Maanantai 19.2.2018
Kun hän huutaa minua, minä vastaan. Minä olen hänen tukenaan ahdingossa, pelastan hänet ja nostan taas kunniaan. Ps. 91:15

Blog: When everyday life is anything but ordinary

in English 2.2.2018 06:36 | Päivämies-verkkolehti
There are many things in life that put a strain on marital happiness. The three months that we have spent in our new home country have pushed our daily life as a couple into a completely new sphere. Our brains have gone into overdrive. Nothing is familiar or easy. We feel tense and frazzled, sometimes even desperate. But then we re-connect again and confidently trust that we will make it together.
For us Finns, daily life in the United States is full of surprises. A note from school about the vaccinations that our kids should have starts a massive process. Unlike at home, schools here do not provide vaccinations. What should we do then? First of all, we need Google translator to understand the names of the diseases, such as chickenpox, against which we should vaccinate our kids. We wonder whether or not we should get those vaccinations. I post this question to a WhatsApp group of more experienced friends and acquaintances. We are told we can buy the vaccine from a drugstore for 80 dollars or go to the local health center and get it for maybe 15 dollars. If you need to vaccinate four kids four times each, it is not a difficult choice. We also get the name and address of the health center from the same reliable source. Aren’t we lucky to have these everyday angels! Now we will just have to try our luck with the health center.

And there are so many other details of daily life that need to be taken care of. But how can we do it when we do not have a social security number, or a tax registration number, or a local driving license, or a Green Card, or… At this point my heart is racing and I feel like choking. Can we really make it?

Both of us worry about partly the same things and partly personal concerns. Will our kids find friends? How will they get along with their inadequate language skills? What about us? Can we find the kind of dear friends we had in Finland to share our joys and sorrows? How will our grown-up kids manage back at home? How can I find meaningful things to do when I do not have a job? How on earth can everything seem so difficult, although we like our new place so much? We often discussed this before we came, and we knew we would have to face this challenge. But that knowledge does not help us in this state of confused weariness. It is good to hear from others who have been through this experience that life will become easier after the first six months. When we get to know more about everything, daily life will not be so challenging any longer.

Very often we need to pause and ask each other: How are you feeling? What things do you find most worrying or tiring right now? What if we wrote down a list of the things we still need to do? We could then tackle them one at a time. Do you understand how I feel? Do you still love me? We remind each other that, basically, we are doing all right. Actually quite well. We have each other. We still love each other. We believe and trust in God and believe that all this is for our own good. Even our children are getting along fine. We are surrounded by wonderful people who are helping and making things easier for us. We just need enough time together to share things and talk. The gospel is also a wonderful source of comfort and strength. We can believe our bad tempers and unkind words forgiven. In the evening we fold our hands and pray together for God’s care and strength for our dear ones and ourselves.

Text: Elina Vähäjylkkä
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen

You will find the original Finnish blog post here.


Toim. Toivo Määttä

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