oh, india.

we haven’t even left yet and the craziness that is india is already affecting us. my dear friends lauren & tara came to visit this weekend and because we were already going to be running around houston, we decided that we would theoretically swing by and pick up Preston & I’s passports from the visa processing company.

if you know anything about india, you can probably already guess that this was NOT a simple task. we started out at the old office on Westheimer Rd. (if you know Houston, this is going to add even more to this story, if you don’t, i’ll do my best to explain). We get there and there is a handwritten sign on the door that says something to the effect of “this office no longer exists, don’t send mail here”. Fabulous. So i call the number that called us to tell us that our visas were ready to pick up. My dear friend Travis at Travisa tells me that he doesn’t have the exact address where i need to go, but it’s right off of 610 and if i google it, i should be able to find it. Awesome.

I google it. And it’s about 10 miles away, which translates to 30 minutes in Houston friday afternoon time. We get there. Sketchy office building #2. Walk into the suite and there’s 2 ladies there that are all like, “what are you doing here?” They tell us that the office we actually need to be at is also off of 610 but further up on the feeder. I.e turn around and it’s less than a mile away but you’re going to have to go around & there’s construction so it’s going to take at least 15 minutes.

Sketchy office building #3. It’s actually an office that looks like we could pick up our visas at! Except it is 2:50pm and they are on lunch. And say they can’t release our visas until 4:30. If they have them. At 3pm the lady agrees to help me. She takes my case number & everything & goes to look for them. She comes back and says that she has no idea where they are and she has looked everywhere that she is allowed to look. We’ll have to wait until the one guy that has the power to look elsewhere gets back from lunch. And no, she has no idea when that will be.

I go outside to call my dear friend Travis at Travisa while we’re waiting. He asks for my case number, etc. And says, “oh. actually it looks like we have them at our office.” So i’m all “ARE YOU SURE?!?” He assures me that he does have both of them. So we make the 30 minute, 10 mile trek back to the area that we came from in the first place.

Actually normal looking office building #1. We arrive. Climb 6 flights of stairs with a pregnant lady. Only to have to go back down 3 flights to enter the building. Enter a super busy office suite and they do have our passports! Hallelujah!

And there you have it, such a true depiction of how india works (even in the US). Our friend Karis showed us an article a while back about life in india. She describes living in India as

being in a very intense, extremely dysfunctional relationship. India and I fight, we scream, we argue, we don’t speak for days on end, but really, deep down, we love each other. She’s a strange beast, this India. She hugs me, so tightly sometimes that I can’t breathe, then she turns and punches me hard in the face, leaving me stunned. Then she hugs me again, and suddenly I know everything will be all right.  – Catherine Taylor

Oh, india. My heart has never been more ready to meet you again. rājā’ōṁ ā rahē haiṁ.

 

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the infamous indian visas

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we went to ikea to celebrate finally tracking down our visas!

P.s we leave in 13 days and still have monthly support to raise! if you are interested in setting up monthly donations, email me or click on invest on the upper right hand corner! Thanks!

every day is a friday.

i wake up every morning and my first thought is “what day is it?”. we’ve been unemployed since july 4th. and it has been glorious. but every single day feels like a friday. if friday was filled with calling companies & canceling services, explaining that you’re moving to india, packing, repacking, more packing, spending time with friends & family and trying to spend some quality time together. it’s really a weird thing. to be on vacation but also preparing for the biggest move of our lives. not to mention, moving to india makes me want to break out all of my leaving for college songs. so if anyone hears me humming “Here’s to the Nights” or “Good Riddance (Time of your Life)”, you’ll know i gave in.

the thing is, i don’t know how to move to india. sure, i know how to cancel directv, entergy, etc. i know how to obtain international insurance, open a new bank account, raise support, write a million thank you notes and pack everything we’ll need for the next two years. but i don’t know how to do the big stuff. how do i say goodbye? how do emotionally prepare for not seeing my dog for 2 years? how do i deal with not being there for a very important birth? how do i miss all the birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc? how do i live fully here right now with one foot in the country and one foot in india? and how do i not spend my days reflecting on if i’ve been a good friend? if i’ve stewarded my time well? did i love well? did i make the most of every opportunity?

the answer is Jesus.

He’s the only way that i can prepare for this monumental move in our life. He gives wisdom on doing things that we’ve never done before. and he never gets tired of me asking for wisdom. sometimes i’m asking for wisdom on how to leave well. sometimes i’m asking how to love well in situations i’ve never encountered. sometimes i’m just asking for wisdom on how to properly handle our affairs. often i’m asking for wisdom coupled with humility. and He always comes through. he shows me how to do things that i’ve never done with a confidence as if i’ve done them a hundred times. he gives more grace. and he is continuously refining me through it.

and so i am learning. learning how to leave gracefully. how to say goodbye. and soon i will be learning how to bloom where i am planted. and He has wisdom to give for each situation. and i am confident that he always will. because the creator of the universe knows the way that i take and he will complete what he appoints for me.

“But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

job 23:10

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preston & i in san francisco (on a real friday)

life in the fast lane.

it’s 7:30am. on the fourth of july. and on our first day without work. and i’m awake & going. 

i think that statement pretty much sums up how fast-paced our lives have been lately. i feel like we’re on a roller coaster. only we cannot get off. it just keeps going and going. i can’t pin point when we first fell into this super exhaustive state of being. i don’t know whether it was when preston graduated and everything just sped up. or if it was earlier than that. maybe it was after we got back from chicago. maybe it was just moving out of our apartment this weekend that did us in. it honestly could be any number of things. but i feel like we’re going a million miles an hour. 

but the Lord keeps whispering to me, “it doesn’t have to be this way.” 

he’s been pleading with me for the past couple of weeks to sloooooow down. or at least to truly REST when i have the chance to. to rest in Him. in who He is. in what He is doing in our lives. to be fully present. to take good time to sit with Him, fully focused. to not be writing support thank you notes. to not be frantically checking our support account. and even to stop reading just to learn. all of these things are good, but He has been telling me to slow down. and focus on Him first, and to just rest in Him. to let my soul slow down. to let Him restore it. 

so that’s how i’ll be spending my morning today. i’ll be finally listening to Jesus. and resting in all that He is and the incredible things He has been doing in our lives. we’re 32 days away from leaving and we could not be more in awe of who He is and how He has made a way for us. 

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures. 

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake. 

Psalm 23:1-3