I didn't bring an umbrella with me this afternoon as I walked the puddled path into the city to find a cafe. Now here I am with my latte in a city where people say "Hello" when they mean to say "Good bye".
Here I am an American, and to the rest of the world that's what I am. They ask me where I am from and then wonder why I have come. Why cross the ocean to leave the dream? What purpose or calling could have brought me here? What was I thinking?
We only brought with us what could be carried in a plane as we flew to Italy, where we filled another home with earthly things. But after just a year we had to let everything go, and board another plane to Ukraine, bringing nothing more than we could fit into the taxis that delivered us to our new apartment on the 4th floor, downtown L'viv. We left far more behind than we could ever bring along when we moved to Ukraine, but now here we are in Bosnia, where everything I own is stuffed into a pillow case, and all the kids have backpacks or carry-on bags. All we brought is all we could carry on the trains, the trams and the buses.
I have two coins in my pocket and music in my ears. Where ever I am in the world I can hear American music playing in the cafes. The music reminds me that I am an American far from my homeland. I look out the window, rain falls softly still. A hundred people with umbrellas are passing by. I am thankful to be mostly dry. I just have a little puddle water in my right show to remind me that sometimes you just can't avoid life's puddles and sometimes you can't avoid life's struggles, and sometimes even an umbrella can't keep you dry. Sometimes your puddled path leads you to places you never would have dreamed you would go, like Bosnia. Don't ask why, that is just the way life is when you follow a call, when you take risks.
So many blue umbrellas, and I don't have to wonder why. They are blue so you don't have to worry about the color of the sky. I'll just stay here a little longer, I could have stayed inside all day, I could have never left Main Street, I could have never crossed the ocean... but then I would have never had the chance to find out what it's like to be a refugee in Bosnia, waiting for peace to come, so my family can return safely to Ukraine. Or maybe we will just go back, instead of watching the news we can just look out over the city from our 4th floor window.
As I wait for the right time to return to Ukraine I can't complain, this is the life that Josh and I love, this is the adventure we chose. But is it safe? I don't know. Like every mother I want my children to be safe. Like every follower of God, I want to go where He leads, I want to hold on to His hand, I want to trust in Him and not be afraid. And at the same time Josh and I both don't want to make stupid mistakes or take risks that God hasn't called us to take.
Half a life ago I asked God to take my plans for my life and give me His plans instead. I gave Him my dreams and asked Him to give me His reality. I put my hand in His and said "Take me anywhere, I'm willing" Now this is the air I breath, and this is the puddled path I follow, and this is the window I look through. Some how it all feels like an ordinary day. Here I am on a friday, far away, in an Italian cafe with a latte, somewhere in Bosnia. Here I am listening to American music mixed with softly falling rain with one wet shoe and no umbrella. Just an ordinary day.