Virtual coffee date

马年大吉!Happy year of the horse!  

The bustling night market in Nanning.  All photos by Evan Schneider.
The bustling night market in Nanning. Photo by Evan Schneider.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that there are several times a year I just ache for China (in roughly October, during the autumn moon festival, every lunar new year, during the spring festival, and the tomb sweeping festival in late spring).  And despite having fled the country several times during spring festival to be rid of the noisy fireworks and avoid the crowded trains, there’s just something so full of joy and promise about sweeping the dust from the corners of the house, remembering the ancestors and praying for health and happiness in the coming year, and feasting with old friends and family.

Ladies doing tai chi along the Li River in Guilin, Guangxi.
Ladies doing tai chi along the Li River in Guilin, Guangxi.  Photo by Evan Schneider.

This time around, sweeping the cobwebs and looking forward to the new year, is pregnant (hehe) with meaning, as I’ve been soaring through a dissertation revision this week and preparing for a baby due on Valentine’s Day.  I’m so proud to report that I did, indeed, revise all five body chapters of my dissertation this week, so I’ll have a full draft to present to my committee members to read before the baby comes.  I feel so blessed to have felt so energized and inspired, despite being nine months pregnant!

I’m so grateful to God for allowing me in lieu of stress to experience this time of much expectation and preparation, rather as fullness, in which my cup runneth over.  

The husband sipping on cafe alonge in Paris.  My photo.
The husband sipping on cafe alonge in Paris. My photo.

I feel so much joy to be writing about foster families who I love and who taught me so much as a vocation, excited about potential jobs and postdocs on the horizon, as well as ministry opportunities, and of course, terrified and overjoyed at the prospect of a new baby.  Sometimes I do sort of stop in my tracks and feel a bit paralyzed with fear that we’re not the least bit prepared for this baby, but then, I think that awareness and awe-inspired fear probably goes a long way.

This weekend we’ll be continuing the nesting process, packing up boxes, filing papers, and tidying up–a Chinese new year ritual and baby prep all rolled into one.  Also trying to get a couple evenings out in before the baby comes, and if there’s time in the next two weeks I’ll add an introduction and conclusion to that second draft.  Who says you can’t channel all that nesting productivity into your dissertation, right?!

What are you up to this weekend?

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