Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One Lonely Sweet Potato

Today is our last full day in England. We have many mixed feelings about leaving. We are so excited to head back to Vienna and begin to make it our home, but we will miss the people we got to know here. At this point, it feels like we have become experts at winding down a home. Bethany expertly planned out our last week of meals so that all we have left is this one sweet potato (and a bunch of very strong English mustard that we won't be eating). She did a pretty spectacular job. 

Usually this sort of sight would mean we are in real need of a run to the supermarket. We do our best to have fresh fruits and veggies in our kitchen to cook with. But today, this lonely sweet potato was another reminder that we are moving on. It reminded me that things are changing again. It reminded me that we won't get to cook in this kitchen again, but that we have new kitchens to look forward to. 

I hope I have come to a balanced view of transition. I have to embrace the good things that are to come: we have so many things to look forward to with our first spring and summer in Austria. But I also have to mourn the losses. Yesterday in our language lesson, our teacher taught us how to say, "if we had had more time, we would have....", and we worked on filling in the blank and then explaining why we didn't visit Stonehenge or go for more walks in the city. (Most of our reasons had to do with English weather, which is a different conversation all together.) I must mourn not having sheep for neighbors, and watching the cats stalk around the garden while I do my German homework.  I'll mourn our time with the church here and knowing that we are really making a difference with our colleagues. These are important things to remember, but we must also celebrate the time we had. 

As we have been planning our new apartment in Austria, I have thought about Psalm 84. Here are the first two stanzas:

 1How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
    ever singing your praise!

Whereever we live, we need to remember that our dwelling place is with the Lord. 

Ok, off to finish packing!