If you ask me how we are doing, I will probably tell you we are good. Just trying to learn Polish, finish the school year and looking forward to our upcoming move...which will probably be followed with a sad face because we have no one that we will be moving to or with us initially, and I am going to be lonely. Ha!
However, although those things are true, I don't think that I am doing "good." I think I am holding on to a tiny thread, and trying hard not to lost my mind. The reality is I am swimming. Even as I type, it is 2am and I can't sleep because of all the thoughts going on in my head. I do not do change and uncertainty well, and we are living in both right now. It is killing me. Here is a rare glimpse into the mind of Angela.
1) We have been living in Poland for about 15 months, and I am frustrated that I cannot have a long conversation in Polish with someone. It drives me nuts. When I begin to talk, all of my vocabulary and grammar seem to walk away from me...mainly out of fear, I think. I want to be able to pick up a paper and read what is written and understand it without having to translate everything. But I can't...yet. I have to tell myself that little word often...YET. It will come. God has called me here, and He will equip me. I want to run a sprint and keep forgetting it is a marathon.
2) I don't know where we will live in 3-4 months from now. We have always known that we will come to Krakow only to leave. We knew this was temporary to learn language and be mentored in leading a new team in northern Poland. However, we still don't know what city we will be in. We are going again this weekend to meet with another pastor that we haven't met. At that point we will have met with 3 pastors in 3 cities. We can't go wrong with the other 2 we have met, and I am sure this one will be no different.
3) We have to start a new team in the north. START....What does that mean? What does that look like? I don't know. How are we going to meet people? There is so much pressure on starting new groups and ministries and speaking the language so we can talk to people in their heart language. This is so intimidating. I don't want to let anyone down that has trusted James and I to be able to handle this, but I am scared to death!
4) Another factor determining where we will live is our kids' education. Our girls have had different experiences here in Krakow as far as their school is concerned. Ella was almost 8 when we arrived on the field and Macie was 4. We dropped them both into national, Polish speaking schools...both are private but I call them national because they are Polish speaking. Macie has never gone to preschool in the States, so this is the only school she has known. She is excelling. She is speaking Polish like a Polish kid and has friends that she bosses around. She she is reading in both English and Polish but if given the option, she will choose the menu in Polish over the English menu. Ella has had a more difficult transition. She is our introvert and pretty closed as far as her emotions go. She is social and will talk to anyone, but is fine being alone. School has been a struggle for her. She was very slow to learn the language and this really frustrated her. She was told so often about how fast she would pick up Polish, and when she didn't she became discouraged and withdrawn. She has a precious language helper at school who has really worked with her. She tells us how much she has improved but that she is very shy to use it and speaks mainly to adults. She is also struggling with having ADD...she cannot focus to save her life, bless her little heart. Polish schools are not better or worse than American schools, but they are different. They are a lot more chaotic and less structured. Without going into a lot of details, we have been discussing the future of her education. There have been some behavioral issues that we have seen such as lying and taking things and a few others that have made us think that maybe she is not adjusting as well as we would like. Having worked with kids in foster care we have seen kids in transition model these behaviors as ways they can control when their world is out of control. So we have taken her out of school to eliminate the opportunity to lie and steal and are homeschooling her for now. We have interviews next week at an American school and an international school in 2 different cities in the north. We are still keeping an open mind about trying another Polish elementary school but are just not sure how long we push her and at what expense to her mental health. We so want our kids to be in national schools. That was our plan all along, but we may need to adjust this.
And if we adjust this...are we failures? If our child couldn't stay in the Polish schools, did we not do something right? I don't know. It has been a hard year. I beat myself up everyday for not knowing the right decision to make. I have prayed long and hard and still today I don't have a clear vision of what we need to do. I don't want her to lose her Polish but I also don't want her falling further behind in school if she isn't succeeding. Ugh. I could throw up right now.
5) Because of all the above, no one is getting my 100%. I have never really worked since I have had kids. I have always been able to be at home. Although I am not going to a job right now, there is a lot we are doing during the days and I am often gone in the evenings. Finding balance in studying, ministry, family time, cleaning, language time, me time, James time, God time etc...it is horrible. And honestly right now my focus has been on Ella. I think she needs me the most. But to give her the most something else must suffer. Unfortunately, it has been studying. My teacher made a comment on Tuesday...when I had not completed my homework because we were gone all weekend talking with our member care people about what is best for Ella and for us...that I was just ready for vacation. No that is not true and it really made me mad. I am very overwhelmed with so many decisions. I don't even know where to begin. I want to make everyone happy and do everything the best, but I can't, and I feel like I am letting everyone down. No one is getting 100%...including me.
I know I know...I need to pray about it and seek God and rest in Him. Don't worry because what will worrying do? I know this...but sometimes it is easier said than done. So there ya go...honesty. I am about to break out in hives deciding if I will even post this. I will tell a very select few people this but publishing this means that I am posting it for the world. Oh well. I needed to process and I did.