I noticed this week that my attitude was poor. I think I realized I was off when I noticed how strangely excited I was for the Super Bowl on Sunday. Since last Monday all I could think about was not just going to the restaurant we found that displays American sports to see the “big game,” but also that I could order some buffalo wings.
I took a bit of time to reflect upon my excitement and analyzed its strangeness. I haven’t really watched, let alone cared that much, about football lately. The first time we had a chance to watch football in the past couple years was when we visited family for Thanksgiving. Even then, while it was fun to watch, it did not have the allure it once did.
Then I analyzed my “hankering” for wings. I realized that in the past month or two when we were eating at restaurants with others, etc. that I did not really desire to eat any. Now all of a sudden I do? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE buffalo wings, but I hadn’t really cared for them much until this past week arrived and we decided with some friends to meet for some American food and American football. Suddenly, something clicked: I was experiencing some homesickness and probably a bit of culture shock.
It is a bit strange to me, actually. I’ve experienced this in the past, living in different areas of the country and even experiencing life in different countries and environments all together. Many of my military friends will agree that there are times on deployment where you break down and just plain hate everything despite loving our jobs and the people around us. I enjoy where I am and what I am doing. Although learning Spanish is difficult, I’m grateful for the opportunity and that it will make us effective in our ministry. The food here is quite good, especially in the house we are living in (as you can tell from Missy’s previous post). Even the people we have interacted with are quite kind: the missionaries helping us here, the cab driver, our teachers, our house mom, and everyone in-between. Subconsciously though, I think my psyche is rebelling. I noticed I’m a bit feisty this past week. You can pick up on a little of it from my rant on my other blog.
I’m grateful for the training we received about this in NLAI’s School of Missions. We learned about how to recognize signs of this happening and what to do to combat it. Ignoring it certainly isn’t the answer; we were taught to discuss it and give ourselves the “break” we need. It is necessary for us from time to time to maintain our sanity by feeding our emotions and minds with the things we are used to, the things that are comfortable to us. On Sunday we did just that. If we ignore it or refuse to address it, eventually these seemingly minute subconscious rebellions will add up and become a complete breakdown of motivation to continue what we have been called to do.
Deep down, this is our desire. We not only desire to be here, but we enjoy being here, we just have to let our minds catch up with our hearts 🙂 We are blessed to be here and supported by all of you who have done a fabulous job of making sure we do not feel forgotten or “out of sight, out of mind”. We are also glad we decided to commit to two years before travelling back to the states so we can properly adjust to our new lives. Please continue to pray for us as we adjust to this culture.