Today was filled with mixed feelings...one of those days where I just really didnt know exactly how I felt. This time next week, I will be on an airplane headed to Beijing. Can you guess the feeling? Excited...absolutely! A little anxious for sure, but not enough to trump the excitement. Today was also the day when all the teachers from Westbrook went back to school for in-service and to prepare for school starting on Thursday. This is the first time in 7 years that I am not getting ready for a new school year to begin at WCS. I love that anxious feeling right before school starts (along with my annual back to school dreams where the kids are completely out of control! haha!). I love the excitement of getting my class list and writing their names on everything. And of course, for those of you who know me, you know I love organizing the kids school supplies :) So, naturally, that all comes with a little sadness. Please dont misunderstand me though, I am 110% sure that I am supposed to be at Maria's and I would not trade that to go back, but as with anything you love, there is always that hint of sadness. I am sure I will be experiencing that "butterflies in my stomach" feeling soon enough, just in a totally different context!
One of the most difficult things I think I have had to balance mentally these past few months has been the sheer excitement I feel along with the realization that it really is okay to be sad. It's okay to be sad to leave my family, my friends, and the places in which I feel most comfortable for a place that is completely new and unfamiliar, with people I don't know (who also don't know me), and a culture that I have never experienced. In fact, I think there would be something wrong in not feeling sadness. But in that sadness I don't ever want to give the impression that I am not excited. The excitement I feel in my heart when I think of holding those sweet babies. The excitement I feel when I think of building new friendships with people half-way across the world and being able to serve with them. The excitement of playing, singing, hugging, and just loving on precious children. And even once I am there, in the excitement of it all I know there will be sadness. Sadness over missing those I love. Sadness over the lives of precious children.
So, here's to shedding a few tears in exchange for the sweet smiles to come.