Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Lesson in Contentment

As I write this, I am sitting in the living room of my flat in St. Petersburg, Russia. Let me say it again. St. Petersburg, Russia. Months of planning, prayers, and preparations have finally paid off and at last I am here. I'm not sure the reality of it all has fully sunk in yet.

It is strange knowing that while I am here, life continues on in the states. There have been multiple times already when I have had deep longings to be back with the people I love, in the places I know, doing familiar things. I wish I could sit in starbucks, enjoy a seasonal drink, and soak up fall. I wish I could talk to people and know they understand me. I wish I could eat a home-cooked meal. I wish I could go to the grocery store and buy whatever I like and know exactly what I'm buying. And yet...when I was home I did such things and really thought nothing of them. They held little meaning to me and rarely did I stop to thank God for them. I fear unless I am careful, I will live my entire life in such a way.

When I first returned from my time in Ukraine I felt completely alive. I appreciated the little things, as I had realized how big the little things can seem when you have to do without them. A glass of ice water. A hot shower. Time spent alone. Time with people I love. Food that you're not scared to eat... I appreciated them all. Yet, it wasn't long before my thankfulness turned into forgetfulness and discontentment. It is dangerous because it is so easy to do. I could tell you all of the things I'm thankful for now that I don't have them, but I suppose that would be missing the point. My life is different now but there are no fewer reasons to be thankful. Perhaps there are even more. So I when I struggle with feeling homesick, or wanting conviences I may lack- when I long to understand or be understood I will remind myself to be thankful. I am thankful for answered prayers and new adventures. I am thankful for roommates and relationships that are still to come. I am thankful for the beautiful new city that awaits me right outside my door. I am thankful for this brand spankin' new day.

Life feels a little newer, a little scarier, and a little closer to what, perhaps, it is supposed to be like. Thank you, God.


katie said...

WOW! You ARE there. :) I still don't think its hit me yet, either!