Thursday, June 28, 2012

Anyone Have a Cure for Homesickness?

Wherever you are - be all there.
~Jim Elliott

I was asked recently if I'm homesick yet.  We have been in Australia for seven months now, and honestly I do get a bit homesick every now and then.  The hardest times are family gatherings in the states.  I read the quote above awhile back and although I've heard it before, it really struck a chord with me recently.  "Wherever you are {Australia} - be ALL there." 

My dad posted this on my facebook the other day:
"Times you miss the ones you love
1. Camper nite
2. mowin by the cabin
3. Patch plays
4. Chuckie Cheese's
5. Watchin kids on the rides at the mall
just a few!!!!"

I have to keep the right perspective.  Australia is where God has put me and my family.  I can't sit around moping about my family in the states and their trips to Hersheypark, Knoebels, or New York City, or lunch at Cracker Barrel, or Sheetz 3/$1 hot dogs.  If I do this, I will get homesick.  I have do have times where I let myself cry, for example, hearing about the birth of my nephew or when my brother was in a car accident.  But I try to remember that God has all that under control, and my worrying or moping (whinging, as they call it here) about not being there for them (I tend to be a mother hen to my brothers) will do nothing but keep my focus on things other than God.
This is not to say that I don't get homesick.  I do.  The kids do.  I am so thankful for the technology of today.  I skype my family quite often, and we can make a phone call to the states for $.02 a minute.  We are truly blessed in this day and age.  Can you imagine waiting for months to get a letter from home, and then taking months for your reply to get to them? 

When homesickness does set it, I try to redirect our thoughts as to why we are here.  One of my goals has been to build relationships.  As much as I am a homebody, I try to get out into the community and make friends.  We are currently attending our local library's school holiday break program.  I meet so many mom's through this.  We had lunch with one mom today and I was able to witness a little and give her a gospel tract.  We later had a playdate with another family, and the mom asked me if I'd be interested in leading a Bible study for some of her friends.  When looking for opportunities to serve God, we don't have to look far!  God is good...all the time!


Anonymous said...

I can very much relate. Sometimes the smallest things can bring a wave of homesickness. Yes, so thankful for technology. It does make it easier, but yet sometimes harder when you see what all everyone is doing. God has placed where we are for this day and we just have to keep our focus on Him.

Renata said...

Hi Jen
I've missed coming here visiting & I'm glad to get the chance to catch up now.
Homesickness ((HUGS)) I completely understand. Time is the biggest thing. Your first year is the hardest, but even then the waves of homesickness will still overcome you sometimes, but it does get less & less turbulent.
Praying for you
Renata :)

PS. It's been 5 years since we moved & it's still those little things that I miss about being up in Qld.

LYoung said...

I just found your blog on someone else's. I live in Australia as well - Coffs Harbour, NSW right on the East Coast. I am originally from Michigan and have lived here for 6 years now. My husband is Australian so it didn't take him any time to get settled in again. There are still days when I have no idea what I'm doing here. Most Americans have no idea how different Australia actually is. Mostly in the little things, ie words, food, drink, etc. It really is so easy for that homesickness to creep up on you. Something I struggle with all the time. My father-in-law is an evangelist and travels all over the place. He's been up to Darwin recently. Have you heard of Fraser Young? Anyway, hope you enjoy your trip back to the States in just a couple of months. My family is flying back at the end of November for Christmas. It will be 4 years since I've been back at Christmas time and I can't wait :) Oh, there is a place called USAfoods in Melbourne if you're ever craving some American stuff - expensive, but worth it for those special occasions. Also, has American things occasionally as well. Hope that helps a bit :)