Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snow gently blankets the branches and trees outside my family home. As I sit here looking out the window, it occurs to me just how different the view is from here... from Shanghai to Michigan. Tall skyscrapers with no end in sight, to an endless array of snow covered trees and branches. I am sitting on the couch in my parent's living room, looking outside as a winter snow falls. Everyone is still asleep, and I have a moment for the first time since we arrived to sit and think.

A great deal has been going on with Phil and I since we arrived home. While on our home leave here in the U.S., we found out that Phil's Shanghai assignment has been cut short. We have gone through a myriad of emotions- disappointment, fear, excitement, hope, restlessness... the list goes on.

As things stand, we have a job offer and are waiting on the details of another possibility in Shanghai. We have one more week here in the U.S. and I suddenly feel like we have no time left to do all that we hoped to do. As much as we have tried not to let this whole situation affect us and our time here, the reality is that it has.

My challenge in all of this, the thing I am most aware of at this juncture, is how important it is to be present in all that I do. If I have one week left in the U.S. and we don't move back from Shanghai, the challenge is to use this time well. If we do go back to Shanghai to pack up- I have 30 days to make the most of my time there. In this time of pause and reflection, I am truly aware of how much opportunity we waste, how much time we spend in "daily living" (convincing ourselves that it is necessary and we will eventually get to all of those things we hope to get to). And a year, or two, or ten years later, we still haven't seized on our opportunities or done the things we have set as goals and dreams in our lives.

This has been my wake up call. As difficult a time as it has been- I am grateful and blessed, and humbled by my laziness and complacency. All of the things that I have set as goals in my life- working in Africa, working with the poor, loving people more, living life with more abandon, sharing hope with those who have none- all of those things become my focus now.

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