Posts Tagged ‘visa’

this life is quite a rollercoaster.

i’m in the midst of a stomach-churning unknowning. a lot of you know this about me: i am not a natural decision maker. i don’t like to say that this is what i want.

whether that’s because i feel unworthy of it, or because i value your opinion more than my own… i don’t know, but i do know that i am not good at making decisions.

and yet.

yet, i have been here, here, in this place for four years. and at several times i have chosen, and articulated that choice, to be here. i want to keep seeing the good work that is growing here.

but then the unknowning comes in. i do not have permission to remain here indefinitely. so i have to work through the system in order to do what i have chosen to do.

this is why i don’t make decisions: it’s so much work. and it’s tiring, and messy and disappointing. and i have no control.

so, i’m waiting, sitting in the tension. i’ve filed to extend my visa, and the governnment is wary. they want to know more, they’re pushing back against us. we have another shot, one that i’ll grasp with both hands, the last chance to choose this thing.

but if that fails? if this piece of my life is over…. pheeeuw.

there’s a ball of lead sitting in my stomach. i don’t know how to articulate these things. i love this, what life is right now, but i am also so excited to see friends in scotland/the uk. but if i leave like this, i’ll be overwhelmed with sorrow. and yet, there are so many great opportunities out there. but what about longevity? about being stable, creating and providing safe spaces?

but, but, but, but… 

there is nothing that is further from my control. there is nothing i feel more things about. there are so many tiny tiny threads connecting my heart to each of these possibilities…

yet… the bigger thread, the one that i am learning to lean upon, give my trust to, dangle unknowingly from… is the one that connects me to Jesus and his purpose.

sometimes, that’s enough. knowing that Jesus has me.

sometimes, that just makes my throat itchy, makes me want to run and scream, and say ‘NO! let me have THIS thing. screw you! i want what i WANT.’ 

there have been a lot of deep breaths, of long silences inside my head. of feeling… how do i burden you with this… and yet, how do i not?

there are a lot of people involved. some of them know, some are aware of the things that are swirling. some, a lot, important people- my kids- are not fully informed. last they knew, i was applying for a new visa. and the deadline was approaching. they don’t really understand what that even means. i haven’t yet told them that there is a real possibility that this may not work out the way we want it to.

how do i tell them? especially… how do i tell them without breaking down and just freaking them the fuck out? (sorry mum.)

i’m having a hard time concentrating on work. at least on anything that is not relating to kids or people. but i’ll get it done. because as a good friend said: we will do our best for you, because we love you. so i’m taking her lead.

and i’m going to keep choosing. choosing resurrection. choosing relationship. choosing love. choosing open-handedness. choosing to trust.

god have mercy.


things that are interesting:

this pottery studio in Philadelphia : object&totem

this cartoon: an invisible crown


i’m listening to camera obscura radio on spotify, it has the perfect blend of light hearted pop-yness, and quieter indie tracks. also it’s full of scottish artists. so that’s really nice. and probably why britani got a bunch of stories this morning where everyone was an old scottish man.

its almost the end of the first week of program. we have four, maybe five weeks until we go on spring break… and we have about $7000 to raise in that time. (well, we can keep raising it after the trip. it just all has to come in…)

we’re planning an epic trip, one that hopefully involves kraken, giant pandas and observatories…

today though, i have to be ready for my girls. it’s cell group time. we’re going to talk about family. what is it, what does it mean, what does it look like, and how do we deal with it not being what we want…

i’m not sure how it’s going to pan out. i hope i can guide our conversation in healthy and helpful avenues. we’ll see what happens.

in other news, kids are so desperate to earn stars (toward spring break) that they’re cleaning our building. which is perfect, because we have to get out of it pretty soon. and there’s a lot of stuff lying around everywhere. i can’t wait until the renovations are done. proposed dates are starting in march, finishing in october.

and my visa expires in september. whew.

life just keeps rolling.

scanning the sky for cheap flights…

Posted: April 23, 2010 in life
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so, thank goodness, the ash situation in europe in getting better, flights are beginning to leave again… just in time, cos today, i got my visa back!!! a little earlier than expected. soooo excited.

watch this space. :)

so, i head to london town this evening. preparing myself for the overnight bus, thinking, surely this will not be as bad (length wise) as the time i went from philly to georgia… but i’m almost convinced it won’t be nearly as good either. we’re not quite so friendly in bus stations, us brits. nor will there be quite as many bus changes, so less chance to get to know your fellow passengers.

nevertheless, i am ready.

i have with me, to keep me occupied when i’m not trying to sleep…

along with one of these
and just one of these

and some music. hurrah!

wish me luck, and i’ll let y’all know how it goes.. hopefully, within the next two weeks or so, i’ll have my passport back and i can book a flight out of here… :)

if, y’know, that giant cloud of volcanic ash will shift its butt by then…

please, God?

