Back Injuries and Cute Kids

Summer has hit Qingdao with a wave of heat and humidity, and I am VERY thankful I asked my school to install air-conditioning in my apartment before it got too hot. Unlike most of my friends, I love the summer heat, so the weather has only made me more energized.

Unfortunately, that energy has been seriously tempered in the past two months by a series of back injuries. A few days after my mom returned to the US after her visit, I seriously pulled my lower back lunging to kill a bug. Thus ensued a series of bad decisions, unhelpful advice, and general cluelessness that led to two more back injuries, my hips rotating out of alignment, and sciatica in my right leg. These things have prevented me from doing many of the things I enjoy, and it’s particularly frustrating because I’m such an active, independent person. These injuries have instigated a huge lifestyle change in order to not feel horrible all the time, and I’ve started doing daily yoga, walking,  and constantly watching my posture. While I’ve had a long road physically, the mental battles have been the worst. It’s been hard not to ask, why me? and fall into a rut of self pity. I’ve had to take a step back, look at my own selfishness and pride, and take stock of the good things I do have in life–which are abundant, and in the long run, these back injuries have not incapacitated me. If anything, they’ve been the wake up call I needed to get myself in better physical shape and learn how to care for my body better. I’ve also learned a lot about my own pride in my ability to be strong, independent, and take care of myself. It’s been extremely difficult to sit back, humble myself, and say, okay Lord, there’s nothing I can do, you are in control and you give me joy even in the hard times. I still have a ways to go in terms of recovery, but I’m working on it.

My semester is coming to an end next week, and on July 5 my friend Nicole and I will be heading out to Vietnam for two weeks! I am beyond excited for this trip, and while it will be really hot, we have some exciting things planned. So please pray that my back will be strong through this trip, that I will be able to carry my backpack, as that’s been a concern of mine lately since I haven’t been able to carry anything heavy for two months, and that I won’t have a lot of pain and will be able to enjoy this trip. After the trip, I will be back in Qingdao for two weeks before heading to the US to visit for the month of August. I can’t wait to be back in the States, eat American ice cream, breathe fresh air, see how vast the sky can really be, and visit with friends and family. My preschool just had their graduation ceremony, and as usual, the celebration was over the top, the costumes were over the top, and the routines were over the top. I shared some of the kids’ performances in my last video, but you didn’t get to see the costumes, which are crazy and adorable.

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One of the graduating class

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Identical twins I named Noah and Owen. Noah thinks his name is Owen, and Owen doesn’t know his name at all.

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