I can’t believe our summer in Colorado is already drawing to a close – it has gone by so fast, of course. We leave for Budapest two weeks from today, flying out of Denver on Aug. 6th.
It has been an emotional summer for our whole family, facing changes in person that for others were slow adjustments but for our family seemed to happen overnight. Coming back ‘home’ when it’s not really home anymore. Our kids are deep into the years of figuring out their identities, this summer has been a big step in that process for them and at times it’s been painful to watch their progress, while at other times we have been so overwhelmingly proud of them. There was an interesting visual/physical example of these changes in our kids on our very first night here, as Josiah went to climb into our minivan, a car he’s entered easily since 2008. Siah has grown a lot over the past two years, the minivan stayed the same (obviously) – it was a painful reunion as Siah smacked his head climbing in, bending only as low as he’d last needed to in 2011. Josiah’s height was healthy and normal growth, and the minivan did nothing wrong either – it was just the sudden instead of gradual meeting of the two that created the pain. Basically a pretty accurate example of what our children have experienced in many situations this summer. We so appreciate the many understanding friends who have been patient and understanding of our kids’ sometimes seemingly ‘odd’ behavior this summer – thank you!
It has also been a summer of ‘firsts’ – our first kid getting his driver’s license (and doing so well from the very first driving time!), our first time going on a long family drive with a kids’ friend along too – and then that friend’s first time in California, and it was our first time back in Colorado since making Hungary home. We have had many conversations about how odd we are, how neither place will ever make us completely happy – we’ll always miss a little something about the other no matter where we are. We have two homes now, and we can never be in both at the same time. So, we’ve checked our lists made while in Hungary and have done and enjoyed as many ‘American/Colorado’ missed things as we can – which ended up for us to almost all revolve around food, ha ha! Clothes shopping came in a close second – with time with friends and family always firmly at the top.
But now most of those lists are fully checked off, and we’re looking ahead once again to heading back to Hungary – but this time to making a new home in Budapest. We’re really excited about this next step in our life adventure, we’ve already seen God move in amazing ways and confirm over and over that this move is in His plan for our family. We were pretty clueless in many ways when we first moved back to Hungary in 2011, there was so much we just didn’t know about what our family would be doing, what our life would look like or even exactly why God was calling us to go back – we just knew it was what we were supposed to do. The last two years have been hugely faith-stretching, for us as individuals and as a family. But they have also been filled with wonder as we’ve literally sat back and watched God open doors we never knew existed, we’ve only got to peek into some of those doorways so far – we’re excited to be going back and preparing to walk through. The biggest doorway is in the area of encouragement and support for local or native church leaders, not American missionaries, but locals who have been raised up, trained and are now church leadership. Last year we were able to host retreats for both the pastors and the pastor’s wives in Szeged, most of those attending coming from countries surrounding Hungary. It was a new endeavor for us and we’re excited to do it again this year, and to see how else God will use us in this much needed area, especially being in Budapest going forward, which will make this type of work so much easier as it’s more centrally located.
We are also looking ahead to what being in Budapest will mean for our family, the many more opportunities for friendships and fellowships. Our home search has begun in earnest online, and we have an independent company looking for us already in Budapest who will have several places lined up for us to look at the week we arrive. We are all looking forward to NOT MOVING again for some time, so we’re trying to be as particular as we can in this home search. I’m getting pretty curious to see some places in person that look promising, or see if some with horrible pictures really aren’t that bad. And it seems forever ago that we packed up our life in Szeged, including our beloved pooches – we are all more than ready to be settled and have our whole ‘family’ together again, including poor Stitch and Gizmo who must be totally confused and possibly heartbroken about our ‘disappearance’ by this time. Sadly, they will still be confused when we return without Gizmo’s Boy, Josiah.
Josiah will be moving into my cousin Dan and his wife Leslie’s home this coming week, at least, moving all his stuff into their spare room. I’ll try to delay his official ‘moving out’ as long as possible. E-mails have been arriving, and school is really just around the corner; he’ll get to pick up his schedule and have his ID photo taken the day after our flight leaves. He’s excited about his Senior year back at Lakewood High School, I’m excited Facetime and Skype exist. People keep asking me how I’m doing with him staying here for school, and I’d probably be much better if they’d stop asking! No, seriously, we still have that Great Peace that passes all understanding, and Siah is fully his father’s son – independent, biting at the bit to make his own life. He’ll be 18 in December, and when I look back to where Norbert and I were at his age, well, he’s going to be just fine. And we’re dragging him back to Hungary for Christmas, which really, really helps me right now. That and how full his schedule will be, he’ll have no time for trouble, or a life almost. Phew.
And now I have over-compensated for not updating this blog all summer and have created a book that no one will read all the way through anyway, oh well. Here’s hoping I get back in the swing of blogging soon….