Monday, January 14, 2008

Costa Rica: Comfort Zones

by Donna L. Watkins

It's been 34 hours since I arrived here and it's quite amazing how much Spanish my brain has mustered up. I didn't know it was all in there, but when you don't get the option to speak English, it rises to the occasion. Thank God!

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Orchid in Costa Rica
My dictionary is such small print I can't readily retrieve words from it. I guess that's why they call it immersion. I feel like I'm swimming in Spanish. I have to think twice to come up with English already.

This morning my breakfast included fresh orange juice. The oranges had just been picked from the yard and squeezed. Whole wheat bread was served (organic) which was a very special treat. Little things mean so much more when you have other bigger things that are a challenge, so being grateful for the little things brings much joy.

I'm not going to detail the challenges because I want to focus on the positive. Rehearsing the results of our fears never does anybody any good, so I will get beyond mine, big and small, by thinking of the good while I keep hitting the hard things head on. Fear controls us if we don't control it.

I like something I read in a devotional since I arrived:
"He who deliberates too long before taking a step will spend his whole life on one leg."

I knew the challenges would hit me in the face and I believe it's a great way to grow. God can work better when we aren't in our comfort zone. My reward to myself will be rainforest time. I've never been too good at treating myself well. My friend who traveled here with me has stated this numerous times. Being raised in Pa. Dutch country means I do well at being frugal, reusing everything, and wasting nothing. That's easy. Spending money on myself is not. The business is paying for my language training because we get calls and emails in Spanish and it's needed, but the rainforest stay will be my travel expense.

I don't have the typical wants of most women but I know that God wants us to treat ourselves well and that it can be done while still caring about those less fortunate. This is part of that training ground to balance me out in some of the ways I'm crooked. I can't help but wonder who I will be when I come back.

One thing for sure, my husband will be different after nine weeks without me. I like the lines from the movie "Rocky" when he says about his wife, "she's got gaps and I've got gaps, but together we got no gaps." This time apart will leave both of us with a lot of gaps that only God will be able to fill.

His grace is sufficient for me!

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