There are plenty of things the Shaws love about our life in Congo. There is no shortage of people greeting us, willing to allow us to practice our new French skills with them, and possibly wanting a selfie with us. We have tried new foods, explored new landscapes, and tried our hand at homeschooling. The breadth and depth of new experiences seems limitless but sometimes we indulge ourselves and reminisce over the things we miss.
If you are reading this post, you are probably one of the people we miss. There are so many friends and family members who are thought about, prayed for and loved from very far away. We miss the simplicity of driving in a luxurious car with smooth roads and laws that protect drivers and pedestrians. We miss people being able to understand us when we go shopping. BUT, these are not the things we talk about around the dining room table.
What are we going to eat when we are back in the States? It has become a fun game to try and outdo each other in naming the most delicious, sorely missed foods that we can think of. UDF ice cream, a grocery store aisle dedicated to cereal options, asparagus (I don’t typically get any votes for that one 😊), Whits Frozen Custard, Chipotle and Mexican food, really good coffee, hummus, liquid milk that doesn’t cost a fortune and really all forms of dairy, chocolate chips, Chinese food, chips and salsa (do you feel a huge Mexican food deficit for us?), and so many other things.
We are certainly not starving and have been so blessed to eat similarly to how we ate in Ohio, but we have found comfort in being honest about how we’re feeling. We all need to accept how important it is to share that we miss things. Food is an easy thing to be honest about and we’ve found it opens the conversation for the boys to talk about other things they miss. We have traveled so far both physically and emotionally in the last 8 months and the magnitude of that is worth acknowledging. We can’t eat ourselves sick when we visit home next year so we’re going to make a “things we’re going to eat” food map.
We’ve had several conversations about living in the moment. God doesn’t want us to yearn for yesterday or try and rush into tomorrow. We are very excited for what our visit to the U.S. will hold in store. However, God has asked us to be here, in this moment, serving Him in this way. Even when it is hard, enjoy it. Thank Him for all the moments in life that you learn something new and keep dreaming about that Chipotle burrito.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Isaiah 43:18
Renee’s advance #3022491
Nick’s advance #3022490
Nick and Renee Shaw
C/O United Methodist New Life Center
PO Box 20219