So I guess everyone has figured out that we are back in the good ole US of A.
As an aside and to explain my post title, you may or may not know that the Jones family has an unquenchable silly side that is present in various levels in each Jones family member. We tend to get a little "sloppy" in our language, shortening words that don't need shortening, and sometimes adding onto words or phrases (fellow Joneses, feel free to chime in and back me up here). Chris particularly likes pointing out my abbreviations (presh for precious, delish for delishous, awes for awesome, redic for rediculous-that one really doesn't sound right) and some of my other friends (Kim Tomlinson) have picked up other strange sayings like bursay wersay kinana pumpum (when it's cold outside, of course). We have other words like din-din (dinner) dee-dee(dessert) ee-oh (hot). I can't explain why I have the urge to take a name like Levi and shorten it to Leaves, or why it seems more appropriate to say home again home again jiggedy jig than just to say, we're home, but it does, and that's all there is to it.
AAAAAAnyway, we are really glad to be back. When we got to Atlanta we were greeted by my sister, Anna, and her two oldest boys, Jon David and Luke, my brother, David, and his wife Eryn, Chris's sister, Amanda, and both my parents. It was such a warm welcome and made us feel so loved and honored. To be honest, I don't feel like I have gone through much culture shock since we have been back. This may be because I had already spent some time in Togo, West Africa, a few years back, so I already knew what to expect, but I'm going to give all the glory to God and thank him for protecting both Chris and I from this heart-ache that many people experience.
Don't get me wrong, I have definitely had my moments of thinking, wow, the American culture is SUCH an EXCESSIVE culture-I mean people here think they are living as simply as they can and don't realize how much excess they really have. Then I look at myself and see the same thing in my life, and I think God is teaching me just to accept his children no matter where they are. Whether those children are bogged down by what they don't have or what they do (and both are equally as cumbersome!). And the only way to learn this lesson is through love, because once you truly love a person, your whole perspective about them changes. Chris and I love so deeply our friends here and also our friends in Africa, and while I still can't fit all the pain and hurt and the whole spectrum of circumstances into my brain in order to make any sense of it whatsoever, God commands me to love all of his children, and I have found that when I do that, everything else seems to fall into place.