so i called your name…

Posted: April 14, 2010 in life
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this is how excited i was yesterday when i got an appointment at the embassy:

so, next week, on monday evening, i am going to get on a megabus for a large number of hours, tili arrive in london on tuesday morning. then, on wednesday morning i am going to the embassy. on thursday evening, i will again be getting on a bus back up to edinburgh… i’m really looking forward to it… humphf.

so, any suggestions what a tired smelly person should do in london for two days would be appreciated… i have an oyster card and i’m not afraid to use it! :)

(hopefully, i won’t be smelly or tired every day, but definitely on tuesday… i don’t think megabuses do showers. or comfortable sleeping arrangements.)

also, aparently, i have become predictable. at least to my mum. definitely time to be moving on, i think!!! :)

it is a truth universally acknowledged…

Posted: December 9, 2009 in life
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mum and i watched all 6 hours of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice last night. i think that, alongside the huge amounts of vitamin C, echinacea and occasional paracetamol is what is finally helping me kick this cold…

typically, i came home, had less to do than in Camden, slept a bit more and got sick. I feel like this is becoming a habit- whenever i stop, i get sick. so either, i never stop (probably a bad plan) or i learn to be more balanced (difficult…) or i continue on as i am (probably not wise, but easiest..)

in other news, i got home safely, and my dad, being the generous father that he is, insisted that i come on holiday with them (back to america). so, he’s booked me flights for a short trip- which i am very grateful for, but the thought of which occasionally fills me with fear- what if the people at customs and immigration decide that i should not be allowed back in for a holiday just two weeks after i’ve left…. uh… crap. so i’m praying, and i hope you’ll be praying, for considerate, understanding border guards who can see that a) i’m not a terrorist threat, and b) i’m genuinely coming for a holiday this time. it sucks that i’ll be travelling on different flights than the rest of my family, but as long as i have you all backing me in prayer, i’m sure we’ll be fine…. (aargh)

so, i have a week left in this rainy country- a week to beat this cold and see some of my friends… i’m headed to glasgow on friday for a couple of days, one of the highlights of which will be a moustache party! (yaaas! though, i’m pretty sure my moustache will not be a patch on mikes… if only i could borrow it..)

looking forward to seeing lots of my scottish buddies, so, if you’re a GWV member, you better be there on sunday!

pajamas in public

Posted: December 3, 2009 in life
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this is my new favourite habit. i’ve worn my pajamas (ok, so steelers ‘pants’ and a t-shirt) to restuarants, other houses, on road trips, and now, in terminal 5. it’s a good feeling.

a not so good feeling is having to leave a place that already in 3 months i have grown to love… a better feeling is knowing that i have left most of my stuff there, so, somehow, i have to go back.

had a lovely send off from my friends at philly airport, had about a 2 1/2 hour wait for my flight, got on the plane, drank my complimentary red wine and promptly started crying… it is so hard to leave this place…

so, like i told my kids yesterday, i want so badly to come back, but i need you all to be praying for me, and for my visa… i just can’t imagine this being it.

anyway. scotland home for a little while… i’ll miss you guys!

…i’ll come back…

Posted: December 1, 2009 in life, people
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i’ve realised, this is a promise i’ve made to people in two different countries at the moment.

right now, i’m fulfilling that promise to the Scottish side, in that i leave Camden tomorrow night, which is where the second promise comes in- to my kids and the other interns… i keep promising that i will be back.

i will, i will, i will!

it feels like, if only i could will it hard enough, there’ll be no problems… i’m not sure it works quite like that, but maybe, i pray, i pray, i pray i’ll be back.

for myself, for my new friendships, and mostly, for my kids…

wispa GOLD!

Posted: November 19, 2009 in everything else
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i got a brilliant package today.

i also got pelted with acorns.

i also need to try and think of somrthing to do about the bible with my 6th grade class.

and tonight is intern class- yay for all the interns being together!

and this time next week, i’ll probably be in St Louis (if you want to contribute to gas costs.. please give me a shout…)

and this time in two weeks, i’ll be back in Scotland.

eeeeshk, that’s kinda weird and a bit scary, because…. i have no idea whats going on…

but also awesome, cos i am looking forward to seeing friends and family in Scotland again… but i  will be very sad to leave these kids, even for a little while, even into the capable hands of the other interns… but i am wearing my Scotland hat today… yay.

i think thats all for now… :)

with two americans in the last hour, i can safely say, POLITENESS HELPS!

the first woman was just like, ‘you are not listening to me, ma’am, we do not deal with that, i have just told you three times that we do not deal with that– beep, abrupt hangup as i was saying, ‘sorry, okay, so can i then phone — to ask them for infor- oh, they hung up…’

the second lady, at another US government department, was sooo much nicer, though she did end each part of the conversation with, ‘do you need me to repeat anything for you, or can i answer any more questions?’ uh, thanks, you’re ok.

but she genuinely wanted to help me and was willing to listen to my questions… it gives me hope.

hopefully i’ll have have some real american anecdotes from meeting real american people and being on real american soil this time next week… and maybe even pictures… sponsored by debbie… :)