{almost} six months, ya’ll!

well, we’ve been here almost six months. this post is a little bit early because we’ll be on a visa run in Thailand next week. but i didn’t want the significance of making it to our first visa run to slide by. i wanted to both reflect and share about all the things we’ve learned in six months here and all the things we’re still learning. i’ll be honest, i’m exhausted. i’m weary in ways that i’ve never experienced before. the last six months have not been easy; but they have been deeply good. hard, so so hard, but good. this post is probably going to be all over the place because i am both tired and in that weird pre-vacation haze, but as our friends here say, “what can you do?”

in the last six months i’ve learned that toilet paper is an absolute necessity when leaving the house. i’ve learned that infections of any sort are not fun. i’ve learned that no matter how awful the bathroom you’ve just seen is — it can be/get worse. i’ve learned that no one is shy about pointing out zits on your forehead or that your face looks really fat in your passport photo. i’ve learned that it will always be awkward when someone is asking how much something cost and that i get really nervous watching my husband get his hair cut. i’ve learned that coconut oil makes my face break out, but i wouldn’t trade the little oiled hands on my face for super clear skin. i’ve learned that i actually do enjoy cooking and that does not make me less of a feminist. i’ve learned that there are baking substitutions for pretty much everything. i’ve learned that having my own cookbook with handwritten recipes is important because the internet may not be working when i’m craving banana chocolate chip muffins. i’ve learned that it is absolutely possible to make your own apple sauce and hummus from scratch, but you may end up with apple sauce and/or hummus all over your kitchen. i’ve learned that i am capable of painting my nails regularly and that nail polish covers a multitude of eating Indian food with your hands / mehendi (henna) related stains. i’ve learned that it will take 3 instances of  not being able to sleep due to a jackhammer outside my window for me to have a breakdown. i’ve learned that English gets more difficult when you’re speaking half Hindi/half English all the time. i’ve learned that sometimes I take on India like a warrior and conquer the day and sometimes, Mother India takes me on, punching me in the stomach at every turn. But it’s all good, because the next day will be better.

And i’ve learned more important lessons. I’ve learned that my husband is one of the most patient men on the planet and that we won’t get tired of each other, even though we spend roughly 23 hours a day together. I’ve learned that marriage is something you have to work at no matter what country you’re in. I’ve learned how to feed my soul in different ways. I’ve learned that life is so much easier when you’re focused on the vine. I’ve learned that God is faithful. In India, in the states, everywhere. I’ve learned that there is goodness in all of it, the hard stuff, the silly stuff, the ridiculous stuff. That is teaching us so much more than I could ever articulate in a blog post. But know this, we are surviving. We are learning to trust the Lord in ways that we haven’t had to before. We are remembering that He has already given us everything we need for life and godliness. That He gives more and more and more grace. I think I’ve asked for grace more times in the last six months, than, well ever. I’ve learned to laugh, mostly at myself, because sometimes that’s all you can do.

So here we march, into the next six months. Praying with expectancy over all that He is teaching us and all that He will continue to teach us. Knowing that He is faithful and that He is good.

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5

Nourish.

I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions, which is surprising considering my affinity for lists and goals. I am however, always enthralled by the New Year. It’s a  fresh start, like blank pages of a new journal. I find myself loving the newness that comes with a new year. This year, I’ve decided to take part of the One Word 365 challenge. It’s pretty much as simple as it sounds. Instead of resolutions, pick one word that you want to define 2014. It can be as simple as “yes” or “no”. You can put as much meaning into it as you want to.

As you might have guessed from the title of this blog, my word is NOURISH. 

nourish (verb) – 1. provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health and good condition. synonyms: feed, provide for, sustain, maintain. antonyms: starve

2. keep (a feeling or belief) in one’s mind, typically for a long time. synonyms: cherish, nurture, foster, harbor, nurse, keep in one’s mind, entertain, maintain, sustain, hold, have antonyms: repress, discourage

I chose this word after a lot of reflection on 2013 and where i am in life right now. I think it best depicts what my goals are for 2014.

I want to NOURISH my body back to good health. I want to rest and rest well and be healthy for longer than a week or two.

I want to NOURISH thoughts of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness all year long.

I want to NOURISH our marriage. To sustain it and grow it. I want to be Preston’s greatest encourager and I want to cherish what we have together.

I want to NOURISH my soul. Feeding it, making it a priority and giving it the things it needs to be sustained throughout the year.

I want to NOURISH my mind. I want to learn new things, read lots of books and be challenged theologically and intellectually.

I want to NOURISH my relationships with my family and friends. I want to be intentional and sustain the relationships that give me community and keep me afloat.

I want to help NOURISH the kids and staff at HOL. I want to encourage them and lead by example.

and more than anything I want to NOURISH my relationship with the Lord. I want to grow deeper in my identity in Jesus and all that He is to me.

And as I focus on the word NOURISH, i am reflecting on John 15:1-17. Which isn’t a feel good verse that encourages me, but a passage that challenges me, year after year. I’m always gleaning new information and knowledge from this passage. And this is my passage for the year, so that I always remember that I cannot nourish a single part of me without Him.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:4-5

I would love to hear your One Word! Happy New Year!

2013 {according to Instagram}

in the spirit of blogging tradition and because i ❤ photos and instagram… I give you our 2013 snapshot according to instagram. 2013 was an even bigger year for us than 2012! We celebrated our first year of marriage, we traveled to Chicago on our first big trip together, we went to San Francisco with my parents, Preston came to Kolkata for a week and then we moved to India!

We are so looking forward to all that 2014 will hold!