Maybe this should become a food blog. Um, no I think not. Although I do love food. Really love it. And now after learning some survival Turkish, some market language and cooking basics I will try to be more adventurous in the mutfak, (kitchen).
Though the matriarch of the family and I did exchange stories regarding food and our adventures here in country.
My story was from the farmer's market visit that Thing 2 and I shared a few weeks ago. Our first visit to the market I tried to answer the Turkish man with my vast knowledge of Spanish...NOT. Thankfully he didn't understand me and I didn't understand him. And that is when Thing 2 stepped in. She politely said, "Mom, why don't you be quiet and let me do the talking". Yes, thank you, I will do just that. And she did. Rather well I might add. She was able to ask, "how much", and tell them exactly how much of what we wanted. When one nice man was trying to explaing to me that the market closed at 3pm, she understood him. Me, I didn't. I felt lost and unsure and Thing 2 taught me a lesson that day.
The next story was another blooper. Mine, no less. Humbling. That is the theme of this excursion as of late. A constant reminder for me of where I need some refining. Anyhoo. I was forced to call and order water jugs for our cooler this weekend. And when I say forced I mean Husband Jared would not speak into the phone when I handed it to him. It was my turn he said. And how was I going to learn if I never tried. To which I thought, well you can do it. Your Turkish is better than mine and they understand you and you understand them. And so on and so on. Well, needless to say I ran to my bedroom and made the call. I started in English, told him what I needed in Turkish and all the while I heard their snickering in the great room. Beneath the laughter they were shouting the right words to say. When I emerged, feeling rather confident about my latest quest they were there waiting to poke fun. Laughter. So thankful for that. By the way the water was delivered.
Our new friend shared a similar story about her experience. Then she proceeded to inform me that I didn't have to do all that talking next time I was in need. The delivery guy probably programmed my phone number as the "crazy foreigner" with my house # so he knew what I needed when I called. That's it. Call, let it ring a few times and there you go. Water delivery. Who knew it could be so easy? For both parties involved that is.
I am so grateful for the time we had today with our new friends. For stories and yummy food and Things' laughter and helpful tips on living in this beautiful country.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
John 10 : 27
It made me think about being a parent. Of course, that is what my life is wrapped around right now. How often have I said to the Things, "did you hear me?", "can you hear my voice?", "what did I just say to you?". The answer is too many times to count. I then become frustrated, agitated and begin to ponder the thought of having their hearing checked. Again. Only I know it would be diagnosed as selective hearing, or listening, in their case.
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. How often does the Father think that of me? Can she hear me? Doesn't she see where I am leading? Does she not know I have her best in My plans? I certainly have turned a deaf ear to the voice of the Father. On more than one occasion. This passage in John brings me back to the reality that I need to listen. To rest in His word, and wait to hear Him. No matter how many times I have not heard today is the day to hear.
2. Jack Daniels, one of Daddy's top 3 because he has a drink named after him, or so Thing 3 thought he said
3. "Galaxy don't want to sell him" - in speaking of Landon Donovan
4. Jane Goodall, Mom wanted to be her (spoken by Thing 2, of course)
* she actually asked what other animal activists were Americans!
5. Van Gogh - one of Thing 1's top 3 Americans (yes, we know he was not an American)
6. Jeff F K - Thing 4's top 3 (that's how he said it)
7. And to top it all off, Timmy Boy (Tim Howard, USA goal keeper), Thing 3's top 3!
Posted in TT #35
I am not good at keeping up appearances. I once was. Now it is not something I care to do. I have had to be strong for the Things. Empowered, fearless and protective. Ready to jump to their needs at the drop of a hat and then sitting on the edge of the seat waiting for the next fall out, or bump in the road. Not necessary. I know that deep down, it just hasn't translated. I desire for them to be secure. To feel good about this move, the opportnuities. For the four of them to know they are loved and safe. For them to not be afraid of dipping their toes into this culture and trying new things. It is all new around here. Everywhere you turn.
The thing is I don't have to be all those things for them. I just have to be me. I will have struggles. I will be homesick. I will want to pout and throw tantrums. All for not understanding the way things work here in this new place. I will have days where I want to hide myself away and pretend that we are in the states. It has only been four weeks. That is normal. No one is peachy all day, everyday. Right? Should I feel guilt over this declaration? Should I pretend as though it is all okay? I think not.
The reason I think not has become clear to me today. I have a heavenly Father who calls me to lay all this before Him. He knows the before and the after, even the "during". Every morning He dances over me and waits for me to wake. (thanks to Kevin Adams for that visual) All so I can share everything with Him. To Him be the glory. Not to say that I can't share this with those around me whom love me. I can. First it needs to go before the Throne. To sift through. Lift up and move forward. It is temporary.
As is this life, it is fleeting. I for one choose to not waste a moment of it in worry over the here and now that is out of my control. I will choose to savor these moments for they are gifts. In all their confusion and chaos I am being taught, molded and readied.
Thank you for this lesson taught afresh today. And thank you for allowing me to use this venue to vent a bit.
Last week I drove about 2 km to the farmers market, by myself. Yesterday I drove to the hyper market by myself, complete with toll road and motor highway. Today, airport. Tomorrow, who knows? We may just take the beach drive by ourselves. Or not. We wouldn't want to get carried away. There are dirt roads and unmarked routes that no GPS could find.
