Reflections Told Within a Very Lengthy Post

As the beginning of a new year always does, this one being no different, I find myself reflecting on the year past.  More specifically, the last six months of 2010.  While the process of this life altering move began early in 2010 and was solidified in February of last year it almost seems like a lifetime ago.  The year flew past me with amazing speed.  I was no spectator by any means but I seemed to have been caught in the whirlwind.  At least these last six months.

There is so much to say, so much to remember.  Much that I have hoped to capture on this blog.  What hasn't been said very often is what these past 6 months have taught me.  The lessons that have been learned, the tears that have been shed and the changes that have occurred.  So here is my reflective offering for the months of June through December.  Oddly enough, the months we have been residents in a foreign country. 

Goodbyes are never easy.  I tried to look at leaving our familar life filled with incredible family and friends as temporary and just a "see you later", not a forever goodbye.  It didn't work.  I have mourned every holiday and moment we have missed with all of them.  'Tis life though.  And I have learned that while goodbyes are never easy I certainly don't want to miss an opportunity here in the present because I am to occupied with what I am missing in America. 

Learning a new language at this stage in life is not easy.  For the longest time I kept thinking, or rather hoping, that I would wake one morning and all of a sudden this strange language would be comprehensible.  It would just flow off the tongue without effort.  Better yet, I would be able to understand it without having to ask the people to repeat themselves fifteen times.  Just so you know that hasn't happened yet, nor am I expecting it to.  What I will say is that while I don't understand everything I do understand more than when we first arrived.  And yes I can form a few sentences and manage to place our order at restaurants or at the pazar.  It is exciting for me to hear the Things able to answer questions in Turkish and of course they know their "manner words", please and thank you, etc.  Numbers, no problem.  And many other catch phrases essential for life here. 

Moving four children and an established household Internationally is not easy but it can be done.  This move has brought our family closer together, so cliche, but true.  We have had to rely on each other and life one another up when the reality of life here beats up.  Thankfully the Things adapted much more quickly than we had anticipated.  Friends were made and instant bonds formed for them.  I have come to the conclusion that it may be because the children here are all on a level playing field.  At least the International families.  They understand what the other has left behind but know their time with each other is limited here.  It is remarkable to watch this unfold.

We had the motto when we first arrived that we would choose to embrace the differences and appreciate them for what they are.  Easier said than done.  As for me, I haven't always appreciated the differences.  In fact there have been times I have thrown tantrums because of them.   Hindsight is always better on the other side.  Life is not always what it "should be", whether here in a foreign country or back in our comfortable Franklin.  I was rather ignorant to have arrived here thinking that life would continue to operate status quo, they way it "should".  Not.  Electricians, repair men, delivery men, postal parcels, none seem to arrive when they are expected.  Oh well.  Eventually they do, usually.  And if not, the earth still spins.  That Western mentatlity of needing to operate within certain confines and perameters really defined me when we arrived here.  Not so much anymore.  Without an inkling of understanding of the culture here this lesson would have been lost on me.  That appreciation and desire to learn about the people has brought me a fresh perspective.

Homeschooling in a foreign country is still as challenging as it was in the States.  This is an area that continues to pepper me with self doubt.  A feeding ground for the enemy.  The lesson learned though is that everyday the Things are learning and a majority of that learning isn't coming from their text books.  For the short time we are here, that is ok.  Maybe the more times I say it, write it and repeat it, the more likely I am to believe it.  The life experiences that we are sharing as a family are instructive.  The historic sites we have visited and the geography lessons that has lead us to have are all teachable moments.  The Biblical reference that the Things have experienced, live and in person, where they have seen the aqueducts and thermal pools, the mountains and ampitheatres, the temples and burial grounds, those have all been teachable moments.  And with a load of grace, their Math and "subject lessons" will be up to parr when we return.  One thing I must say is they do read, constantly.  Without an English library here I can not even begin to tell you the amount of money we have spent on literature for them.  Money well spent.  So our school doesn't fit into the standard mold of bricks and mortar classrooms and maybe not even most homeschoolers' ideals but it has been designed just so for our Things.

I would be amiss to not mention Husband Jared.  There is no "lesson" here, rather a newfound appreciation and admiration.  Husband Jared works extremely hard.  His job here is not an easy one.  It has taken much time and dedication on his part to establish the relationships and respect necessary to do his job effectively.  Husband Jared's understanding of the business culture and the customers far exceeds expectations.  He genuinely cares.  Not about the numbers or dollars gained but about teaching the Turkish employees the Best Buy brand, how to be successful and how to do so ethically.  He has a teacher's heart.  And being here has afforded me the opportunity to witness that on a new level.

My reflectiveness has ran out on me.  For now anyways.  My mind is flooded with an abundance of lessons learned, stories to tell that have revealed a weakness or strength, that have shaped me, all of which I will be forever grateful for.  If not as I was walking through it hopefully on the other side of it.  There is a reason for it.  This I know.

1 Response to "Reflections Told Within a Very Lengthy Post"

  1. The Van Dierens Says:

    What can I say! You are a wise woman and I respect that in you. You are a brave family and I respect that also. We are very proud of you all. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your lives with us! <3

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