It’s the break! Happy Chun Jie to one and all 🙂
As the title says, this post will focus on a few things I’ve learned recently.
Those huge cups you get at the movie theater? The kind I NEVER buy except just this once because it (and none of the smaller ones) had The Hobbit on it? Yeah. PERFECT for when you get a cold. Fill that baby up with hot-ish water and you’re good to go for at least an hour. Just keep the Kleenex box and bathroom close by. Bonus: Since I kept the lid and heavy-duty straw, my cat doesn’t feel the urge to drink out of it or knock it over to drink off the floor.
I would, as I have always thought, LOVE to go to Europe. Mostly Western but I wouldn’t mind seeing the whole place if I had the resources! (As I teach my kids, our resources are time, talent, and treasure – thank you, Pastor Eric, for that alliteration!) Right now all I have is the time and possibly the ability to save the treasure. I am lousy at planning, though (the talent part of a trip), and while I enjoy learning my way around a place if I have an extended time there, I do not tend to get much sight-seeing done in new cities if dropped into them solo – eg, I have totally wasted a day in both Shanghai and Bangkok. I have very little experience traveling with friends, but I know enough about myself to know it would have to be a very close friend and our personalities would have to be the right match for traveling together. So, awesome though going next Chinese New Year would be (PERFECT time to avoid the crowds, no? Everybody else in the Western world is working then!), I think I’ll be waiting till I’m married. Or possibly working there someday. Or both.
I might not have as much time to visit Europe from here as other China-based friends. I’m not sure of anything yet, but it looks like next year’s might be my last Chun Jie (Chinese New Year) while living in China, at least for this season of my life. For various reasons, I feel like summer 2014 may be the time to move back to the United States for a while. I am still praying for guidance and confirmation and open doors – I suppose I will be praying for those sort of things all my life if I’m wise – but I found that my heart’s compass shifted during the week after I told the school that I would like to sign just a one-year contract for next year, shifting from “I live in China, maybe I’ll leave soon-ish, ask me again next winter when contracts come up again,” to “I think I will leave China in 18 months unless something changes and I stay.”
I have learned in the last year or two that I need friends who pursue me, because I am not great at keeping up relationships nor do I always trust my ability to read/interpret social cues. And I’ve realized that I need and want to be more of a pursuer. Having been blessed by a friend pursuing me, I want to share that blessing with others. Not just random people off the street, mind you – if I’m pursuing you, it’s because I DO want to spend time with you, know you better, have a deeper relationship in which we can glorify the one who made us to live in community with others. We have a God who pursues us passionately – I want to be more like Christ in this way! And if I’m not pursuing you at the moment, it doesn’t mean I DON’T want to be with you, like I said I’m not great at this – ladies, if you want to get to know me better, try pursuing me and see what happens. If I’m slow on the uptake, spell it out for me even.
And I am so grateful for friends to talk these things over with! Different kinds of friends, but each such a blessing in my life. I am going to miss Sara as she’s going to be away the rest of the break – no time for a cup of tea & a chat, or things like that. I’m glad I can spent time with Stephanie during the days to come, with movies and talking and all. Maybe I can find a time to Skype with Mom when it’s not too early or late “her time” since my own time will be more flexible during the break. And so many other wonderful people here and elsewhere… I love and appreciate you!
PS: Oh, and that also means the clock is ticking on traveling within Asia! Where should I visit? What MUST I see while I live here? I’ve come up with a couple ideas of multi-stop itineraries for next Christmas and Chun Jie breaks (domestic and international respectively), but there are still two Spring Breaks to possibly fill!