Miss ‘Merica

I squeezed 6 Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Via packets into my suitcase to pull out on those “I miss America” days. Almost 3 months into our life here in Brazil, and I just opened my 2nd packet.
That’s pretty good!

As I sip on this instant pumpkin spice latte, that is really hardly anything like a pumpkin spice latte. But the longer it goes between now and my last “real” pumpkin spice latte, it doesn’t matter – it’s a fragrant and delicious taste of the freedom of driving myself to a Starbucks and ordering my own cup of coffee without the baristas straining their ears to understand the words coming out of my mouth.
As I sip on this instant pumpkin spice latte, 2 lists emerged.
What I miss. What I don’t.

The “what I miss” list will probably get added to randomly…when all of a sudden I remember there’s a vegetable out there called celery and how good it would taste with peanut butter. Right now!

During this adaptation to living overseas process, we can wake up feeling like “something just isn’t right about my day…oh yeah, it’s because EVERYTHING has changed.” But when I really started to boil it down, it was surprisingly fun and therapeutic to encapsulate what it is we truly miss.

Of course, we miss friends who have become family. Family who are our friends.
I would trade this whole list to have any of them here. But *besides* that…

I miss:
Tortilla chips.
Spaghetti squash.
Grocery stores having what you need. or want. or what they usually have.
Being able to talk to the lady who is cutting my hair.
People praying in English.
Life group.
Dropping my kids off at school. (Really, just the few hours of quiet.)
“Alone” time (I did just start to drive here!! Still don’t feel comfortable driving anywhere by myself until I can communicate better. But it’s a step!!)
Joann Fabrics.
Modern conveniences: dishwasher, dryer, crockpot, mac and cheese in a box.
Not rationing out my Tazo Zen tea bags, or KIND granola bars.
Feeling capable {insert… to hold a conversation, to order coffee, to take my kids to the dr.}
Letting our kids be kids in public and not having to hush their English (for safety reasons).
Watching the Olympics.

But! That’s not all!!
As I started to pen on paper what it is we miss, a different list came with it: what we don’t miss!
No doubt because of many prayers for our sustaining grace and our resolve to love it here.

I don’t miss:
Texting…maybe it’s more the “What to do when I’m making dinner, or reading to my kids, or talking with my husband, or having quiet time, and someone else enters into the moment…should I pause and write them back now, or write them later…can the world really wait?”
The speed at which is normal life as a mom in America.
All the peripherals that kept me from my priorities.
Needing to be places on time.
Wondering how my kids are during the day.
Missing them.
Having to plan out my week to see people. I love that people just stop by!
Flatlands. I really really really like looking out at the mountains.
Driving in snow.
Chapped lips.
Fruits and vegetables from the grocery that don’t taste like real fruits and vegetables.
Wondering if we are where we are supposed to be.

I really love seeing Andre do what he was made to do.
I love getting to know the students and needing to learn Portuguese.
I love that our kids are growing up with a bigger worldview.
I love to hear their gasps from the backseat when we pass a house that is barely more than cardboard and plastic.
I love that they understand now what abandoned children are, and ask when can we adopt some.
I love picking them up from Sunday School, and they share about their class in Portuguese.
I love that we met the pastor of a church on Saturday, and when he heard Andy worked in a church in the US, he asked him to preach the next day.
I love that when we visited the church the next day, he said “Is that pastor from the US here? Could he come up and pray for this man?” LOVE THAT!!
I love not caring that I wore this shirt twice already this week.
I love that I wrote tortilla chips on the top of my “MISS” list, and the next day we went to the grocery and they had TORTILLA CHIPS!
I love seeing the simple ways the Lord cares for us.
I love feeling sustained by Him.
I love no longer wondering if we are where we are supposed to be.

We’re here.
While we may miss ‘Merica, there is much to love here.
So, I might as well sip on this quasi-pumpkin spice latte and focus on that 🙂


6 thoughts on “Miss ‘Merica

  1. Valerie Downs

    Sara, many in ‘Merica miss you, Any and the kids… In fact, I saw the back of someone’s head this last week in the children’s wing, thought it was you, heart started racing… and then reality hit that it couldn’t be you. As much as my heart dropped when I realized it wasn’t you… I too am thankful to know that you and Andre are where the Lord has called you to be. Kyle and I will continue to pray for your family.
    Much love,

    1. saralroyer Post author

      I know the feeling… 🙂
      We have been seeing Brasilian versions of people all over the place! When we see Brasilian Val, we will let you know 🙂
      P.S. Skype needs to happen!

  2. the view finder by tsdg

    oh, that list….it brings about deep sighs and a heavy chest. As I’m “here” and you’re “there”, I now miss so many of the things on your “I love” list…..and I don’t say that to dismiss, I say that to myself as I am still on the journey of accepting the “returning”. And learning to do exactly what that quote from Jim Elliot says……

    All that to say, thank you for this. And I’m praying for you all in the midst of the paradoxes of “missings” and “loves”. And so thankful to hear about your journey.

    1. saralroyer Post author

      Tara, what a beautiful heart you have! Thanks for sharing it. It really means so much to have you following along, especially since you have been in our shoes. I appreciate your encouragement to continue to find the good in where we are.


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