i hope you are all reading this still full of turkey and feeling good from a weekend with family. for me, it's a good thing that thanksgiving is over, because last week was pretty tough. this whole spain experience has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, with a whole week being the really exciting part where you shoot out of the tunnel and the next day i feel like i'm stuck in the upside down/backwards part of the ride or the part where you feel like you literally may fall out of your seat. overall, it really has been a great experience so far, and i would say 85 percent of the time i am perfectly happy being here, but this week was the upside down/backward/fall out of your seat loop on the rollercoaster. i just had a hard time knowing that i was here and my family was in boerne, all together, having fun and eating delicious food. i never realized before how much i really love thanksgiving. so, i am thankful that i get to come home for christmas because after this week, i know that i would be an absolute basket case if i wasn't. i wanted to say that little bit about how hard this week was for me, because i also wanted to post this quote from donald miller's book through painted deserts (not so you all feel sorry for me). i found it on someone else's blog and it's encouraging to me, because even though sometimes it's hard being away from home, i know that it's a good thing for me.
"Life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath:
It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in the cold and stil and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were… and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be.
So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification.
And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children to play. My hope is your story will be about changing, and getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving your self around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting, the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed."
here are a few photos of my spanish thanksgiving. instead of buying a whole turkey, we just got five turkey legs, which made me feel like i was going to a fair. i let the spaniards take care of the turkey, bc i haven't the slightest idea of how to cook turkey, and it turned out really, really tasty. i made dressing, but it wasn't as good as my grandma's and i'm going to blame that on the ingredients, not on my abilities in the kitchen. we also had sweet potatoes, salad and a kind of spanish tapa(kind of like appetizers) called croquetes. the whole meal was really good and a lot of fun.