Saturday, October 18, 2014

Going Back

This coming Thursday, Ellie and I (Bethany) will fly back to the U.S. for a 10-day visit to Connecticut to see my family. I'm very excited and have been preparing for weeks now...making packing lists, buying new toys for the plane (small ones!), thinking of strategies to keep her entertained, etc. I have even made little gifts for 12 of the people sitting around us on the plane, complete with candy, ear plugs and a sweet note from Ellie (pictured to the left). My hope is to endear them to us before she starts breaking down :) 

I'm excited, first and foremost, to spend quality time with my family and for them to get to see Ellie at this stage. It will be so fun to have all of the cousins together and to go trick-or-treating (ages 9 months to 13 years!). I'm also excited about being there in the fall. Connecticut is beautiful this time of year, and I can't wait to carve pumpkins, eat honey crisps apples, drink apple cider, photograph leaves and explore a corn maze. I will also have the chance to share an update at two supporting churches, which will be a really valuable opportunity to connect people with what God is doing in Austria.

However, there are a few parts of the trip that I'm nervous about. Understandably, I am nervous about flying with Ellie alone and how she will cope with being couped up on a plane for 9 hours. I'm also nervous about how she will handle jetlag and if that will put a damper on my time there. But most of all, I'm nervous and a bit curious about how I will handle being back in my home country after being gone for 2 years. Will it make me even more homesick? Will I notice things about the U.S. that bother me and become judgmental towards my home culture, idealizing our home in Vienna? Will I be overwhelmed with the amount of choices at the grocery store, paralyzed in the cereal or salad dressing aisle? I have no idea what to expect or how I can be preparing myself now for the feelings I will encounter...other than to start thinking and processing it now.

Your prayers for us are appreciated, specifically...
  • For a smooth flight experience with Ellie and patient people on the plane
  • For a blessed time with family
  • For Nate, as he holds down the fort by himself
  • For me, as I return to my home culture and process the journey we've been on for the last two years