The Return, and Some Updates

I know I was bad at blogging this month, but I was a little distracted by all the amazing India-ness going on πŸ™‚ Also, it takes a while to absorb everything anyway, and talking about travel while I’m in the middle of it has never been my strong point. So don’t worry; I will, in fact, be telling you much more about the country and the trip as soon as I possibly can. Right now I just have some thoughts that I need to put down in a quite possibly rambling, choppy fashion, so please bear with me.

First, we’re back (bet you couldn’t tell that from the title). We landed in Cape Town in the middle of a lovely Cape day; hot sun and cool breeze. The funny thing is that normally, I feel excited beyond measure to be back home. But today, all I could think was how much I miss the noise and the smells of Bangalore. Of course, by this time I am excited to be home, but my initial reaction was way different.

Being me, I had to try and figure out why, and I think I’ve got it. See, this kind of thing used to be an enormous part of my life; three months a year for seven years, pretty consistently, traveling to usually pretty rural places and experiences cultures way different from my own and seeing things I’d never even heard of. And then, for about four years, almost all of that stopped. I saw other places…I saw parts of Europe. But not like this, and not this kind of country. The ones that have a scent unique to it, like the rusty cement smell in Ethiopia. The ones that crawl under your skin and refuse to leave. The ones that become a part of you.

So actually, this was like getting back a part of myself that I’d either forgotten or lost or some other ridiculous sounding thing…and that’s partly why I didn’t want it to end. Also, the whole month was really one big message from God saying: “There is no ceiling. There is no limit. You can dream, and I made you to dream, but even your biggest dreams are atom-sized compared to what I have planned. No one can put Me in a box…and because you’re My kid, you’re not going in one, either.” And I think all Christians should realize this: There is no limit…the sky isn’t even the limit. We’re talking about GOD here. I’m not saying by any means that your life will be perfect, that you’ll be rich, that you’ll have everything you want. I’m not saying that at all.

I am saying that if you’re a Christian, have a relationship with Jesus, and you’re in His will, then you’ll have joy. Joy is not the same thing as happiness, because it’s deeper. It’s lasting. It’s peace and contentment and freedom and strength. And what I realized then is that joy is not, in fact, limited to the place where God helps you find it or re-find it. So I can truly and honestly say that, despite the fact that I do miss India and several other incredible places, there is no place like home.

As for NaNo…wow. I realized I need more time to do City of Sand, but I still plan on writing 50k in Spare Me Over, most of that today and tonight. I only have about 4k in that one, so hooray for doing 45,000 words in two days! Hahaha…coffee, anyone?

In addition, now that we’re back from India, I have something else you can pray for, if you like: the next trip to the US. There is a very real possibility that I’ll go by myself, and I’d leave on Christmas eve, which kind of sucks, but what can you do. However, there is not, as of yet, money for a return ticket. And since university starts in February, I kind of need to be back by the end of January. I’m not at all stressed: God has a plan. But I would appreciate your prayers. Also, my parents do need to go to the US, even if they go two weeks later than me, but again, they need money to come back. (I do find it slightly fitting/freaking ironic that I might be spending Christmas alone in a pub on the Heathrow airport. I mean, really, how much more typical does this need to get?)

Anyway, I will now end my rambling and leave you with this quote, sent to me by my best friend who is sometimes called Duckie: “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” We should never, ever lose our ability to find the beauty in the simple, everyday things. And we absolutely should not get to the end of our lives and realize we were still waiting for everything to start…but now it’s over. Live life to the full πŸ™‚

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