I can’t believe I’ve been back home for almost a week now.

In case you’re a little out of the loop, I spent a little over a week (July 30-August 7) in Panama on a mission trip. It was life changing. I’ve been on many mission trips before. Five, actually. But this one was completely different. I’ve never in my life been on a mission trip like this one.

Getting back to “normal” and getting back in the swing of things has been really difficult, yet easy at the same time. Let me explain before you shake your head at my confusing words and wonder what the heck I’m talking about. :)

We got home late Sunday night and by the time my family got back in town (we didn’t land at the airport near us) and grabbed some american food (a welcome sight, believe me) and then got home, it was around 10pm. We went to bed early and woke up really early there, so I was exhausted…not even taking into account that we spent all day on a bus, sitting in an airport, or sitting on a plane. I got home and crashed.

Monday was so nice. I got up later than I had on the trip, but earlier than usual for me. I lazed around all day, catching up on tv shows that I had missed while I was gone, and catching up on a few things online. It was so nice to have air conditioning, electricity, my computer, my phone, and my bed. All things that I missed on the trip.

But come Tuesday I was bored out of my mind. The days of waking up early and doing ministry all day long were tiring, but so fulfilling. Here at home I was slipping back into my usual routine of lazing around, maybe meeting a friend to catch up, doing stuff online, and getting ready for college. All good things, but not too fulfilling. I found myself laying down to go to sleep and wondering what I had really accomplished that day.

Bought more things for college? Yes. Sat around and enjoyed normal food and a comfy bed to sit on? Check. Stared at a computer screen for way too long? Yep. But anything truly worthwhile? Any time spent furthering His Kingdom and bringing him glory? Maybe a little bit of time, but nothing compared to while I was in Panama.

I felt like I was right back where I was before the trip. Going through the motions. Not doing anything wrong, not “wasting my life away”…just not doing anything truly fulfilling. I was content with it before, but after getting a taste of it in Panama I no longer was okay with my usual routine.

In that way, getting back into the swing of things has been really difficult. I find myself fighting my routine now. My human nature wants to sit around and read blogs, play games online, and figure out college things. All good ideas, no bad ways to spend my time…just not what I personally should be doing right now. I should be talking. I should be sharing what He has done, how my life has been changed on this trip, what I’ve learned.

But I feel like I’ve learned so much and taken so much information in that I don’t even know where to begin.

What story do I share first?

Will anyone be able to understand?

Can I paint a picture with my words so that people will feel like they were there, too?

How do I start? There’s so much to say.

I’ve avoided writing, knowing I need to write…but so unsure of where to begin and what words to use.

I’ve fallen back into petty things (don’t take it the wrong way, they aren’t bad things and maybe not petty for others, but for me right now they have become petty compared with the things I have learned in Panama). I haven’t spoken out.

But I’ve made a decision.

I’m going to speak.

I’m going to write.

Maybe no one will understand. Maybe not even one single person will learn anything from the things that taught me so much. Maybe my words won’t do the trip justice. Maybe no one cares about the trip. Maybe no one will read and listen.

But I need to speak and write anyways.

I’ve been journaling my thoughts about the trip, what we did each day and what I learned, how I felt. It’s a slow process and I try to process it all and get it down on paper, but as I write I will copy it on here for you to see. A journal of my time in Panama. Stories of what He has done, what He is doing.

I hope you’ll stick around for it. It’s life-changing stuff. :)