Posted in tt#34
Upon seeing the turqoiuse ocean the Things all sighed heavily. Ok maybe not, but I did. Seriously. The water is turquoise. I am not exaggerating. I would love to post a breathtaking picture that captures the ethereal beauty of the sites I viewed today, but sadly enough I can not. My camera was left behind inadvertantly. Oh well, another time. Like maybe tomorrow. Oh, I hope tomorrow.
We had a delightful day. Swimming, walking, building sand castles, snorkling and swimming some more. Not to mention snacking and eating and snacking. It is unreal the appetite that the salt water stirs.
There was smooth sand, no rocks, no sharp shells, no trash. Just crystal clear water, sailboats drifting on the horizon and the joyful sounds of happy Things and their friends.
Posted in Turkey
Posted in tt#33
(actually this was last week, but since I had no way of downloading my photos, it shall be posted today, the 7th of July)
From there we decided to take our hand through the local roads on foot to see the Agora. The Agora was a marketplace from ancient Roman times. It stands, what is left of it, in the middle of Izmir, amongst all the modern and not so modern buildings. We trekked through the "new" village marketplace, Kemralti. Complete with clothing, home goods, handmade crafts and then, are you ready for this, the food street. That is what I lovingly call it. Just when I wasn't so sure about the path we were on my sensories were peaked. And oh were they ever. Countless stands with fresh produce. I mean fresh. Not like anything we have ever eaten state side. The fruit could even be smelled. Distinctively. Cherries, apricots, grapes. And then the fresh herbs, the lettuce, the peppers, the potatoes. The potatoes even smelled good. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better there was fish on either side of me. Fresh. Being thrown and wrapped and iced Then the next stands were butchers. They do not believe in waste here people. Every part of the animal was being used and sold and hung for all to see. Thing 1 did reveal to Husband Jared and I that she was not so fond of the cultural experience provided here. As for me I will definitely be revisiting that street. Like everyday.
Posted in Izmir
And then I step back and remind myself how blessed we are. Still though the daunting tasks in front of us are somewhat overwhelming. The language barrier is more than I can handle. at least right now.
If you couldn't tell I am not sunshine and rainbows today. Really. I had instant coffee this morning. Enough said.
Alright, so let me fill you in. We attempted to move into our home on Saturday, last week. That was going to be our first night here. Thursday and Friday were spent at the house preparing, unpacking and shopping. Saturday morning our rental car arrived, we checked out of the hotel and we were on our way. Once arriving at the house we realized the klima wasn't functioning properly. Ugh. Phone calls were made. No dice. It wouldn't be until Monday that the technicians would be able to service the units. Then we went through and started making lists of measurements, what was working, what wasn't working, etc. We had no hot water, the hot water heater was leaking, the cook top wasn't working, our curtains weren't fitting. We were drilling into cinderblock. And then I began to feel guilty for complaining and whining. I must say in the midst of it all we found the positive with the Things.
We have a pool. An infinity edge, mosaic tiled pool. Filled with cooling water. The Things had played and splashed and laughed for 3 straight days in the pool. They remind me often what it means to live. Thank God.
Needless to say or maybe not, we are spoiled. We checked back into the hotel. Of course they welcomed us with open arms and the Hanson 6 was once again cool and in the world of klimas. Sunday brought it's own challenges but we perservered. We, I mean, husband Jared, tried once again to hang window coverings. We did laundry. We cleaned. The Things organized. I tried to stay sane. No dice again.
And then we met some new found friends at the bay for a picnic. More on that in my 4th of July post. For now, the title of this post came from a new friend I met that night. As I was sharing my angst, upon her prompting, she told me of a saying that her and her husband say often, "it's everything and nothing". So true.
All of these minor inconveniences are really nothing. In the grand scope of life these are mere bumps in the road. Tests if you will. Opportunities as I prefer to call them. Opportunities to teach the Things how to handle reality. How to deal with a new culture, a language barrier and how to show Jesus to these beautiful people that are now our "neighbors".
If it was really a test, I failed. Miserably. Like I said it is everything and nothing.
And then yesterday was a new day. Filled with new mercies and all His glory waiting to unfold. With that came a to do list that was crossed off completely. An adventurous shopping trip to Ikea with no GPS and only our memories to guide us and 4 grateful Things who were able to spend their first night at their new home in a new country. We were able to hang the window coverings, Husband Jared actually went to work yesterday, I put together a coffee table, I did laundry with a foreign machine upon which the instructions are printed in Turkish and I even cooked a meal for all 6 of us. That was yesterday.
This morning, having forgotten coffee beans at the store, which are a rarity here to begin with, we had instant coffee. I think I mentioned that. What a whiner. There was still no hot water for showers. I had no supplies to bake the frustration off. The cooktop was still not working and the laundry monster was growing. To really push me over the edge the panels I was hemming for Thing 4's room are now 5 inches too short. Thanks to my fine homemaking skills.
As soon as Thing 3 and Husband Jared walked in from their shopping trip it was like a wave washed over me. Again, everything and nothing. Emotions were running high and I was homesick for the first time. Or at least the first time I allowed myself to feel.
Don't misunderstand, please. I am excited beyond measure and so grateful. Truly. This experience that we are living is an amazing blessing. Yet, when the familiarity of what I've known has escaped my grasp for weeks now I find myself losing focus and perspective. So, today I am allowing myself just a moment to say that I am good.
It is just everything and nothing.
* Just a side note, while I was writing this, Thing 3 was showering and yelled, "there's hot water!". Amen sister. Amen.
Posted in Turkey