Johnson

Johnson

Friday, November 29, 2013

I have to be Honest

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone and I have to be honest, I'm not feeling so thankful!  If you ask anyone who has lived overseas for an extended amount of time when did you have the hardest time?  I'm pretty sure most of them would say, the holidays.  Yep, not so fun.  Now, I have to admit, I feel a pretty bad saying this because, well, in reality, we are incredibly blessed.  You see, we have what most people who move overseas don't.  My brother and his family live here in Thailand too! What a blessing! And in no way am I brushing off the reality that having family to spend the holidays with is AMAZING!  My point is that I am surprised that even despite the fact that we have family here, it's still SO HARD.  No pumpkin patches, no hot apple cider, no hoodies in chilly weather, no grandparents, no holiday traditions, because well, you have to make new ones, nothings the same.  I mean, NOTHING.  From the weather, to the food, to the people, to the environment.  It doesn't feel like home.
We even attempted to make a new tradition.  I downloaded last year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade (because we are 13 hours ahead, we can't watch this years).  It's nothing we ever really watched in America as a tradition or anything, but I figured it might help it "feel" more like Thanksgiving.  We watched it with family and I tried, really hard to just look at the TV and think about Thanksgiving and well, it didn't work.  Felt weird actually.  Like Thanksgiving parades and Thailand don't really go together.  And today we decorated for Christmas.  We put up our fake Christmas tree (we've never had a fake one before) and hung the stockings (I brought them with us) and now everything is blowing in the oscillating fan because well, I'm in shorts and a t-shirt and the windows are open because it's never winter here and there is no central AC in Thailand.  Even though I'm from New Orleans and I have had plenty of warmer Christmases, it's still so strange.  It just doesn't feel right.   I'm not so sure how to explain it.
BUT, here is what I KNOW (even though I might not be FEELING it at the moment).  I know that we have a heart for Southeast Asia.  I know that we LOVE Thailand and it's people.  I know that God has called us to move here and be here.  I know that I am incredibly blessed in SO many ways.  I know that, for the most part, we are loving living here, doing what we are doing and I have no doubt that we are suppose to be here. So, although the holidays might not feel like the holidays this year and although we don't get to eat all the traditional foods that we normally enjoy this time of the year, and although we are missing all the people we usually spend time with, we're here, doing what God has called us to do, and there is no better place to be than that.  So, although I'm not feeling so thankful right now, I'm choosing to be, well, trying anyway...    

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Christina!!! I love you. BIG HUGS!! I hear your honesty and the first holidays and maybe ALL will be like that!! I've struggled in the past and now recently again with my feelings...They can be up and down and crazy....and sometimes not trustworthy....Thanks for your work in Thailand and I believe God has called you. One day at a time...looking to Him for truth and for help with the feelings!! Love you sister!!! Love Leah

Jennifer Legg (the mommy) said...

I understand. I've learned people often put missionaries on a pedal-stool and often it doesn't feel "ok" to say "God this stinks!" Just doesn't sound so spiritual. lol. But it's ok. Prayers and love for your family being sent from 'the middle of nowhere' Alaska. Jennifer

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine how difficult it is! You must realize that it's also difficult for us with our loved ones so far away, and never able to spend the holidays HERE with us too. So in that way, I can really relate. Hugs to you! And God Bless.

Rebecca Johnson said...

I would really LOVE to dress up like a giant turkey and send you a picture, if you think that would help . . . ? :-)