Only a few more hours then... Elveda* Turkey (goodbye*)! This trip has been good for me in many ways, but I can't say that I'm sad for it to be over! I'm definitely ready to be home and see this handsome fella. Two weeks is just too long. :) Whenever I'm overseas, although I stay somewhat busy with work, I seem to have a lot more time to read and think. It's been a great few weeks to be able to study the Bible and finish the Harry Potter series. And it's been refreshing to have the freedom to sit and be still without distractions of television, cell phones, friends and family, etc. I've had a lot of time at night to rest, read, and pray. It is amazing how undisturbed time with the Lord can alter one's perspective. In that regard, these past few weeks have been great!
In light of that, I've started wondering... why is it that my margin for "down-time" in the US is slim? It seems that when I'm home I can't find the time to sit, guilt-free, and read for hours. I recognize that living at a hotel eliminates many of my daily responsibilities (laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.) and I don't have friends and family to fill my time with, but I'm trying to figure out if it is possible to find that margin for rest/relaxation back home. Tonight, I'm doubting it.
It's so easy to be busy doing good things in our society: Church, Bible Study, small groups, ministries, volunteering, spending time with friends, etc. "Busy is productive, therefore busy is good," is the American mantra. Somehow calendars get booked and our limited spare time can only be found weeks in advance. A few weeks ago our Pastor encouraged us to leave margins in our life for the Lord to move. I was really encouraged by what he had to say in that regard, and it makes sense! If we fill our lives with activities, even good things, it can become easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle that we miss out on watching the Father move! And even if we've "blocked-out" a time in our calendars to spend with the Lord, we don't allot free time for Him to move or for us to relax. We're really good at allotting time slots for certain things, but finding undisturbed, guilt-free, distraction-free time to rest, read, and enjoy is rare.
So although I'm very much so ready to say goodbye to Turkey, I will miss the rest that I've had these past few weeks. I've read the final 3 Harry Potter books, 1 book for an independent study, and spent time sitting on my balcony overlooking the Sea of Marmara just thinking. That view I will definitely miss... I will post a pic of it from my phone in the next couple of days...
Just random thoughts from my final night here... See you on the flip side!