The Catch-Up Post

Whenever I start writing again after a long hiatus, I feel like I should do a sort of “catch-up.” Where I am, what I’ve been doing. Not just to satisfy this drive to have some sort of chronological record of those months that have passed, but also to set the stage for what I really want to say later.

Of course, when so much time has passed, the “catch-up” phase that I feel I have to do just begins to seem more and more overwhelming. Where to begin? What to talk about? And so I keep putting it off and putting off and getting further and further behind.

I could talk about our new job and ministry at Camp Bellevue. How much we are enjoying it. How settled we feel. How thankful we are to have followed God’s leading to this place and for the chance to do Kingdom work together as a couple and a family (which is something we never really had with the jungle ministry Rusty was involved in before).

I could talk about our new home. How beautiful the area is where we live. How much I enjoy living out in the country as opposed to the noise and congestion of the city. How these things come with a price, because now that we live an hour and a half from Quito, I don’t see my sister nearly as often and can’t participate in our homeschool group as much as before. How there have been times since moving out to the camp when I have felt profoundly lonely and out-of-place and found myself missing even more the camaraderie we had with the Angola Team.

I could talk about our new baby. How beautiful and perfect and amazing she is. How thankful I am to have a daughter and how much I am enjoying little girl clothes and hair-bows! How fiercely I love her and want to protect her. How she is changing the way I think about church and the “women’s role” issue. How desperately I want her to grow up in a faith community that values her gifts and her voice and doesn’t try to shunt her into a specific ministry based solely on her anatomy.

I could write about the week I spent in Brazil in October with about 50 other missionary women. How wonderful and refreshing and soothing it was. How neat it was to look back and see how far I had come emotionally since the first Continent Care Connection conference I attended two years before (I was really a bit of a mess at that first one — yikes!)

I could write about “home ministry assignment” and all the places we’ve been and people we’ve seen since coming back to the States in October. How special it was to spend Elizabeth’s first Christmas with my parents. How, despite how truly good it’s been, we are also so tired and really ready to get back home and back to our own beds and our routine.

So that’s the background — where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing over the past year and a bit. And if you read my other blog, which focuses more on family / ministry news, or follow The Campbell Family in Ecuador on Facebook, then you are already aware of most of the above. And if not, well, now you know! The Campbell Chronicles has been sadly neglected too, of late, so part of my New Year’s resolution of writing more will include trying to get caught up over there as well.


On the Eve of Moving Day

It’s been awhile since I’ve written here. I’m not entirely sure why I picked it back up tonight of all nights. We are moving tomorrow, which means that for several days now, we have been packing, packing, packing, trying to get everything (or at least all the big items) ready for the moving truck. I am so tired… and yet, I also needed some way to commemorate this last night in our Quito house. Writing is (and always has been) one of the primary ways I process through complex emotions.

While a part of me is excited about our move and all it entails — living in a beautiful place out in the country, new opportunities to be involved in ministry together — another part of me is sad to be leaving Quito. I won’t necessarily miss all the traffic and noise of city life, but I’ll miss being close to my sister and her family, and close to other homeschooling moms. I’ll miss our big, spacious house. The house we are moving into is quite a bit smaller than this one. We plan to add on eventually, but we will have to squeeze in at first! There are so many things that I love about this house, and I feel sad that we weren’t able to really fix it up the way we wanted. We only lived here about a year and a half (the first nearly four months without any of our stuff), and there were so many projects we just didn’t get around to.

I know it’s just a house, just bricks and mortar, pipes and wires, walls and a roof. Still, I feel as though we’re abandoning someone we just barely got to know. I thought this house would be where we would break our record of the longest time spent in one home (3 years in our first apartment in Japan).

I suppose I’ll have to hold out hope that we do that in our new home at Camp Bellevue (where we will be living and working as the camp administrators). People ask how long we plan on staying, and I want to say “Forever!” After all the moving around we have done in the last several years, if we never have to move again, it will be too soon.