Saturday, September 11, 2010

One year on

This week marks exactly one year since we moved to Forest Hill in Tai Po. I hope you've enjoyed reading about our many adventures and accounts of our day-to-day life in Hong Kong.

We have gotten used to relying on public transport to get around. The children enjoy travelling independently, and they like watching television on the trains. Our visitors can testify that we are very comfortable in our spacious apartment with its club house, swimming pool and playground. Craig is thankful that he never has to mow the lawn or weed the garden. With Celine now working for us, I am thankful that I don't have to wash the dishes or scrub the toilets. Craig and I both enjoy our jobs, with the challenges and personnel (and exhaustion!) that accompany them. Our children are receiving a good education in a Christian school with excellent resources and facilities.

Of course there are many things that we do miss from Australia, like our church and friends in Perth. I wrote above about using public transport, but we do miss the ease of just hopping into a car and getting to our destination quickly. In Australia we played a lot of music while driving places, and I regret that the children aren't hearing those CDs as often here. Just today the children spoke about having to leave our cat Bronte  behind in Australia. There are many other little things that we used to take for granted in Perth but now miss like fresh milk, child care centres, having a bathtub, getting take-away from "Chooks", etc.

A colleague at school gave me an article to read called After the Boxes Are Unpacked: Moving On After Moving In by Susan Miller. The author wrote about the differences between cherishing and clinging. To cherish means “to hold in the mind, to treasure, to hold dear, to value highly.” To cling means “to clutch, to cleave, to hold on to, to grab hold of.” Ms Miller wrote that while it is okay to cherish what was and what we left behind, we should be clinging to what we brought with us and what never changes. For example, we should:
Cherish — distant family, distant friends, past memories, our heritage, the jobs we left, the house we lived in, the city we left
Cling to — God, the Bible, our faith, prayer, God’s promises, positive not negative things, our values, each other

I think I have been clinging to the past, and my role in the WBC Deaf ministry in particular, rather than cherishing it, which is keeping me from moving forward. A year on, I still feel stuck and resigned to being in Hong Kong because I am clinging to that which I should be cherishing. I expect that it is a common mistake for MKs to make as they move from place to place and are always meeting new friends or farewelling old friends. But I owe it to myself, my husband, and my children to stop looking at our Australian life through rose coloured glasses. I can see God’s purpose in our move and that God is truly in charge of our nest in the skyscrapers. However, as I learn to discern between what to cherish and what to cling to, please pray for me to find peace and contentment living in Hong Kong. 


  1. I miss CD time in the car too. That was where the kids learned most of the Bible songs they know. Along with our day to day travel, we took several two hour car rides a year, I have to be more intentional to have it playing in the house and of course they aren't always listening.

    The Sweeneys are thankful to have you here in Hong Kong!! May the upcoming year be fruitful and rewarding for you all.

  2. Beautifully written Renee.

    Thanks for the clinging/cherish distinction. It has made me think about the things I am clinging to ...

  3. Don't you just love it when we receive insight!
    They are wise words you shared with us...thanks.
    It would be a pleasure and privilege to pray for you.

    Love you guys!


  4. What you have written is truly wise - Godly wisdom. Hang on to God, you'll get through this season beautifully. Love. Evelyne xoxo

  5. Hi renee, it hs been a while since Ihave had the chance to read your blog. So lovely to see your pictures and hear your news. Thanks for the insights too!! WE are well loving having twins and plesed the pregancy is over as I have energy again.
    You are never far from our thoughts and I pray next year will be very blessed.
    Much love to you all

  6. Hi Renee - I can't believe it's been a year! Thanks for keeping us so up to date with how you are all going....and thanks for your honesty. Please know we continue to pray for you! Love to you all. Leonie.