So we've been staying with my in-laws since we got back. That wasn't really the plan--we were going to stay here for a week and then move in with my mom. But my mom's house is in the final stages of a major remodel and so it has made sense to be here a little longer.
We're in a large complex of condos in Glendale, and being around here has reminded me of something important. London is such an ethnically diverse city, and a complicated place to communicate effectively over a long period of time. I taught a Bible study at the church in the Spring, and out of the 12-14 people who came regularly, at least 7 countries were represented.
So I was walking through the complex here on my way to the laundry room, and I was struck by the number of languages I could hear: Spanish, Korean, Tagalog, lots of Armenian and even a little English. So many immigrant groups have made homes in Southern California, and I'm realizing that growing up here was a part of my preparation for service in London. Sure, there are very different ethnic groups in each place, but being accustomed to the presence of so much different-ness, so many people from so many nations and cultures, has helped me in my ministry within Greater London.
This visit has been really good for us so far. We've reconnected with friends and family, I've gotten a lot of work done toward my study leave plan, and I've been reflecting on what I'd like to accomplish when I get back to my responsibilities. Julie has been cutting hair for some of her old clients and hanging out with Ian by the pool here.
It's strange, but I think I may miss this place more after this visit than I did in December. But I also think that we're all a little better prepared for the move this time. We know what's coming--the good and the, well, not so good--and we're able to make ourselves ready in a way we couldn't before.
So...it has occurred to me that I'm thankful to God for so many things right now. For helping me use my past to prepare for the present and future, for allowing us to be reminded that we have friends in both places that we love and enjoy, and for giving us this time to rest and regroup and renew. God is good.