“What is one thing that you have given up that has been hard to let go of? What have you sacrificed to live here?” she asked, leaning on my kitchen table with a cup of coffee in her hand.

I am not quick with answers to questions like that.
Maybe I just plod along, rarely thinking deep. Maybe it’s hard to come up with just one answer. Maybe I was just distracted with the Christmas cookie making. What IS the ONE THING that I’ve felt my fingers pried away from?

“I don’t know,” I answered. And then I stewed about it for a week.

Finally it came to me. It has been hard for me to give up ANONYMITY. Another way of saying it is independence, or people not caring what I do, or me time. It is hard when it feels like my life is the play that everyone is watching. Well actually, now that I say that, I like it when I’m the center of attention. So what is it exactly that gets under my skin?

I realize that it is difficult for me to give up anonymity, because I want to fritter away my “me time”. I wish no one cared if I played endless rounds of candy crush (as long as Ezra is napping and they boys are done with school).

I want to spend too much money without the crowd noticing.

I want to be able to take vacations without someone caring. In my “home” culture, people brag about their vacations on facebook. But, for us, living in a place where no one takes a vacation, it is noteworthy. Our coworkers are overstressed and overworked in a job that they feel cannot be given to anyone else (even for a few months of sabbatical). So when we took a sabbatical, or when we want to fly to another city to vacation for a week it is not taken lightly.

So that’s my THING. What is yours? What are the things that you have had to give up in order to be a better servant? Do you feel the chafe? Does the sacrifice wear on you? How do you let it go?


I’ve had seven posts in various stages of “done-ness” sitting in my drafts folder for over a month. I don’t know why I’ve had a hard time pushing send. I’ve decided it’s time to stop letting them simmer. They are done enough, even if they aren’t quite right yet. So here is me…pushing…send.

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