 months. I only planned to be here for 3-4 months, but God worked things out differently and while it would have been nice to have a job during these months, I’m glad I was able to spend all this time with family and to get to know my nieces and nephews a bit better. During the past 7 months I also was able to travel overseas 3 times, getting to Central America for the first time, getting back to the UK for the first time since I left Russia, and picking up my 50th country while cruising the Caribbean. At times this year has felt uneventful since I’ve been in the states and life has been fairly “normal” compared to what life overseas often feels like. But when I look back over the months, I realize a lot has happened. And while this year looks different than I thought it would initially, it’s been a good year so far and I’m thankful for it.

It’s hard to put into words exactly how it feels to be putting down American roots again (however temporary they may be.) And it’s also hard to articulate how conflicted I feel about living in America versus living overseas. Family and comforts of home will always pull at you no matter where you go. And adventure and wanderlust will also pull at the same time. I feel excited to be staying for a while, and I also feel confused. I want to be here. And I want to be there.  I’m so thankful that no matter where I go on this little planet, someday I will be truly home. Heaven sounds sweeter and sweeter with each passing day. I can’t wait until we are all there, forever, with our hearts truly contented with where we are.

Wisconsin, California, or wherever else I may go, this is only temporary. One day we will truly be home!

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