Feeling Better and Pictures from National Park #2

I’m feeling better but still a little tender in the stomach where the incisions are healing.  Today I’m not resting because I have to be on campus for our internship introduction but I’m thankful that I can sit in a classroom and not have to be too active.  More details on the internship in Friday’s blogpost so stay tuned.  Please pray for me this week as I’m pretty busy but still in recovery mode.  In the meantime, here are some pictures from last Thursday’s pre-surgery outing.Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 2.44.44 PMFor various reasons we haven’t been hiking for awhile so hiking and another national park seemed like the right pre-surgery activity.  We drove about an hour to visit Serpentine National Park and parked using our WA Park Pass.  We were greeted almost right away by two kangaroos enjoying their breakfast in the picnic area.  And we were happy to see monarch butterflies as well.  The three hour hike only took us an hour and a half but it was still enjoyable and the views were lovely.

When we went back to check out the swimming hole again, we found even more kangaroos that hopped away before we could snap a picture.  I’m sure the novelty will wear off eventually but it’s still fun to see kangaroos just hanging around.  This park was a sweet little gem and we are looking forward to heading back for the longer hike as well as swimming when the weather warms up again.

Inconsequential Differences Between Australia and the USA #1

While I’m recovering from surgery I figured I would set an entry to post that I’ve been thinking about for awhile.  Australia and the US have a lot in common and many more similarities than differences.  However, there are differences.  There are some big differences, like driving on the other side of the road that cause us to have to think more intentionally each time we get in the car or cross the street.  But many of the differences are pretty inconsequential.  They don’t really change things for us, they are just different.Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.56.16 AM.pngInconsequential difference #1 is the way hanger necks are shaped.  Can you tell which ones are US hangers and which ones are Australian hangers?  The ones with long necks are hangers we brought with us in our shipment.  The short necked ones were bought here in Australia.  This really makes no difference to our lives except that Australian hangers are too short to allow for things to be hung to dry on a doorframe.  Maybe no one else does this (I get it from my mother:-) but sometimes we hang our wet shirts on a doorframe if they don’t go in the dryer.  Maybe this isn’t a thing here because almost everyone has a clotheslines.  Houses in Australia don’t have dryers or don’t use their dryers as much as typical Americans.

So there you have it.  Entry #1 in the newest series of Inconsequential Differences Between Australia and the USA.  I’m sure you are all so fascinated that you will never look at hangers the same way again.

Who Needs a Gallbladder Anyway?

Living overseas means always looking for cultural experiences.  And spending the night in the hospital is one of those that you don’t look forward to checking off the list but it definitely counts as a cultural experience.  Up until tomorrow (when I will be having my gallbladder out and be spending the night at Hollywood Hospital here in Perth), I’ve only ever spent the night in one other hospital as an adult.  And it was indeed a cultural experience because I was in Ghana.Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 12.52.10 PMI was hospitalized for malaria and can’t remember now if it was one night or two or three but I recovered well enough and went on to hike, find rainbows, chase waterfalls and generally enjoy myself for the rest of my semester abroad (although this picture I think was taken in Togo).  I don’t have too many memories of the hospital other than they left the lights on all night, everyone else in my shared room had family coming in to visit and take care of them, the hospital provided beans and cooked plantains for my meals and when I left, I paid for the whole bill with just what cash I had in my wallet (which wasn’t much).Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 12.54.26 PMAnd now we’re in Australia, we’re still finding rainbows and tomorrow I will be comparing my hospital experience to the one I had a little over 10 years ago in Ghana.  I’ll let you know about the lights and the shared room.  But I’m pretty certain I won’t be fed beans and plantains.  And I’m 100% sure that I won’t be able to pay for the bill with the cash I have on hand.  I’m thankful for credit cards and insurance.

Even though this is a pretty routine surgery, I still appreciate your prayers.  Please pray for no complications and a quick and easy recovery.

Reasons #83-#85 Why I Love My Husband

Ryan came home yesterday from his weekend trip to Darwin.  I’m thankful he had this opportunity and I’m thankful for the future possibilities that were explored.  But mostly I’m thankful to have him home.  It’s him being away that has inspired this edition of Why I Love My Husband (Click here to check out Reason #82).

#83- I miss him when he’s gone.  I know I love him because of how much I miss him.  I miss him because of who he is but also because of what we have together.  As often as we fight or misunderstand each other, we laugh and encourage each other more.  When he’s gone, I miss all the little moments that happen throughout the day that make our life together special and unique to us.Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 8.58.16 AM.png#84- I love him because he brings me breakfast in bed.  As I type this I have an empty bowl next to me.  I don’t remember how it started and it isn’t every morning but many mornings, Ryan brings me my usual.  Greek yogurt, two Weetbix and a drizzle of local honey.  It’s a nice way to start my day.

#85- His kisses.  When Ryan is gone, we talk on the phone before bed.  We catch up, swap stories and relax a bit before saying goodnight.  Over the phone you can tell someone you love them and they can hear that in your voice.  However, the phone is not a good conduit for sending kisses.  I love my husband’s kisses and I love being kissed each day we are together.  It takes him being away to remind me how special those kisses really are.

 

Driving in Australia

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 3.28.50 PM.pngDriving in Australia has been an adventure so far and I’ve only driven a couple of times on my own without Ryan.  Today was my longest solo journey yet.  I attended church in Brookton and made the drive without the aid of directions.  Learning to drive in any new place is important and I’m looking forward to knowing my way around.  Today was a good first step.

Permission for Rest

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again.  I’m not good at resting.  My mind prefers to work and ticking off the boxes on my to-do list can seem to be the ultimate satisfying goal.  But my to-do list easily becomes my idol and expectations (usually self imposed) become more important than walking daily with Jesus.  Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 9.08.06 AM.pngI’m still trying to figure out what this means practically for me.  Finding that balance between productivity and trusting in the ultimate care of my gracious savior.  Struggling against the lie in my head that tells me I’m lazy or unworthy, when I know that I am a beloved child of God.  Coming to a place where rest is not guilt inducing but instead sweet and rejuvenating.

Please pray with me and know you’re not alone if you also struggle to find peace and rest.  Know that you’re not alone if a call to create margin in your life induces anxiety and worry.  Know that we were not created to bear the burden and weight of the world on our own shoulders.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Walking Together- Reconciliation Week

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If I learned one thing from attending Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week events, it is that in order to really move forward with Reconciliation in Australia, we all need to learn how to walk together.  It’s more than legislation.  It’s more than mere acknowledgment.  It is about being willing to have the hard discussions and taking the challenging yet necessary steps together.

Reconciliation is a wonderful, hopeful word but it stops meaning something when one or both parties won’t put in the effort it takes to make reconciliation, even the idea possible. I still have a lot to learn about the history of Australia but I’m thankful for events like this where I can keep learning side by side with others who want to walk together.