Monday, December 8, 2008

Visitors, Thanks and Giving, and Birthdays

So I realize I haven't updated in a while, and I offer my sincerest apologies. November was a busy month.
As I anxiously awaited the arrival of my Aunt Melinda, Uncle Ralph and Cousin Elizabeth I began noticing that my house wasn't quite visitor friendly. So I had to do some scrubbing of the floors and bleaching of the bathroom. Which was gross, but good because now it's spic-and-span. And also a little more decorating needed to occur to make it more like home. Typically I'm not the decorating type. I like a decorated house, but I'm just not creative, and at the end of the day to make it look how I want it to look it seems to costly and time consuming. So I usually end up decorating like a college student that isn't allowed to put nails in the wall and can't afford picture frames; tape and sticky tack are much cheaper. Nevertheless I managed to find some cheap picture frames and put some time into it, and I'm happier because it's little reminders of home and that is nice. Along with the joy of having loved ones from home coming to visit I also had Thanksgiving, my birthday and the hope of eating at the rumored Taco Bell on the Army Base where my family would be staying to look forward to. My family would be here for about 12 days and I was the tour guide. I loved being the tour guide! I wanted them to love this city as much as I do. There is so much to see and do and smell, usually unfortunately. As in any city Seoul has pros and cons, but my job was to highlight the pros and downplay the cons. I took them to a Palace and Museum an Aquarium, and a couple high rise views of the city. We ate at great hot spots and shopped on bazaar streets, pun intended. We even drove out of the city and peered into North Korea from a high hill. I knew I would enjoy the time I would be able to spend with them, but it was so much richer than I anticipated. I felt like it was almost a rite of passage. I was now an adult making a life for myself far from home and having company come to visit and it was my job to be hospitable and entertaining. I not only got to show off my home but I also got a chance to be reunited with bits of home. I know I will always smile when I recall the moment I saw the taco bell in the food court on base. I was probably more excited than I should have been, but it wasn't just a taco, it was familiarity and memories. Another memory I gained was one of Thanksgiving dinner. Because I was the only one with a refrigerator that could hold anything larger than a gallon of milk I was presented with the task of making the applesauce jello. Now for those of you that don't know this is a dish that accompanies any kind of get together that my family has. I've seen it on the table for every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Fourth of July since I can remember, and this year should be no different. Now that being said, seeing it on the table is different than making it by yourself for the first time. But with clear instruction and all the ingredients I proceeded to pass through a family rite of passage. And I'm happy to say it was a success. I am now available for every major holiday and all your applesauce jello needs with a minimal processing fee. Also on the Thanksgiving table was something that I'd never seen on a Thanksgiving table ever. It's name was chips and salsa. The restaurant on base that was serving a Thanksgiving buffet was, on any other day, a Mexican restaurant and apparently nothing can stop a Mexican restaurant from starting every meal off with a chips and salsa appetizer. It was quite entertaining and a memory not quickly forgotten.
After Thanksgiving came my birthday. I turned 25 years old this year and you know how sometimes people ask you 'do you feel any older?' and the answer is always of course not. But this time I do feel different. Perhaps it is simply that I've been spending more time reflecting on my life and I can see different stages and growth that has occurred. I feel like I've gained a little more insight. I've learned that I don't know everything and that it is possible to be best friends with your mom, and that sisters are priceless and that the Body of Christ is beautiful and that the bond of Christ is more valuable and much stronger than diamonds and that the love between friends is wider than oceans and continents. I've seen that I was blessed to be raised in a home with a mom and a dad that are committed to each other. I have come to the conclusion that every little girl should have an older brother. I've been adored by a dad that will always be willing to help and give advice when needed. I've also learned that I communicate differently than other people, that I can't put mom's china in the microwave, that when the car says it's running hot, it really means it, that lying is always worse than telling the truth, that disobeying the Lord is never worth it and that holding on to bitterness only hurts yourself. I've been told that I have wisdom beyond my years, but if that is true it's only because of the Lord, and those people haven't seen me manage a checkbook.
As we creep into December I find myself realizing that time is flying by. I had my 5 month anniversary of being in Korea yesterday and couldn't believe it. I also enjoyed taking a walk in the snow. I hate being cold, but snow makes it worth it to a Southern girl. I also got the opportunity to go Christmas shopping for the orphans that I spend time with on the weekends. I choose two of the girls I'm closest to and went to the store and picked out things I knew they would love. It was so much fun. I hope to spend Christmas with them this year. Laughing and playing with these precious children is a perfect trade off for not being home. I remember the first time I told one of my African babies that I love them and a couple weeks ago I found myself telling the children here that I love them, even though it wasn't in their language, I know they understood me. 'I love you' will be the next phrase I learn in Korean. I love that the Lord made my heart tender to children that have no one to love them. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. My dad used to ask me, what are you passionate about? What do you love to do? Discover what that is and then do it. Well, I've discovered what it is and hardships don't seem as hard, pain doesn't seem as painful when I do what I love to do and I know where the Lord wants me to be.

Pray for the homeless people in Seoul. It is getting very cold outside and I'm not sure if there are shelters for them to go to in Seoul.


Marc Singletary said...

Applesauce jello... Blech phoey. Apple Pie... Yummmy.
Miss you real bad. You are such a good writer. I am so blessed to be able to watch you grow. The things you learn and teach through your experiences are encouraging. Keep doing the things you are passionate about and God will continue to bless your efforts. It's going to be hard this Christmas without you, however; no one could ever give you a Christmas present that holds as much value as what you are receiving in S. Korea. There will be time for earthly presents later. Love you Lots,


Ashton said...

okay dads comment almost made me cry just then, as did your blog. :-) Wow, do I love you. Look at how great we are all turning out. I am in a place of searching to find who I am, and I feel like you are reaching more of an end to that journey. I know you will constantly learn more about yourself, but gosh look how much you have already discovered! You are truly someone I look up to, sister.