We went on a double date with SuperDan's SuperParents to see Mission Impossible last night. It was such a good movie! (And I don't use that term lightly)
The movie, like most action spy movies, takes place in a few different cities around the world. Of course it just happened to show two cities we've been to! Ah the excitement!
The first city shown was Budapest, Hungary. This city holds a special place in my heart mostly because it was such a horrendous experience! It's definitely permanently imprinted in my mind. Here's the story.
We were flying to Baku two and half years ago for our first visit. SuperDan, being the smart man that he is, decided we needed to find the cheapest route possible at all costs. And I do mean "all".
Sitora was almost 4 months old and it was her first plane ride. We drove 2 1/2 hours to Chicago, then flew across the ocean to Budapest. We had an overnight layover there and had arrangements to stay in a hostel. Not. Close. To. The. Airport.
We took a shuttle from the aiport to a different part of town where we scrambled to figure out the metro system. We had about 5 pieces of luggage plus Sitora in her car seat, mind you. These things are not meant to be transported by two adults on a metro. At least any sane person wouldn't attempt it.
We had to get off at about 3 different stops to change routes. (How my husband figured out the metro system on cue in a foreign country still never ceases to amaze me.) Mind you this means lugging our bags and Sitora in and out of subway cars and up huge flights of stairs. People were rushing passed us pushing and shoving. Finally we found our final destination and walked up and out of the metro. We looked around in amazement and were surrounded by huge ancient buildings, cobblestone streets, and busy people going this way and that speaking in a language we didn't understand. We used our handy map and asked a local if the street of our hostel was near. He pointed in the direction of a tiny alley and we gulped.
We proceeded to carry all our luggage and small child across the cobblestone streets searching for this unknown hostel. Have you ever tried pulling luggage along a cobblestone street? No? Oh that's right, only a crazy person would do that.
All of a sudden a Babushka (old Russian lady) came up to me and started lecturing me in Russian pointing her finger at Sitora. Her face was red with anger and I racked my brain for any possible reason for this nonsense. I decided she must have thought Sitora wasn't bundled up warm enough and kindly ignored her. She continued lecturing me as we walked off. What a warm greeting by a local. So kind.
Finally we found our hostel. I nearly passed out from exhaustion and slept soundly that night. We had to make the insane trek back to the airport the next morning bright and early, but it wasn't as bad that time after knowing the metro system better. Looking back we can laugh at ourselves, but at the time I was ready to strangle someone :)
The other city in the movie Mission Impossible was Dubai. This city is in the United Arab Emirates. Basically this city has "appeared out of nowhere" in the past 20 years due to oil and tourism. We visited there four times during our time living in Baku because of our visa problems. It became sort of a "home away from home" for us, since we visited Dubai more than we did America! We loved taking Sitora to children's playlands, sipping Starbucks coffee, and swimming at the beach. But the best part? Going up into the tallest building IN THE WORLD! They show this building in the movie when Tom Cruise is trying to climb up the side like a crazy rock climber. I felt the exact same heeby jeeby goosebumps as when we first looked out of the building when we went to the top! My hands went clammy and I felt tense all over while I grabbed SuperDan's arm for moral support. We were absolutely thrilled to watch a city we've been to. (And the fact that most Americans don't even know this city exists was pretty fun too...)
But while watching the movie, I started to feel an ache.
That traveling ache.
We've been on the move for 2 1/2 years like vagabond nomads. Always wondering how long we could stay in country, always wondering what the future held, always visiting a new place.
And now that we've been in America for 4 months, I'm starting to grieve our nomadic lifestyle. Isn't that crazy? It just became "the norm" for us... it was the only way we knew how to be a family... constantly on the go. And now that we've just "been here" for this long, I'm starting to feel panicked and claustrophobic. I'm sure a therapist could explain to me what I'm feeling in more elegant terms :)
But at the same time, I am at peace. I don't know where Father will lead us, I don't know what the future holds. I don't know when we will go or how or why. All I know is that He has a plan and it is good. The longer I wait for His answer, the more of my selfishness gets chipped away. The longer I wait, the deeper my love for Him grows. The longer I wait, the more open I am to anything He has planned. The longer I wait, the softer my heart grows toward Him. I feel like I'm being pounded like dough, over and over, until I am flat and completely usable for His purposes. Any of my preconceived ideas, my opinions, my wants, my hopes. They are all surrendered at His feet.
Wherever you send me Lord, I will go.