What's Next?

I’ve been wondering a lot lately what this year will hold. I feel more settled and content then I’ve felt in years and as I look out over the new horizon God’s given me I’m curious… What’s next?Last year was in many ways a year of turmoil and uncertainty and up-rootedness and I have expected this year to be more stable more certain. But as I look out at the horizon I see some things that are very uncertain and a few more storms yet to weather. We have had a lot of conversations lately with each other and with other people about getting visa’s – most of which have been very un-helpful and have just added to the confusion. We finally figured out what we need for a long term (one year visa) and have an appointment in Vienna to apply for that at the end of February – but they told us it’ll take four months for it to be approved and as of the beginning of March we can no longer be in the country without it. So, then we started looking at short term (3 month visas) which supposedly only take 10 days to get approved for but there was some confusion and after Bryan talking with the embassy in LA for 20 minutes trying to figure it out they told him he should just come in and talk to the consulate in person…which doesn’t help us much. Anyway, after a lot of talk and a few things coming up in the states in the spring that we don’t want to miss (Sarah Mills wedding for example) we are leaning towards just going back to the states for a while until we can get our visas (though it’s  not completely decided). I feel such mixed feelings about this – there is a part of me that is sort of excited about the excuse to go back – excited about being able to be in Sarah’s wedding and maybe even be there long enough to throw her a shower or something, excited about having time to see all of my grandparents and Bryan’s grandparents who we haven’t seen much in the past two years since we got married, excited about drinks out with Laura, and dinners with Alex and Melissa, excited about having some extended time to see Dr. Mike and get my health even more on track, excited about sitting in Tara’s kitchen and having a good talk over a cup of coffee, or maybe even getting a chance to take some pictures with her and get a free photography lesson, excited about playing Hand and Foot with Ryan and Angela, and getting to know Reed and Ashley better, etc. etc, …it would be nice to be back in the states for a while. But, then there’s this other side of me that feels like I’m just beginning to settle in here and really make some wonderful friends here in Prague and being gone in the states for that long would be so disruptive to developing relationships here – I would miss coffee’s with Sarah S. and holding baby Isaiah and seeing him grow, I would miss long talks with Carrie, and crazy Makro runs that end in “Lucie and Ethel” moments, I would miss dinners with the couples and playing settlers, I would miss being involved in the “gatherings” and the church stuff that is just now starting to really take off, I would miss Irena and her sarcastic comments and wonderful Czech lessons, I would miss spring time in Prague which is one of the most beautiful times here, etc. etc…. it would be hard to be gone for that long. Then there’s some other things and decisions on the horizon that also make me feel a lot of mixed emotions – including the small possibility of a job change this year…. And the bigger possibility of maybe trying to get pregnant at the end of this year… Over all it’s looking like it’s going to be a much less settled year then I had expected…and a year filled with much more uncertainty and change then I had anticipated. But, I think I feel ready for it… I don’t know what this year will hold and there are decisions I may have to make this year that as of yet I don’t know what I will choose, but I do know that God will walk with me through it all as He has in the past and will continue to do in the future. I feel calm, even amid the uncertainty I am trying to do my best to act my part well and create as much stability and rhythm for my life as possible no matter where I am or what I end up doing this year (more about that in future posts). So, those are my thoughts right now… “It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear . . . . It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to.” – Marilyn Ferguson“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves...” – Anatole France“Yea, I embrace thee, changeful Life! Far-sent, unchosen mate! Self and thou, no more at strife, shall wed in hallowed state. Willing spousals now shall prove Life is justified by love.” – George EliotRejoicing in the journey (uncertain as it may be) – Beth Stedman