It’s been six months since my family uprooted from the States and landed in a Central American airport with nothing but four suitcases and hearts full of anticipation.
When we arrived here, everything was foreign. Our apartment, although beachside, was not our standard of clean and had a… unique style (Lime green walls. Must I say more?). Not everyone we met appreciated our sarcasm. The students in our program were total strangers to us.
We went from being settled in our established, comfortable life, to being gringos in a totally new world.
Now it is hard to believe that we have been here for only half of a year, because Esterillos has become home to us.
We are surrounded by family, Aubree has an abundance of little friends, we have established a routine, and are really finding a groove in the work we are doing with Seeds.
Recently I have been coming across photos and videos on my computer and Facebook from my four years of teaching high school in Schuyler. Some led to laughter, others to happy tears.
All of a sudden, I missed those kiddos. They would probably not believe me if I said it, but I think about them often. Teaching them Spanish and dance was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had, and I can honestly say that I LOVED working with them.
In fact, much of who I am now as a missionary comes from what I learned from them.
I learned more about disciplining teens.
I learned what is cool and not-so-cool.
I learned that life isn’t always easy for a 13-18 year old.
I learned how to chill out about some things.
I learned that even the least promising student can reach the highest standards.
I learned that what a student can or cannot do does not determine their value.
I learned that I am not funny. 🙂
I learned how to flip a water bottle so it would land upright.
I learned to never put anyone in a “box” because they can surprise you.
I learned that my passions are to serve God through the Spanish language and teaching.
I learned that it is more about the journey than the destination.
And as much as I would like to go back to my old classroom and continue on like I had never left, I now have new students that need me in a different way. And, honestly, I am able to focus more on my husband and sweet, sweet daughter here. It is a perfect fit for this season of life. I LOVE where I am and what I have been called to do here.
I am learning that the simple Gospel is immeasurably powerful.
I am learning that God uses me even when I mess up or am weak.
I am learning that I LOVE Ticos and their culture.
I am learning what it means to live in a huuuuge family.
I am learning how to surf.
I am learning how to cook like a Tica.
I am learning the value of saying “I love you” and the power of a hug.
I am learning that my husband and daughter are my favorite people.
I am learning that kids who seem impossibly tough are capable of love.
I am learning that I don’t have to do it all.
I am learning how to see all people through God’s eyes.
I am learning to pray in all things at all times.
Sometimes change can be good or bad… but for me, this has simply been change. There were challenges and blessings in Schuyler, and there are challenges and blessings here.
If only there were a way I wouldn’t have to miss my friends and family from the States or leave those I love here in Costa Rica.
Part of me wishes I could just do both lives. Continue on as a teacher in Schuyler, but also be a missionary momma here.
But I can’t. And that’s okay.
All I know is that my life is so so SO rich because of it all.