So I know that I wasn’t going to do a post on our 1 Year Anniversary in Russia, but yesterday Nick and I were watching Isla run around, and he remarked that when we first moved in, Isla couldn’t even walk yet, and now we have this busy little toddler! It reminded me about how much our lives have changed so much in just a short year. We left the US on March 15th, so I am about 11 days late but here goes…
Blogging is such a Catch-22. When I have nothing going on, I have tons of time to blog, and I blog about the most mundane things. When I have lots going on, I have little time to blog, and not much gets shared. When we first moved here, I was blogging about hot dogs that we picked up at the supermarket or any random thing that happened that day. And the thing is, I blog because I want to remember our lives, and I love chronicling our comings and goings! I wish that I was more diligent so that I won’t forget this time in our lives.
Moving to Russia has been one of the hardest things that Nick and I have ever done. Even with all of the blessings it was HARD to pull up all of our tender roots that we had planted in Louisiana, hard to move somewhere where we didn’t speak the language and where there were little to no expats. Honestly, sometimes I look at expats living in other communities overseas and I get absolutely green over all of the amenities that they have! Here we have our apartment and the promenade and a Mega Mall that is three hours away for entertainment.
But oh my goodness, how much we have stretched and grown here! In a way, I am so thankful for the lack of expat culture here. Without the ready-made community and entertainment venues that are available in most expat towns, we have had to step out of comfort zone!
Today my social calendar is full-to-busting! I don’t even have time to see or meet up with everyone I want to. Its hard to believe that there was time when I felt like we didn’t have friends here or wondered if people really liked us. I am so glad that we have taken the time to invest in relationships here. Yes there have been times where it was very discouraging to invite people over and over and over and never have them return any interest; it was humbling to say the least. But we know that people matter and that they last forever! So we kept trying. Our greatest blessings here have been in the friends we have made, and hopefully we will see all of them in eternity.
And Nick and Isla and I… I love my little family. We are not perfect, but we are happy, and we love each other! Isla has grown and changed so much. She is funny, outgoing, and so energetic! I do miss my little cuddly baby from a year ago, but she is our best source of entertainment here. Nick is my heart, and I will never understand why chose to bless me with this man. Nick is our hero.
We have also loved finding our church and becoming as involved as we can! It has been especially sweet watching Nick give up what little extra time he has to serve there with all of his heart. It has been such a joy to watch him develop into such a servant leader! And our friends, we love them so. That has been the greatest joy of our time here. I am so thankful for Katya, Anya, Ira and everyone else that we have met at our church.
And then there’s all the fun travel. All I can say is “WOW”. God is good. We never traveled in the states because we didn’t want to spent money on something that felt so frivolous and then just because God is like that, He has provided a way for us to travel and not feel guilty at all about the money spent! Why He chooses to be so generous to us, I will never know, but like I said before, its just because He’s like that.
So wow, what a year! To summarize, I am so thankful for -
- the friendships we have made
- God stretching us, but always being so faithful and constant!
- my family and the changes that we have experienced
- our church, we love serving there!
- exciting adventures
I am so looking forward to another year here! I cannot wait, I cannot wait, I cannot wait to see what will happen.