Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Moving On

I've thought a lot about writing this for a while now, even composing sentences in my head when I was supposed to be sleeping.  In short, Gary and I feel like we've turned a corner, in a good direction, from where we were as a family when we arrived in Michigan almost six months ago.

Perhaps surprising to some, although not those closest to us, coming "home" from Haiti was a really hard transition.  For our kids, Haiti held many things of a child's dream come true.  They had adventures, played a lot outside with many friends both at Good Neighbor and other American friends.  We were always together, which for our kids, they loved.  We schooled at our own pace, in our own style, in our own home.  For us adults, we had jobs that felt very purposeful.  Although the actual "living" part of living in Haiti was mostly difficult, it felt rewarding and fulfilling.  If you are truly interested (like for instance, if you know us in real life), I encourage you to read {THIS} article, because it explains many of our emotions and conflicts more accurately than I have the brain cells to process on this early morning.  Besides, why reinvent the wheel, you know?  Seriously though, please read this article for a better understanding of our transition as well as for someone you may know and love who has or will be returning from the mission field.  We had a lot of support returning, and I am so thankful for family, old friends and new friends, for providing so many tangible and material things for our family as we restarted life here.  Also, I'm very thankful for those in our life who, although they couldn't know first hand what we were feeling, they gave us the safe space to feel sad and discouraged, and prayed for and listened to me cry.    The most amazing gift was from those who acknowledged that this was hard for us and stepped in to whatever role, no matter how small, to help lighten our load.

So here we are, six months later, finally able to say, "the fog has lifted" in our hearts and minds.  We still wrestle with how to do life within the American church and American culture even though we no longer conform to many of the values within these institutions.  

To sum it up, thank you for sticking with us and supporting us in our journey.  We know it doesn't just belong to us, but also to the countless people who supported us financially when we were in Haiti, prayed and continue to pray for us, and who sent us notes and pictures of encouragement.  We are in this life together.  Thank you.

It's time for us to move on the next phase of God's plan.  Krulls in Haiti, no more.

Monday, February 3, 2014

On Getting Old and Flirted with by an Abercrombie Model

I am willing to bet that this is a common tale.  One morning, about five months ago, I discovered my first grey hair.  Up until this point, I'm sure they were there, but I was living in total denial.  Also significant to note; my bathroom for the last year had been lit by one lonesome bare lightbulb, so the lighting situation was totally an accomplice to my lack of personal inventory.  I wore no make-up, did little more than comb my wet hair straight from the shower and put it in a braid.  I wore workout clothes during the day, and to sleep in at night.  My outward appearance was of little concern to me.

Then I moved back to the U.S. and suddenly the last year of physical appearance neglect was glaringly obvious.  Turns out, that one grey hair was actually about about 15 grey hairs.  My clothes were all outdated, stained, and ridden with holes.  I have split ends, sunspots, dry skin, crows feet, and a good bit of stubborn baby weight.  Aging, you are a jerk.

I'm working on it.  My physical appearance ranks about 11th on my priority list, but I'm working on it.

So this morning, Mylie and I made a Starbucks run.  Our barista was "Evan".  He had shoulder length hair, a requisite slouchy beanie, and a dimple.  It was like a professional snowboarder and abercrombie model mated and had an even more attractive love child.  The problem with my encounter was the fact that he flirted with me in the same manner that a college kid might flirt with an eighty year old lady.  I know what that looks like because my brother Michael is a master at it, and was always a favorite with my grandma and all her friends at the old folks home.  After I purchased my non-fat hot chocolate and new mug, he asked if I wanted a receipt in case something happened and I needed to return the mug.  I told him no thanks, and then he said, "Oh, living on the edge, I like it."  The pity flirt.  Trying to make the old gal feel cool.  I get it.  It would have been sweet, had I not realized what he was doing and actually felt insulted.  Seriously.