So, I am officially back home again. I've been here for a while now (I got back on May 1st), but there have just been a lot of things to process and do and see after getting home.
Some initial reactions after coming home were:
- Norway is FREEZING cold!! Sometimes I feel a little lost here, like I really belong in the jungle, which makes me wish I could just snap my fingers three times and be back there...
- I own way too many clothes.
- I never knew how much I loved Norwegian bread until I tasted it again! I'm back to eating bread 2-3 times again, and it's sooooo good!
- I love my family!! I didn't realize how much I had missed them until I saw them.
- There are waaay more ecological/organic and fairprade products in the stores now than before. I guess some things have changed for the better while I was gone.
- Arriving at my house felt like arriving at a castle -- I haven't been in a house that nice in seven months. It felt really comfortable and familiar to be home again .Yet, at the same time, I was kind of confused and saddened by also feeling like my home is really decadent and excessive.
For the last six months, I've been living in a one-room apartment with just a few pieces of clothing to my name. There, I learned that life without too many things or clothes or electronics is actually a good life. Maybe a better life. There's such liberation in living simply, and though our apartment was still nicer than the houses of most of our friends, I still learned so much from living more simply.
Now that I'm home, though, I'm scared by how quickly the western lifestyle is starting to seem "normal" again. How quickly I fall into old habits; how quickly I start taking my blessings for granted. So if there's one thing I've been left with since I came back, it's a feeling of urgency. A feeling of needing to identify the ways in which I've changed, so I can make a concious decision to maintain those changes. I wish I could tell you what that means, but I'm not really able to articulate it yet. All I know is that it has to do with generosity, simplicity, and faitfulness.
If we're not mindful of how we want to live, the culture around us will dictate our lives. So in fear of falling into a rushed, comercialized, self-centered, and isolated lifestyle, I'm trying to make intentional choices about how I want to live. I'm failing already, but I'm counting on God and the people closest to me to help me up when I'm falling...