November 17, 2010

Keep The Change

I find myself saying the phrase "keep the change" quite a bit these days. My only mode of transportation is walking, subway, bus or taxi and I opt for the taxi probably more than I should. I ADORE chatting with the taxi drivers here. So many of them have been so kind and curious about where in the states I came from....offering me all kinds of advice on life in Singapore. I have laughed with some of them and taken notes with others. It is amazing how so many of them have never lived anywhere outside of this little island and yet know so much about the rest of the world. They are kind to my boys and take their jobs very seriously. Every once in awhile I get a driver that is cranky and irritated at my mere existence, but overall they are kind and polite.

Tipping taxi drivers is more the exception than the rule here. I get great amounts of joy at tipping them because they always are so grateful. My statement of "keep the change", even if it is only rounding out the dollar, is always met with gratitude.

Recently, I have not been as gracious with the change that has been handed to me. Before you quit reading out of exasperation for a post where I bemoan my current situation, let me just tell you that this will be the last you hear of it.

When I set out to write about and document our experience I promised myself that I would be authentic in recording the details in our move. That means stuff that's not always fun and exciting. Life is never always fun and exciting. Good, bad, or indifferent I am not going to pretend otherwise.

That being said, I will honestly say that this last month has been the hardest since we've moved. The homesickness has been almost crippling at times and the fight against it often left me exhausted. People deal with emotions differently and I wish I could say that I dug into the Bible or went for a run, but my way of dealing with life that is overwhelming is to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. I'm not proud of that and I don't think it's healthy, but it's what I do.

This past Friday I found myself with a completely empty day and a completely empty apartment. Of all my options for how to spend my day I chose the one that required the least amount of effort and I went back to bed after sending the boys on their way. It was many, many hours later when I woke up and was completely ashamed of the time I had wasted. Completely and totally wasted time.

I forced myself to have a quiet time knowing that enough was enough and I needed some godly inspiration. I've been studying Ruth and on Friday it was the day that Ruth had a turning point. The day that she was done mourning her dead husband and ready to move on. A coincidence? I don't believe in coincidences.

I spent a lot of time talking to God that day. I told Him that in case He hadn't noticed, I'm not the most graceful with major life change. I told Him that I was sorry for the time wasted. I told Him that I was really ready to be done with the sadness and to be present right here where I am. I also thanked Him for putting some amazing women into my life here in Singapore that deserve a me that is not emotionally high maintenance.

I was reminded of the fact that on at least two occasions in Houston I had spoken to a group of women and addressed how important it is to leave your past where it belongs and not to walk through life looking behind you because that's how you miss what's in front of you. I so love the irony of the opportunity to put into play what was so easy to say.

Friday was the day that I put on my big girl pants. I realize that there will be times when I will still be sad, but the way in which I choose to deal with those emotions is 100% my choice. I am choosing to get on with life.

Change happens to everyone. Sometimes it's good....a new life, a new relationships, a new opportunity. Sometimes it's hard....a lost life, a lost relationship, a lost opportunity. It is what makes life interesting and keeps us humble - a solid reminder that we are not the ones in control.

My goal is to "keep the change" that is given to me and to be grateful for the opportunities it provides. To be real with my emotions and know they're a part of life but that I have a choice every single day in how I deal with it.

Not for a moment do I think it will be all peaches and cream from here on out. But for now, I'm done talking about it and I'm done writing about it.

I'm going to work on channeling my emtions into a love for running. Then maybe my big girl pants will need to get a little smaller. Now that's a change I could really embrace!


  1. Thank you for writing this. It's what I needed to hear. I'm going to start looking forward more, too.

  2. Did you know that the word "coincidence" doesn't exist in the Hebrew language. And since it is said to be the language of God, there is no such thing as a coincidence! It was totally God! ;)

  3. Had a similar experience with One in a Million. Time to stop mourning and move on;) We will walk it out together~

  4. Keri this is absolutely amazing! You REALLY "Wowed" me, such an inspiration. :)

  5. Keri, I loved your post! I am sooo jealous of your nap!
    We moved a 1 1/2 years ago and I still have an occasional tough day where I miss my long-time friendships, family,church family, the familar drive of 1960, and just a sense of belonging in my community. Oh, I dearly miss my Vintage HEB, and their coffee. I too have started running recently. I am surprised at how much I love it and need the release it brings. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  6. This is really just crazy beautiful. And so are you, my friend!! My woe-is-me comfort is eating. And it worked out fine the first 30ish years of my life, because I had this really great metabolism. Now BOOM! it's gone, and unless I want to keep buying bigger and bigger big girl pants, I need to turn to God and his Word more instead.

    You bless me. I love you. And I'm heading up to my room to pray for you right this minute.

  7. I just love that God brings us to places so foreign and so out of our comfort zone to get us eye to eye with Him! I'm amazed at what you've already learned since the move to Singapore -- about yourself, about your family, about who God is to you in a new way -- and can't wait to hear more! Love you!



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