“I Hate Italy” Days

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel so overwhelmed and exasperated you can’t stop crying? I do.

Try living in a foreign country. It’ll bring it out of you right quick. Oh, and in front of the kids. It’s always humbling and difficult when you’re trying through sobs to tell the children it’s not their fault, that it’s Italy you’re frustrated with, not them.

Trying to look them in the eyes as tears are unstoppably dripping down your cheeks, and your kids are looking so painfully sorry for you but you can see they don’t really know what to do for you. They bring a stuffed animal, stay close by and give hugs again and again. They keep saying, “Sorry mommy,” and you keep trying to reiterate you love them and they didn’t do anything wrong and it’s not their fault. While sobbing. Uncontrollably.

Not every day is like this. Thankfully.

It’s a wonder I haven’t cried like that in quite some time. When we first moved overseas, it was much more often. We called them “I Hate Italy” days. We coined the phrase so we could have a keyword to differentiate our heavy culture stress days/tears from everything else. By God’s grace I am making it here one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time.

Time is now stretching out behind me and it feels good to look back once in a while to see just how far I’ve come. I can’t speak the language like I want to, but considering I once didn’t speak it at all, I’m doing pretty good. I remember being terrified to answer the front door. It’s not like that as much anymore. I have my days though.

It’s not so horrible now to think that people in the neighborhood may recognize me as one of the ‘Americani’ families.  I think I’m coming to terms with not blending in how I wished I would. My kids are just going to speak English to me all the time in public and I have to be ok with it.

We will stick out. It’s inevitable. But I pray we end up sticking out not for our abnormality as foreigners in this country, but for the fact that we lovingly represent Jesus wherever we go.

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