Isn't it amazing how quickly time passes? I remember when I was small it seemed like ages between each birthday, each Christmas, each new school year.
I now find myself packing up an apartment that I feel like I just moved into. I find myself saying goodbyes when the hellos (bonjours, really) are still fresh on my tongue. Crazy.
It's been fun. And lonely, and hard, and really too much on some days. The years teemed with adventure and frustration. Exploration and the rediscovering of roots. It's been too much and just right.
2 years in Belgium. And we're down to the last week and a half. The happy and sad tears are already mingling on my face... it's that time again. Time to hit the road and start a new chapter.
I think that saying goodbye to everything 2 years ago makes saying goodbye to our everything now a little easier. We've seen how God takes care of us through transition, how you wonder if you are ever really going to make it, to feel settled again, and then you wake up one morning feeling like you've arrived, that you are finally wherever it is that you were going.
We know that will happen again. We know he's leading us on the path he has marked out for our lives.
So I'm trying to live through this time of transition well. To enjoy every drop of bittersweet-ness instead of pushing it away for fear that it will hurt me too much. It's sad to leave, but how incredible and beautiful is it that there are people and experiences in our life that are worth the tears?
This past week, we have laughed so hard we cried and cried so hard we laughed....
We had dinner with Sirin and Xavier. Thank you for all of the meals and for running around Belgium with us!
Last night we had a game-night at Josh's. Cranium just refuses to get old- it is so fun.
Amy is thinking about how to best "marionette" me here. Have you played the newer version of Cranium? So creative!
Here's Pascal preparing to "marionette" Clay... We are all laughing because we'd already read the card and knew what he was about to have to do. Oh how we laughed!
This morning was our 2nd to last Sunday at church. It was such a good morning. I spent most of it trying to soak up every face, every song. These people have let us be a part of their family.
Daniel called us up on stage (which we were NOT expecting and I would have atleast washed my hair that morning if I had known :) and gave a nice goodbye presentation. They also presented us with a special gift.
Eric Lefebvre is an artist that is famous here in Huy. He's painted many murals around the town, many of them on our street. The church gave us a lithograph of "Le moulin des 4 saisons" (the wind mill of 4 seasons). We will treasure it always, and remember the different seasons that God brought us through while we were here.
Sometimes I feel strange pointing a camera in people's faces, but this morning I didn't CARE! It was awesome.
Nina and Marie. These 2 ladies are the matriarchs of the church. Pretty much everyone in the church is related to them in some way :)
Simon and Clay. Every week this kid would come up behind Clay and put him in a headlock, and eventually they became friends :)
This sweet little lady here with Elizabeth is one of the most precious things about every Sunday. She spends a good part of her week writing special Bible verses on index cards and then passes them out each week. Everyone has stacks of them at home. She is a treasure.
Boris, our friend and artist gave us one of his original paintings as a momento. Such talented and special friends!
Oh and then there's Lillian. I might just not say goodbye to her. She's just too wonderful.
Laughing with Josh. Those two have shared a lot of coffee over the years.
Blanca. My Colombian friend who spoke Spanish to me in the early days so I wouldn't feel so isolated and lonely. We stayed with them our first 2 weeks in Belgium, and will always be thankful for their hospitality and friendship.
This is just after Denise shared with Clay that not only is the prune tart a classic Belgian dessert, it will also help you if you're constipated... priceless.
Nathalie, who fed us and shared her backyard and animals with me, and Sarah, who kept us supplied with Guatemalan coffee and Latina flair for 2 years.
And Daniel, our fearless leader, who was a constant presence during our time here. So nice to have someone to answer our cultural questions and speak English with. We appreciate your leadership.
The weeks leading up to a goodbye are more full of life it seems. We're riding the wave, enjoying every speck of these precious people and this little town in this little country that we love.