The dilemma for me with this blog, as with all the blogs I’ve attempted to maintain, is how I want to portray ourselves and our experiences. I don’t mean that I want to fabricate anything. But you know how there is a lighthearted, tangible, practical side to experiences and then there is the process within. How we understand what we go through. How we perceive it. What the tangible experience provokes. Naturally, this blog will record a little or a lot of both sides so let this be some kind of guide for you to understand that consistency of tone may not be found here. but I hope it makes sense.
we have relocated to another part of Be1j1ng. The city is gigantic. It stands a city as well as its own province. anyway, not the point…it is big. We are staying with our friends in their humble abode until the 17th when we will train our way to Nanj1ng where we will stay for 3 or 4 days. There is incredible history there that we are dying to learn more about. Google “The Rape of Nanj1ng” if you are interested. Our stop there is mostly to satisfy the history junky inside each of us. As well as see a beautiful place neither of us have visited yet.
Up till now, we have been busy little tourists and have seen beautiful palaces and gardens. Today is sort of a break day from all of that. My walking muscles are forever grateful. 🙂 Even though we expected this first leg of the trip to be a fun, visiting-friends, busy kind of time, we both know it is important to stop and process all that is going on. We came here with more than a vacation-minded purpose. Much more, actually. These processing days are complex at this point. I find myself working through how to work through all that I’m taking in. Its unexpected that I don’t really feel like we’re in a foreign country. Maybe that has to do with the fact that my incredible linguist of a husband can speak the language and maneuver his way through the culture like the back of his hand, but really Be1j1ng just feels like a bustling city with too many people, good food, and a lot of pollution in the air. (oh, how I am deeply grateful for California’s law that bans smoking in restaurants.) I’m doing my best to pick up on the language and be intentional to use what I do have in order to solidify and refine my skills. And to build my confidence in using the language. I swear confidence must account for 90% of anyone’s ability to speak a second or third language.
I am so blessed to not have experienced too much culture shock (yet?). Of course, I am familiar with big cities to some degree and a melting pot of cultures – and I love it. What I am trying to prep myself for is when we move down south to a much more rural area where we will stay and sort of settle for two solid months. I feel G0d already wanted to peel away my vanity and western ways of luxury. Although it feels strange and uncomfortable now, I know it will make our time down south much more rich and even enjoyable. It is deeply refreshing to live so far outside the norm of our culture. Not to re-enter our own with judgement and criticism, but to really allow G0d to weed out what unnecessary ways and habits may have accumulated and return us back to a humble mindset that stirs up health and thankfulness rather than greed and discontentment.
Oz and I have surely started to experience some stirring up in our hearts. We’ve desired for this time to be one that draws us closer to each other and closer to Him. How funny that when you start pray1ng for that you are giddy and excited to see Him move, but when He starts rearranging things — as you’ve asked — you suddenly want to clench tightly to what it is He wants to remove and replace with something even greater. It’s hard I think because we fear what we do not know. Even though we can probably assume what He has for us is greater, since we don’t quite know what it is, we resist it. At least for a while. See, He has a tender way of being understanding and patient with us. I am so grateful that at our reflex to resist, He does not give up in frustration. He simply waits and loves. He still pursues, just as He has always pursued us.
In a nutshell, this afternoon Oz was reading Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan and G0d began to stir up his heart regarding how we live our lives. We felt stirred up, but not sure where to go from there. I felt it was incredibly crucial after our conversation to quickly respond in pra yer. I felt G0d was saying, okay go. these are the moments I’m giving you to draw nearer to each other and seek Me, together. When you feel me stir you up, ask Me why. Ask me how to move forward from that point of conviction. Let me lead you.
We are desiring that we bring His presence here. We don’t know what that looks like everyday, but as we are asking for direction we at least know that how we love each other and how we love those around us are exact ways He is calling us to walk in. We want to remain available and flexible today. Not only for the next three months, but for the rest of our lives. We are not only seeking Him for what to do now, in a far land, but for who He wants to mold us into. As individuals. As a couple.
This is kind of where I am at in my processing. These days are good. They help me make sense of the emotions and thoughts that collide in my head. We are now getting ready to leave the cafe to head over to a friends house. In the meantime, don’t forget to get on instagram and follow us under “iamzulu”. We’ve yet to get the proper device to upload pictures from the camera onto the computer so look for us there instead. 🙂
Love to you.