Thursday, May 30, 2019

Seoul Much To Say

Way back when (April to be exact) I was blogging along with the A-Z Challenge and I've decided to go back now and wrap it up with the final eight letters of the alphabet. You'll find the first post in the series here, but in a nutshell my theme was things that delight. 

Delight is my word for the year and it seems whenever I have a word for the year it is apropos to that particular year's life circumstances. Or maybe it's the opposite in that it's not obvious in life's circumstances, but declaring it my word inspires me to seek it out. 

S is for South Korea

This little punkin and his parents and his soon-to-be born sibling will be setting up their new home on the other side of the world later this summer, and I thought it worth a mention here.  

Nana isn't going with him, but she will definitely come and visit. 

When I tell people my daughter is moving to South Korea I generally get one of two reactions.  A look of horror and disbelief flashes across their face as they whisper 'South Korea??' 

Or they say Oh Wow! What an amazing opportunity for them! What an adventure they will have! 

I'm in the latter camp in case you're wondering. Which is not to say there aren't some hard things to get my head around like the upside down time zone and the fourteen-ish hour flight and the puppy dog coming to live with us for the duration. But mostly I think Wow! What an amazing opportunity  for them! What an adventure they will have!

When I schlepped baby boy's mama across the pond to live at the tender age of fifteen she initially dug in her heels and cried herself to sleep at night. Our move happened so fast and she had been mostly happy in her big American high school. 

Very quickly though she found herself feeling at home in a country not her own. Really at home because one of the first things you learn when you move house or state or country is home is where your people are and there we were. 

She made friends with classmates who were different in many ways but were the same in all the ways that count. 

She became a comfortable traveler...adaptable, flexible, curious. 

She said she wished we'd had more chances to live in more faraway places and now here she is some fifteen years later moving to Asia. 

I want to to go back for a minute and reassure my 43-year old self that you are doing the right thing moving your teenagers from suburban Maryland to a small English village. That you shouldn't worry so much about how these daughters of yours will adjust because they will do so much more than adjust. They will bloom and grow and thrive amidst all the new and different. 

They will thank you for upending their lives and for showing them the world is big but people are people. I want to tell the me back then that fifteen year old daughter will one day make a move to South Korea and scarcely bat an eye. That the years we spent in England helped make her ready for the now. 

Not just ready but eager. Excited. Confident that when God opens a door we need to boldly walk on through. 

My son-in-law is a surgeon in the Army so we've known all year a move would occur, we just didn't know where. For the past year I've been praying specifically for their new home, new neighbors, new assignment. It's possible I may have even prayed once or twice for God to bring them East because they've spent the last five years living way out west.  

Y'all sometimes God gives us exactly what we ask for-ha! 

They are moving East. To the land of ancient history and delicious barbecue. Changdeokgung Palace and the DMZ. Twelve Unesco World Heritage Sites and the breakdancing capital of the world. 

And because there's no escaping ordinary life that will happen too. Play dates and laundry and a new baby to love. Groceries bought and meals prepared. Coffee with friends and church on Sundays. That dance of the familiar helps you feel at home when your feet wobble and your heart jiggles and tears threaten. 

Which they probably will, but my now grown up girl knows they won't last. She'll put down roots and settle in. She will call this new place home because that's where her people are. 

And she will find delight in this new place because that's how her mama raised her. 


  1. I just love all of this perspective! God is always preparing us, not only for what is next on our path, but our children’s too! This week marks our 10th year back “home”, but we were always home! Experiencing new things, places and people; such lovely people. Blessings to you all! Enjoy your new reason to travel to the FAR East..

  2. What a precious post! I got those same type of comments when Bridget moved to Oklahoma. Of course, that's nothing at all compared to Korea but in some folks mind it is the other side of the world. But, like you, I have embraced it and we have made it work. I truly can't imagine that distance but if anybody can figure it out, it's you. Praying everything will go "smooth as silk." I continue to remember Maggie.

  3. I do hope the very best for this sweet, growing family. For Mom and Dad as well.

  4. How wonderful and exciting and terrifying! lol I can’t even imagine moving away like that to another country. I can hardly even imagine moving to another state. But I’m so glad my girls are courageous and are living their dreams. And I’m so thankful this mama got to go visit them and also plans to do it more.

    Such wonderful and exciting times for all of you. I’m looking forward to the stories and pictures you choose to share here.

  5. It's so good to read a blog post from you again. Your command of the English language is delightful, turning phrases in clever ways. You are most definitely meant to write!

    May the Lord bless and enable you as this next step of 'letting go' unfolds. Many of us have been there (and still are), but it's good.

    By the way, you shared some things about South Korea I knew nothing about. (breakdancing, for one) This is going to be a fantastic adventure you share with us!

  6. I am soo glad I caught this post as this is some pretty big news. First didn’t know she was expecting again. How exciting! And now a BIG move! You absolutely have the right perspective on it, and one I’ve always admired. The adventure loving people that this world holds get and have soo much more in comparison I think. It’s soo not me. I have to be pushed and prodded to travel a few states over let alone out of the country. I have adjusted to the 1000 miles between my daughter and I but I can’t say I love it. We make the most of it and make it work. It can be done. Ive admired her too for the complete change of her life as she knew it, and the way she has embraced it and yes loves it. What an exciting thing for her and her family and I certainly wish them all the best!

  7. I find it hard to wrap my head around this, I don't know how you're doing it. I wish them all the best and this is a great experiences for all of them. I hope you get to visit often and I'm looking forward to hearing about your new grandchild. All we want is for our family to be happy and healthy. If they can't live near us we can hold on to their happiness in our heart. Thank fully today we have ways to see each other without being there. ((Hugs))

  8. I agree with Barb, above, that your writing style is so delightful. It seems to put us right next to you, having this conversation, instead of reading it miles away from where you live. I so look forward to future blogs and getting to see S. Korea through your eyes!! Thank goodness for Facetime!

  9. You definitely have a way with words Joyce and such a brilliant perspective on all of these changes. Your daughters have a great example to follow.