Since we arrived in Spain, life has been a consistent string of steps forward and backward. Three steps forward, two steps back. Four steps back, one step forward. More forward, more backward. Despite the exhaustion and stress of this process, we recently celebrated the realization that we feel like we are moving forward. All the way along we’ve received blessed encouragement from our bosses, church friends, and visitors that we indeed have been progressing, but it has been a wonderful gift to see for ourselves.
Here are some examples for me (Julie):
I am learning to make my own schedule. Prior to Spain, I had never worked from home before, and it has been a daunting task to learn how to schedule my days. Although I still have ways to grow, I am getting better at this and have enjoyed a very productive week.
I can talk in Spanish more. I have attended the ladies sewing club at our church for over a year and for months I didn’t say hardly anything to the entire group. The last two weeks I have found myself telling stories and contributing to the conversation for the group as a whole.
I have accepted again that I am not Chad. My husband is an incredibly disciplined and studious person. I admire him deeply for those qualities, but I have found at times that I feel condemned because I am not like him. For the first year here, I fought against feelings of guilt and stress because my husband was studying Spanish grammar endless hours each day and I was not. So, I’ve recently accepted that I hate studying grammar and embraced a system of studying Spanish that I enjoy. I’m reading kids books, watching movies and talking as much as possible, and the good news is that I am making progress! Yeah!
I expect some backwards steps to come soon, but for now, these are some successes worthy of celebrating.