There are many reasons I love coming home. I love seeing my parents and friends, I love getting to eat my favorite foods, and I love seeing old places where I used to hang out. But I also love being reminded of things I have a tendency to forget while immersed in American culture.
The first thing I’ve been reminded of in the past few days I’ve been home is to never take things for granted. Brazilians live a much simpler lifestyle than Americans, yet they seem so much happier than a lot of Americans I know that have so much more than they do. They work hard for what they have and they take care of what they have.
The second thing I’ve been reminded of is that every little victory is a big victory. Something that may seem like nothing is still worth celebrating. Every step you take forward is worth taking notice of. I was happy to see today that Spiritual birthdays are still celebrated as if they’re a regular birthday. After all, that is the most important day of your life, so each milestone is worth celebrating! Also, celebrate with others. To you it might seem insignificant and stupid, but to someone else it may be the best thing that has happened to them in a long time.
The third thing I’ve been reminded of is the impact you have in peoples’ lives. You may not realize it, but your mere presence is making a difference in someone else’s life. But also keep in mind, your absence does too. My mom has told me of people that ask about me every Sunday. It may not even be someone that I was super close to, but the fact that they ask about me shows that I somehow impacted their life. I always felt like I never did much. It’s not like I told everyone every detail of my life or went out of my way to do things all the time, but I was present. I was present for every worship service, ladies’ meeting, ladies’ retreat, Christmas party, birthday party, funeral, and baptism. Many times, your presence is all that’s needed.
The last thing I’ll mention that I was reminded of is to cherish my closest and deepest friendships. Over the past several years, I’ve become guarded. I’ve been hurt more times in my life than I’d care to admit. But I can’t form new close and deep relationships if I don’t open myself up to them. However, the best close and deep relationship that I can ever have is with God. I haven’t opened myself up to that in a while. I need to remind myself that God is not like anyone I’ve had a relationship with here on earth. He will never disappointment me, betray me, or forsake me. But I’m human. I’m going to mess up, and when I do, God will be waiting for me with open arms when I am ready to come back to Him. I want to treat everyone in my life that way. I hope you’ll do the same to the people in your life.
So yeah, there are many things I love about coming home. It’s the little things that make it all worth while. I hope I’ll have many opportunities to be reminded of those little things.