Well, I figured it’s about time I share some exciting news with you. I’m back in China. The whole decision-making process surrounding going back was rough. It took loads of trust and recognizing what God was asking me to do with this season of my life. I’m excited I said yes to this opportunity and am ready to glorify God through it. I’m back doing a similar thing to what I did during the 2012-2013 school year – teaching English, learning Chinese (which I need to get serious about this go round!), traveling, and just enjoying life with wonderful people.
I’m thankful that in a time where I was unsure of what I needed to do next, God opened the door and made it abundantly clear that this is where he wanted me to be. Someday, I may write about some of the ups and downs in the process, but for now, know that I feel great.
This time around in China, it’s different than the first. I’m in the same city and at the same school, so there’s a sense of familiarity. In some ways it feels as if I never left, but in other ways it feels like I’ve been gone for years.
My students seem more grown up. Some of the girls now have boyfriends, so it’s been funny to hear them giggle as one of them mentions it to me. They’re no longer sweet, innocent freshmen. They’re in their second year of college and seem more independent.
New construction is everywhere. Cars fill the streets more than ever before. Even though I was only gone for about 8 months, it seems like there are significantly more cars parked in residential areas.
At least the dumplings are the same. Boy, did I look forward to those dumplings. I’ve already eaten them twice in a week’s time. (Thanks for going with me, Rosie!!)
Prior to hopping on the plane to China, I visited my wonderful friend, Chelsea, in Salt Lake City. I had so much fun catching up with her! I am so thankful to have great friends in so many places around the U.S. and the world. Even though I may not see some people for a long time, when we get together it feels like we were never apart. I love that so much more than I can even express.
After an amazing time in Salt Lake, I boarded my connecting flights that would eventually lead to my flight from LAX to Beijing. As I was sitting in the airport waiting to board the plane, I thought about how I wanted to sleep on the flight. I thought back to my trip to Israel when we had a nearly empty plane and most of us in our group were able to lay across several seats to sleep. It’d be cool if God blessed me with that again, I thought to myself.
And guess what happened!
I got to my seat and there was no one in my row. I assumed whomever was to sit by me was still boarding. As we prepared for takeoff, I realized I was going to be the only one in the row! Mine was the only row with empty seats, too. How awesome!
So, I got to lie down and sleep for a good amount of the flight. After awhile I shared the row with an older Chinese woman who basically sat down on my feet. I figured that was my cue to move over and let someone else enjoy the extra space. I wasn’t even to China quite yet and I was already readjusting to a lack of a personal bubble.
Now that I’m back in China, prepare for some interesting stories. It’s always an adventure in these parts!
I’ve already been loving every minute of being back and I’m so excited to make this season count!
Had fun judging a speech competition the other day:
Loving that I have been able to reconnect with this amazing friend: