Guest Blogger: Mel Hynes
Spending 2 weeks in Thailand with the Cross family has been such an amazing privilege which I will treasure for years to come. I have experienced a great mix of both playing the “tourist” as well as pretending to be a local, from a visit to the elephants to watching a local high school volleyball game.
So I arrived last Friday night curious and a little unsure as to how different their new life in Thailand would be. I was quite amazed at first, at how familiar it all felt to me but of course I continued to enjoy finding all the things that were quite different to the Aussie way!
One of the quirky highlights of my holiday would have to be the way the Thai people would look from Andie to me then point and say “SAME SAME!” They seemed to find a lot of humor in the fact that we looked similar and would often repeat this over and over.
These words got me thinking. While there have been a lot of unusual, unique and wonderful things I have discovered while being in Thailand (hot banana waffles for instance), I have also had the privilege of experiencing a lot of “SAME SAME” while I have been here which I would like to share with you.
The Crossies have definitely made their house a ‘home’ just as their house was always a ‘home’ in Australia. I have loved feeling this same warmth, love and spirit of their new home while I have been living here. I had wondered how I would cope with missing my own family while I visited but this definitely felt like I was in a home away from home.
‘Friends’ also spring to my mind when I think “SAME SAME”. The Crossies new friends that I have met while being here seem really beautiful not unlike their close Australian friends. Sharing Tobi’s 5th birthday celebrations alongside these new friends was a great opportunity to see how God has provided and will continue to provide for this special family.
And my experience of “SAME SAME” does not end here. The issues of daily family life were also very similar to my own life with young children... squabbles, cuddles, tears, kinder drop offs, pickups and lots of lots of wiping up spilt messes from the floor!!! What a treat to have an opportunity to live with the Crossies and see that while so many things may have changed when they moved, they continue to foster an intentional, loving, God-filled, happy family life with their three beautiful children.
I’ve saved the best “SAME SAME” for last…heart. Over the years I have had lots of great chats with Dave and Andie about values, beliefs, aspirations, growth, challenges, direction and God’s overwhelming love. This trip allowed me the opportunity to be able to share my heart and listen to theirs, something that I have painfully missed over the past 8 months. I feel so very blessed to have had this time with my incredible sister, brother-in law and gorgeous little nephews and niece.
I started this by saying that this experience has been one, which I will treasure for years to come, and I really meant it. I have enjoyed seeing the differences, I have loved experiencing the SAME SAME, and I now appreciate that I will not go home the same. Change is part of all of our lives and while it can be very painful I’ve just had a lesson in how it can also bring great joy!
Luv you guys, thanks for everything!
AND YES ANDIE, YOUR COFFEES ARE THE GREATEST IN ALL THE WORLD!