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Home really is where the Heart is….

I watched a movie today that really tugged at my heart. It was one of those days where I had a lot on my mind and just wanted to kind of escape for a bit. When it started I just thought it was a nice story but by the time it was over I was in tears.

The movie is called “Brooklyn” and it is about an Irish immigrant who goes to America in the 1950s. She soon falls in love and has to choose between the tugging of her heart from her home and her new life in America. The byline is “Two countries, two loves, one heart”. This resonated with me because of how I met my husband and how we wove together two countries and made them one heart as well.
What surprised me was how I related to the emotions of the character. She loves her family and her country but she also finds new love and connections in a new country.

When I moved to Lebanon it was so hard for me to leave my parents, siblings and friends. The aching in my heart hurt so much though I loved my life with my husband and wanted to fit in as much as possible in my new life. Well, it’s been almost 3 years and I can say that I really have come a long way and I really feel this is my home. I have been learning the language, understanding the customs and really falling in love with this country every day. My heart is wherever I am with my husband and no matter where we live, that will be home.

At the end of the movie, the words of the character stayed with me: “You’ll feel so homesick that you’ll want to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won’t kill you… and one day the sun will come out and you’ll realize that this is where your life is”.

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What is home?

 

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I am back from being away in the States visiting my family and friends. It was a good trip and I enjoyed my time so much. I wish I could have seen more people while I was there but the time was too short!
My sister-in-law, Diana, went with me and that was nice to have her there to get to know my parents and sister better and to spend a little time with my brothers as well.
Before I left for the trip, I was contemplating what it would be like going back after being married and moving. I wondered if I would feel strange being back in the house and if I would feel “at home”. I quickly discovered I fit right back into things and did pretty well remembering where things were. 🙂 However, something had changed. I no longer felt it was “home”. I started asking myself. What is home? What does it really mean? I miss my family and friends in the States when I am in Lebanon and I miss my family and friends in Lebanon when I am in the States. So, to me, this meant that “home” was really wherever my family and friends are. So, it is up to me to work at making both places “home” whenever I am in the States and when in Lebanon. Ultimately my true home is heaven and I know that when I arrive there I won’t feel out of place anymore. But until that day comes, I will work on making wherever I am the best home I can.

Summer fun

This summer has been so much fun! I can’t believe it’s already August. Where has the time gone?!
Recently I went to a place in the mountains where they have really good sajj. It’s bread made on a dome shaped grill and you can have cheese put on the bread and melted, thyme, or meat. It’s so good and you can eat them with labneh (dried yogurt). So yummy! I went with my husband, his parents, his sister and her family and his other sister. We had the best time!
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A week or so ago I went to this beautiful place by the water where you can sit and look out at the sea and visit with friends. My husband, sister-in-law and I went and spent a lovely evening there. It was lots of
fun and the sunset was beautiful!

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I would like to go back sometime and have dinner at this cute place out on the water. 🙂
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I have been baking a lot recently and noticed a new recipe on Pinterest that sounded good. It’s called a Cinnabon cinnamon roll cake. Needless to say, it was amazing! How could it not be with “cinnabon” in the title. 😉 I have made two in the past week and a half. But I shared both of them of course, though, I definitely could have eaten it all by myself, it was that good.
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Seriously, you should stop what you are doing and make this cake!

This past weekend we went to Ain Dara again and spent the night. It was so nice and quiet and cool there. We had lunch in my in law’s garden and we took a walk and saw the beautiful views in the mountains. It was lots of fun!

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We even had our own little photo shoot on our walk. 🙂
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What a fun way to spend a weekend!
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Weekend fun

This weekend we had a full schedule. We drove to Ain Dara on Saturday afternoon in time for a wedding of a friend of my husband. The wedding was beautiful and I was excited to attend as this was just my second wedding in Lebanon. I was asked to sing at the reception and I was honored to do so. The evening was filled with food and music which made for a great night. I am not very good at taking pictures with people in them but I heard my mom’s voice in my ear saying “take more pics” so I asked my sister-in-law to take this one since we did dress up for the occasion. 🙂

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We spent the night in Ain Dara and spent time with my in-laws. It was good to visit with them. I am motivated to learn Arabic every time I am with them as it’s hard not to be able to talk directly to them. They are so sweet and a great example to us.

On Sunday, we went to church and then had lunch and left later that afternoon to head back towards home to attend my niece’s ballet recital. The venue was beautiful and she did a wonderful job! I was so proud. 🙂

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She’s so beautiful and is a natural ballerina.

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All in all, it was a great weekend and now we are starting a new week with new possibilities for adventure. Who knows what it will hold!

Q&A – As I mentioned in my last post, I am trying to make this blog more interactive. Someone asked me last week what was in a typical Lebanese sandwich. I mentioned on here before about an amazing sandwich I love to get when we go to Ain Dara. There are many other places to get a sandwich like this but I think this place, so far, is the best. There are many different kinds of sandwiches in Lebanon but my personal favorite is Taouk which is pieces of chicken wrapped in pita bread and toasted, then you add pickles, french fries, garlic sauce and usually a little mayo. It is so amazing! You can eat it in a wrap or they will put everything individually on a plate as well. So yummy!

Father’s Day and a weekend adventure

Hi! Happy Father’s Day (a day late) to my wonderful dad! Father’s Day in Lebanon is not until this next weekend but I definitely celebrated my dad from afar yesterday. It was hard not being with the family to celebrate but I am sure they made him feel special. Love you, Dad!

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This weekend we spent Saturday evening and Sunday in Ain Dara, my husband’s village. It is really beautiful and a nice place to spend the weekend as it is much cooler there than where we live. It was nice to get away and spend time with family. The weekend started off with sandwiches in the evening from our favorite place. It was super crowded!

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Then the next morning, of course, we had to eat again. 😉 We had a quick breakfast out on the balcony before church.

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After breakfast we attended church and had the privilege of hearing from two Korean couples and their children about a ministry to the Middle East that the Lord prompted them to start. They shared a bit and sang two songs. The kids were precious!

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After the Korean couples shared, the pastor asked my husband and I to come to the front so the church could pray for us and for our marriage. Then, SURPRISE, he asked me to sing “How Great Thou Art” and then the church would sing it in Arabic. It was a memorable Sunday. 🙂

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After church, we headed back to the house. We were hoping to eat light, however, when you spend time with family, that usually means you eat WAY too much food. We tried to convince my mother-in-law that she should not cook a lot and we could do something easy like hamburgers, but she loves to serve and love on all of us by cooking so here is what our “little” meal looked like. It was really good! 🙂

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Yes, that is not only one dessert, but THREE desserts. The large one with the peaches on top tasted a little like banana pudding. I have to learn how to make it, it was so good! I guess my diet and exercise program I’ve been talking about needs to start this week. Yikes!

After lunch we were all feeling like a nap was in order, however, some of us wanted to go off-roading. It was a beautiful day for it and I captured a few good pics of our ride. *Disclaimer – I am NOT a photographer so all the pics on this blog are very ‘candid’.*

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All in all it was a great weekend. I hope many more like this are to come. The journey is still ahead and I am excited to see what the future holds. Thank you for coming along with me. I will write again soon!