Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Year... a Growing Girl!

We got back to Shanghai on Wednesday evening, after 2 crazy days in airports (more on that in another post!). It's been somewhat of a blur since then, with jet lag, unpacking, getting back into routine, and trying to get sleep. Thankfully, after waking up every 2 hours wanting to play and/or nurse the second night home, Hadassah is now just waking once. It's later in the night each time, so we're hoping she soon sleeps straight through again.

She's growing so fast...

 Playing dress up with fun accessories...

 Saying "Meow!" when I put on her new warm kitty hat this morning, though it's been a few days since I told her it was a kitty. She remembers so much!

Using a fork... she's getting pretty good with a spoon and today wasn't enthused about eating her avacado (which she normally loves) so I brought out the fork and she loved trying to stab them, usually needing our help, but eventually cleaning her plate. 

She also says "uh oh" in the cutest way when things fall, often with her hands out, as she's doing in the picture above. :) 

 She just looks so grown up!

At 14 1/2 months, she's talking so much, mostly gibberish, but surprising me each day with how many "real" words she repeats. She's got most of her animal sounds down pat, and this morning as she was saying "ff" when she saw a dog, the dog barked a deep bark, and she started imitating the sound it made - so much fun! Context is everything though, because so many of her words sound alike: the basic sound of "na na" can mean "no no" (she's great at correcting herself!), "night night" for her lamb blanket, and "noodle" - I can distinguish some difference, but they're pretty slight!

Today felt like the true start of the new year, as before we were traveling and things were just topsy turvy. Today we'd gotten enough sleep to get up early, start back on normal routine, and I even got good time for devotions and journaling. I've forgotten how much writing helps me get perspective and remember to trust God and not focus on the hardships. Because somewhere along the way, I'd given up.

China was just too hard. We talked about moving home. Things were overwhelming, with pollution, all the extra work, being far from family, and other health risks, plus not being in community or having a babysitter close by. They're legitimate concerns, and we haven't made a final decision. But, I'd pretty much decided things weren't ever going to get better and stopped really trying.

It's humbling to admit. Growing up, I never thought I would go overseas myself, never had that urge or "call", but always knew I'd support my husband if he wanted to go. It was worth doing - and how hard could it be? A lot harder than I thought. I'd heard that the first year is the hardest, but until you're in the situation and having thing after thing pile up, it's hard to understand. I know now.

But there are also a lot of blessings. I wouldn't trade this time or opportunity, no matter how hard and uncomfortable it is in the here and now. God is working, often in ways we can't yet see.

Thankfully Ryan, while also facing some struggles, has a good perspective. He weighs the pros and cons, is praying and seeking solutions, but also has determined to not be negative. It's so easy, when the culture is different and things aren't the way you think they should be. But he's inspired me. We're helping each other remember not to say negative remarks about the way life is here, and are renewed in wanting to persevere.

So while getting back to life here, combined with the exhaustion of travel and never wanting to fly that far with a toddler again prompted a meltdown on Saturday, I'm praying for joy and feel a renewed sense of purpose. If nothing else, being here is refining me; it's causing me to see my sin, and making me fall again on our amazing, gracious Savior. Knowing Him is so worth it all.

And, He gives good gifts to His children. Each day is a gift just because we have life and breath, but today felt like a special gift from God. The last three days were really badly polluted... between 200 and 270 on the air quality index, termed "health warnings of emergency conditions." Last night as we looked at the haze yet again through the window, I prayed, "Lord, please make tomorrow a less polluted day." I didn't have much faith... I just was desperate to be able to take my daughter outside. But this morning I checked it when I got up and...the AQI was 50. "Moderate." We enjoyed quite a few outings today, and the blue sky lifted both of our spirits. We are blessed!

So, life goes on. Who knows what 2015 will hold? 2014 definitely held more than I ever imagined! But God has been and is faithful. Who's with me in praying for joy and seeking to glorify Him in 2015?

1 comment:

  1. Don't give up, as hard as it may be. God has so many blessings in store for you.