Today marks the three year anniversary of our new life in China. Three years.
Three year since we said goodbye to family, friends, and Jason's Deli.
Three years since I drug my marathon-weary legs through multiple airports. (Though I will still contend that it was not a mistake to run that race three days before leaving.)
Three years since everything we owned in the world fit inside these suitcases:
Three years since I gloried over successfully making my first "real" meal in my new kitchen--naked, baked chicken, steamed broccoli, and a big hunk of bland bread served on paper plates. Funny how our diet hasn't diverged all that much since then...
(I know I look a bit "rough" in this picture but if it's true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then you get the idea of how "rough" it is to transplant your life internationally!)
Three years since surgeons on bikes & pee puddles in the elevator were a shocking sight...
Three years of learning, growing, changing, my worldview shifting, my comfort stretching, my awareness of our Father's great care deepening. Yes, it has most certainly been a very good three years.
And to maintain tradition, I'll leave you with the highly anticipated, world renowned, widely acclaimed...
Top 10 List of How You Know You've Living in China for Three Years
10. The more your language develops, the more you realize you know nothing at all. Like when you call the store up the street and ask them to deliver bread and they bring you donuts.
9. Nevertheless, when trying to hold a conversation with non-Chinese speaking Americans, your speech is still punctuated with awkward pauses in an attempt to search for the correct English word.
8. You use your kids' Chinese names to address them as much as you use their English names.
7. You feel a need to tighten the purse strings when your weekly grocery budget exceeds $50.
6. Your husband's choice breakfast consists of Chinese gruel and bread purchased off the street.
5. You can't sing, hum, or even identify a single Justin Bieber song (and would be pretty pleased if things stayed that way).
4. Since you've spent the entirety of this new decade outside of America, you're not 100% sure how to pronounce say it in English. Do you say two-thousand-twelve or two-thousand-and-twelve or twenty-twelve?
3. Your driver's license has long since expired, and your free time has recently been devoted to studying the Texas Drivers Manual in order to reclaim said license.
2. The phrase "Expect Nothing, Appreciate Everything" has become a benchmark to your life.
1. There is still no place you'd rather be than where you're supposed to be.