I don't know where to even start in describing my trip to Scotland. I'm still trying to process it all, honestly. Maybe I'll do a tiny bit of a summary here and then go into more detail another time.
* Scotland is absolutely a beautiful, amazing place to be. The oldness of the country is astounding, and it's hard to understand from the pictures that it's not just that way in certain places, it's simply that way everywhere. How can the buildings be gorgeous and old everywhere you look? Incomprehensible for a country as new as ours. Time almost seems to stand still in Scotland, because life in general isn't quite as hustly-bustly. That may not be true for everyone, but just generally comparing Scotland to America, I find a much more leisurely pace there. It was refreshing in a way I'm not ready to give up, and yet here I am, back in the hustle-bustle of life in the US.
* My sister and her husband are doing just great. It is so nice to be around them! They're transparent and genuine and very, very sweet. I miss Megan so much already, and I've only been gone from her for a day. When I heard that she was going into missions, I thought time would heal all wounds when it came to being apart from her, but it honestly gets worse as time goes by. Going to see their home and their life and living with them for a week was so amazing, and at the same time, it was such a reminder of what all we're missing out on by not being part of each other's daily lives. I hate that part of it.
* I knew I'd love seeing Megan's life and being with her, but I really didn't expect to hear so much from God while I was there. That is the part I'm spending most of my time processing, actually. So many things about my life that I've been wanting to change, I saw played out while I was in Scotland. Mainly three things: health (eating and activity level), ministry and time online. I know those things sound so generic, but when they dominate a good part of my mind and physical life, it's huge for me to be so convicted about so many things, and encouraged seeing others live the way I aim to live. I keep asking God what it is that he wants me to do specifically, but I'm not hearing anything yet, so I will have to keep asking and keep listening. I know that his purpose for my life is a lot bigger than hours online every day and a physical lack of health that affects me tremendously.
* The kids and Alif did GREAT while I was gone! God did cool things in Alif while I was away, and the kids have adjusted back to having me at home nicely. They were busy and happy and secure, and that's all I could ask for!
* It IS really great to be home. I'm still adjusting (doesn't that sound weird, after only a week away??) and I'm still exhausted, but life is continuing on like usual, for the most part, and I am sure in a week I'll feel like a new woman.