Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Old Restless Companion

In the early years our visas only lasted six months at a stretch. We made the dreaded border runs twice a year to renew them. The absurd thing is I actually enjoyed those journeys, especially the trips to Texas, which allowed me a visit to Stuff-Mart* to restock on things we needed and frivolous items we simply preferred.

On our last official “border run,” we were bummed to only receive sixty days instead of the usual six months on our visas. No way could we pack up however-many-kids-we-had-at-the-time and run back to the Rio Grande every eight weeks, even if the children managed to outgrow their clothes that fast! We finally switched over to more permanent resident status.

That’s when I noticed that my coping mechanisms seemed to only last about five months; after that, I became antsy and ready to plan a trip of some sort.

In fact, I would hit a downright slump twice a year right on schedule. I would wake up in a funk with no logical explanation. Once I figured it out, I just laughed over it, and then went on with living cross-culturally with no escape in sight.

Today, things are different once again. The three remaining children at home are Mexican-born, and therefore need no visas. That’s nice. I’ve learned to cope with Mexican living, the good with the bad, year-round. More or less. Some days I still get overwhelmed with the noise and stench interesting smells.

I was doing fine, pondering our lovely summer in the States—a time of blissful invisibility while some wounds healed over. I was enjoying our first week of home schooling, hosting a young teacher while she looks for housing, and honestly feeling content. Then one morning I woke up with my old restless companion, and I felt a funk coming on. This is way too soon to start feeling that again.

All I can say is that life has become too routine, too predictable. My old norm (especially when there were seven children living at home) was high-stress, crazy, and anything BUT predictable. I had no time to even think about contentment or lack of it. Now I find myself on auto pilot. Life seems too easy somehow. I’m not sure I like it this way.

How ungrateful can I be? God has blessed me with every good and perfect gift, and I am momentarily discontented. After what I said (and thought) last week in my blog post about “those” kinds of missionaries, I can honestly see the potential to become a snarky, bored missionary if I’m not careful. Yikes. Pardon me while I run back to the true Source of all contentment.

IRL*Striving to restore my old sense of adventure, minus my old restless companion.


  1. Oh how true those 'automatic' days are. I find that if I don't get into the Word soon, I will get really 'depressed'. I also find that in these times God has much to teach me and I must take time to 'be still' with Him.
    So often it's the calm just before the storm.

  2. Yes, the Word. I Timoty 6:6-7 has been my meditation. Godliness with contentment. A lifelong quest. Thankfully I have always pulled out before settling into a true depression. Mine are usually the two or three day funk variety. More exercise, more prayer, more scripture seem to cure it. Even now I am more optimistic.

  3. What a new perspective that gives me! Thanks for sharing it. As I am newly on the field with 3 children under the age of 4 years old, I am waiting for life to be a bit more manageable as they grow. While that may be true in any mom's case, I really am reaching to the Lord for His grace and contentment in TODAY and in 'ministry' in my home to my children who are learning to love Jesus..and hopes that I display His love! Your blog helped direct me in what I need to do TODAY and deal with my "funk". So glad He is a God who takes us with our "funks" and we can cast our "funks" on Him!


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