Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Homeward Bound

Due to unforeseen and absolutely sad personal reasons, I will be returning to the states with my kiddos at the end of November. On Thanksgiving, to be exact.

So in the midst of sorrow, I am trying to find some things (anything!) to be thankful for. Here's what I came up with:

  • My family. From my parents who said, "Come Home." To my in-laws who echoed, "You are always welcome here." To my sister who stands tall next to me no matter what. And especially my kiddos who are Pure Love and Light itself. For all of them, I am thankful.
  • My friends. No one has better, more loyal, more loving friends than I do. No one. I am truly the most blessed person. Who else has friends who meet them at the airport...with presents for the kiddos? Who has friends who don't take no for an answer and show up on my doorstep anyway? Who has friends who are housesitting, yet say, "You need to move back? No problem!" For all of my buddies, I am thankful.

  • My readers. On the darkest of all days, a teen reader emailed me, telling me that my forthcoming book changed her perception about herself. And then she quoted me back to myself. As odd as that experience was, those words were actually the right message at the right time: "To dream, you must starve doubt. Feed hope." For all the authors who write so that we can find solace in story--and the readers of this work, I am thankful!

  • And today...after returning to Shanghai and having to visit the Police Station to register myself yet again, I am counting myself as very THANKFUL not to have to stand in that endless line, serviced by one lone man, ever ever again. As an addendum, I am also thankful not to have to return to the Public Security Bureau in Shanghai. Honestly.

4. By the time I return to the states, there will be a NEW president. And for THAT, I am exceedingly thankful.

So my project in the next three weeks is to continue adding to my Thankful List. I will be feasting on hope. Will you?


  1. I'm so sorry the project has ended. Thank you for your faith -- I'm thinking the words "Feed Hope" would make a great bracelet.

  2. I know where those kiddos found their hearts of love and light, Justina.

    We are waiting to welcome you home. xox

  3. We love you, Justina, and are waiting to feed you as much hope as you can bear. Many hugs. xoxo

  4. "To dream, you must starve doubt. Feed hope." I gave that quote from your book to my son on his 20th birthday in September. I'd written it in my commonplace book while reading NofB. E and I are sorry to learn your time in Shanghai will soon be over, as your posts told us how much you were enjoying the experience. (Mostly!) Blessings to you.

  5. Oh, Justina, I am so sorry for whatever hard trial you are going through right now. :( *BIG HUG*

    And so brave and wise of you to make a thankful-list.

  6. Our Tina, our sister, my heart is with you. Will have a hug waiting.

  7. So proud to be one of your many friends! And can't wait to have you home - love you!!!!

  8. I am so sorry for whatever struggle you are going through right now. I hope that your thankful lists and all those incredible people you mention in your thankful lists will help you through this difficult time.

    I also hope that when you're feeling up to it, you'll come back to your blog, because I know that while I've loved reading about your travels, I'd enjoy reading about your trip to Safeway in Seattle as well. You have great insights!

    Best to you.

  9. We welcome you and the kids back with open arms, Justina. A candle doesn't lose any light by sharing its flame. May you feel and take light from many many candles during this time.

    Love you


  10. Hi, Tina, you have been in my heart and in my prayers. Hope will bring you through. Hope is that way.

    God answer you on the day you crash, the name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm's reach,
    send reinforcements from Holy Hill,dispatch from Zion fresh supplies, exclaim over your offerings, celebrate your sacrifices, give you what your heart desires, accomplish your plans.

    When you win, we plan to raise the roof and lead the parade with our banners. May all your wishes come true! That clinches it—help's coming, an answer's on the way, everything's going to work out.
    Psalm 20 1-6
    the message

  11. I'm so sorry, Justina. May you find your true North, during this sad time. Hugs.

  12. My thoughts are with you and yours. Have a safe trip back home. Everything you saw and heard overseas will come back with you, in your heart and mind. Be safe.

  13. Dear Justina,

    I join the rest in saying that I am very sad to hear that you are going through something really difficult right now. I am thinking of you, and I hope that you find beauty in Shanghai right up until you return home.