Moving is not new to me. I've lived in more than a few places on a couple of continents. Similarly blogging is not new to me. A few years ago I started this blog. It was a great introduction to publishing my thoughts in a public forum. The habit of forming thoughts, writing, editing, and posting them became a good way to express myself while connecting with a variety of people. Some of those people I know well. Others are members of the Xanga community who have become more than acquaintances during my introduction to the blogosphere.
Just as my physical location has changed over the years, my blog is moving. This was a great place to start my blogging journey. My own website is an even better place to continue it. Xanga is a relatively closed community. It's hard for people to respond to a post if they're not a member of the Xanga community. Commenting on the new site should be much easier; I hope you will continue to connect with me over at sherylobryan.com.
As I have time (and brain power to remember), I'll copy posts here. Thanks for joining me thus far on the journey. I hope to continue to interact with you.
I'm not a Third Culture Kid, but I spend much of my time and energy interacting with them, being part of their world, and doing my best to understand them and the things that impact them. I definitely identify with them. My friend Libby would say I'm a Third Culture Adult . . . not to be confused with an Adult TCK.
Third Culture Kids have their roots in people not places. In the last few weeks I've been reminded so many times that my roots are in people. Certainly there are places that are special to me. Every time I'm in the region of NY where I grew up, I drive by the two houses I remember living in. They were home to me for most of my growing up years and still hold some importance, but they are no longer home.
There's a piece of my home in my friend Brenda who I saw a few weeks ago. She spends most of her time living in a village in Guinea. I mean V-I-L-L-A-G-E . . . village. Think no electricity, no running water, some form of basic structure that isn't much more than a few walls and a roof. I realized as we sat in a comfy condo in suburban Denver that she is a piece of my home. Part of my history that I can't just drive past and reminisce about. When I'm with Brenda I see the stresses and ravages of the war and the coups we went through. I see the grace of a God who gives us what we need when we need it. I see there really is no going home because home is scattered in hundreds of people living in seemingly countless places around the world.
There's a piece of my home in my Jewel who sits next to me in the lecture hall for two weeks every summer. Our friendship extends 20 years into the past. We've shared birthdays, Christmases, side-splitting laughter, class sponsorships, private tears, public joys, amazing triumphs and jarring tragedies. This week I have been blessed to spend a few hours sitting between Jewel and her eldest daughter Tiece who is pregnant with Jewel's first grandchild. Tears of joy mingled with salty homesickness as we linked arms, sat, and listened to the speaker. I was home and yet so far from home.
My heart finds a piece of home this week when seven year old Lauren jumps into my arms as I walk past her. Her family is part of my ministry support team. I've known her for the last five or so years---soon after she was adopted in Cambodia. I taught with her Mom in Cote d'Ivoire one year. Time spent with her family gains me moments of home in both Africa and Oregon.
Amber, a former student whose class I sponsored ten years ago, came to visit for 24 hours earlier this week. Suddenly another piece of my heart's home was in front of me, sleeping in the bed on the other side of the room, and sitting at meals with me. Talk of her classmates and their upcoming reunion flooded my heart with more home and yearning.
These homes are old homes. Full of the familiar, the steadfast, the comfortable they are. They change and mature, have new paintjobs and landscaping, but I know home when I see it.
There are newer homes around where my pieces of my heart have started to reside. Newer friends I see once a year at this conference who carry pieces of me to Australia, Taiwan, Canada, Malaysia, Germany, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and right down the road to Colorado Springs. I relish these moments when I can pull so many pieces of my heart together in one place, but I am simultaneously pained by the knowledge that this conjoinment is impermanent.
During this training we're looking hard at I Peter 1. "To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout . . . Grace and peace be yours in abundance." It's good to know God thought of my scattered heart long, long, long ago and knew how to take care of it.
It seems I always think of things to write here when I'm far away from my computer. Since I'm sitting in meetings and my brain has split focus, I decided I would grace you with some of my most recent facebook status updates. I hope it's better than nothing!
June 17 - Sheryl is on her way home to do laundry so she can pack. The excitement is overwhelming.
June 14 - Sheryl watched Zoolander for the first time last night and is now signing certificates.
June 11 - Sheryl is done with the presentation and now just gets to critique.
June 11 - Sheryl thinks she should look over the stuff she's teaching today.
June 10 - Sheryl is heading downstairs to start BaseCamp.
June 9 - Sheryl just had a sword brandished in her face.
June 4 - Brain cramps
June 2 - . . . too much to do, so I'm going to PT to get happy knees.
June 1 - . . . You know you're working with MKs when they're playing "The 3 Little Pigs" and one of the pigs says to the Big Bad Wolf, "Wolf---in the name of Jesus---GO!"
May 31 - . . . going to the Springs for Teresa's shower.
And there you have a brief view into my last few weeks. Not terribly exciting, but that's the way it goes sometime. I really will try to do better in the next few weeks!
Confession time. I used to live somewhere else. Let me explain. For the past few months I've been making a concerted effort to live in the present. Sounds rather strange doesn't it? People who dwell in the past are part of our vocabulary. Living in the present seems like an obvious thing to do. I could say I was focused on the future, but that's not exactly accurate. I don't know what the future holds, so I can't exactly live there.
What I have often done, as long as I can remember, is make up a future for myself that I'd like to live in. In my idle thoughts I've constructed conversations, geography and circumstances for myself and those who are either intersecting my life or whom I would like to intersect my life. Perhaps some of these things may become the novel everyone intends to write one day. Perhaps they will just remain idle thoughts. In and of themselves, there's nothing wrong with these thoughts. I wasn't always the heroine, though rarely did I take on the role of a villainess. Not everything was happy and shiny, but there was nothing untoward or heinous.
A few months ago I was convicted that living in the somewhere else was basically a waste of the present. I wasn't taking every thought and making it captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Since then I've been vigilantly policing my thoughts; or at least trying to do that. I've realized a few things . . . this living somewhere else is a hard habit to break! There's a lot to experience in the now. My now is quite different than that non-existent place. I'm not sure if it's better or worse. It's just different. I realized, too, that sometimes I set myself up for disappointment that didn't need to be because I wasn't appreciating the now and was longing for whatever I thought might be.
Today while I was driving back to the office after running some errands, a glimpse of the partial profile of the woman in the car near mine flooded me with emotion. I won't even try to recount the sequence of thoughts that led to the tears flowing down my cheeks; they aren't THAT important. What is noteworthy is that those few moments gave me a different perspective. I realized an accompanying truth to living in the now vs. living in the somewhere else . . . I sometimes focus on the sadness of what isn't and miss the grace of what is.
My new resolve: live in the now and enjoy the grace of what is.
That's alright. I understand. And you def. need your rest. :)...and time with friends is good and important. Have you been watching American Idol this season? hehehe. :). Miss you. Hopefully we'll talk soon. :) (did my chat board cut you off...your msg ended with ---@ or ---a...can't remember...just