|J (age 3), playing with the seagulls in Corpus Christi, TX|
I didn't realize it when I woke up this morning. Perhaps it was the text from J telling me he was sick after his weekend camping trip and wanted to stay home from school today. Perhaps it was just the general rush to get dressed and answer email and check FaceBook before starting my day. Whatever it was, it wasn't until I was sitting in Bible study this morning that I realized... I'm homesick.
It admittedly doesn't happen often. I really love our life here in Lux and wouldn't exchange it for anything at this point in my life. But sometimes there is a trigger that occurs during the course of my day, something that suddenly overcomes me, and I come to realize that I miss... the familiar.
I started Bible study classes just a week ago. A friend of mine, who just spent 3 years in Moscow, decided to start the group after having attended one shortly after she moved here last winter. I had actually met her via email before she ever moved here, as we share a mutual friend back in Texas and our boys are roughly the same ages. I had made the determination that this year I would try to focus a little more attention on myself - workout more, eat better, etc. - so I really wasn't looking to add another "class" to the two French classes I was already taking, but something really compelled me to take it on. I will also admit that finding a church has not been a priority since we moved here. Not that I didn't try. I did take the boys to church once shortly after we moved here, but it just wasn't the right one. There are only a handful of English speaking churches to begin with, so I really have no excuse. Life got busy and our weekends short, so it seemed easier for now to take on a Bible study for myself before plunging the family forward into a church relationship.
In any case, I had never heard of Beth Moore until last week. I'm not really sure why I hadn't, except for maybe the fact that I have only been to one other Bible study during my short return to Texas 3 years ago. In any case, after watching the first DVD lesson with my fellow classmates, I felt like I was back in Texas. No, Beth Moore isn't from Texas (I believe she was born in Wisconsin and raised in Arkansas), but she seems to have been one of those transplants that got to Texas as soon as she could. Her accent is spot on and her body language and use of stories just drips "Southern." I'm not sure what my fellow European classmates think of her, but they did admit that she takes a "bit of getting used to." My friends from Texas will know what I mean (regardless of whether or not they have heard of her), but she is just one of those Southern ladies that you can immediately relate to because somewhere in your lifetime you had a "Beth Moore" in your life - an aunt, a cousin, a neighbor or a friend. Someone who has an energy about God and her faith for which she can barely contain her excitement, but who remains a "lady" in her demeanor despite how much she wants to share that excitement with you. In any case, I can name several of my friends whose mothers share very similar characteristics and they have all held special places in my heart. Perhaps because I lost my own mother 16 years ago, and their willingness and excitement to take me in as a "step-daughter" of sorts, still means so much to me. They are the women that will not hesitate to give you that big bear hug when she knows you need one. They are the women who feel a good southern meal will cure all ailments. And, they are the women that books and movies (like "Steel Magnolias") are made about.
|B and J playing in the leaves - 2006|
So, homesickness. Another Bible study video this morning, and the memories flood back. It's not that I am homesick for Texas or Virginia specifically. I recognize those chapters or periods of my life for what they were and realize that we are in Luxembourg now for a reason. I love living here and have developed some very close friendships that I wouldn't trade for anything. However, I miss the familiar. I miss the quiet afternoon at a Starbuck's, reading a book or catching up with a friend. I miss gardening and watching the boys (and dogs) play in the leaves in our backyard. I miss being able to pick up the phone to call a friend, without hanging the phone up after realizing it would be the middle of the night back in the States. But what comes crashing down when I look back on those chapters of my life, is that I miss the past more than I miss the places. I would never be able to return to any of those places and expect things to be the way they were years ago. Friends have moved on, their children have grown up, and the neighborhoods have transitioned with new families. I know that we are creating new memories and traditions here and there will come a day that I will be homesick for Lux. But sitting here, on a fall day, wondering what my boys would be doing if we were somewhere back on the other side of the Atlantic, I have to remind myself that there will come a day when we will return to the US and a new chapter will begin while this one ends. In the meantime, I will enjoy meeting new friends in my French class or at my boys' school. I will embrace new challenges, like Bible study in a foreign country. And I will learn to appreciate every blessing God gives me - whether it is the mother of a friend willing to embrace a middle-aged "orphan" like me, or the opportunity to see my sons thrive in a new culture. Whatever it may be, I will get past the homesickness and learn to enjoy the ride.
|The Petrusse Valley, Luxembourg|