"When an experience is new or challenging, and we must absorb more information, time seems to pass more slowly; when one day blurs indistinguishably from the last, the months evaporate. So I could slow time by making a radical change in my life: move to a new city, or even better, a new country, or switch careers, or have a baby." -Gretchen Rubin, Happier at Home

This couldn't be truer for us. It's hard to believe that we have lived in China for over/only a month. September felt like it would never end, and it feels like it's been ages since we lived in California. Some days, I've been relieved just to make it through.

Since we've lived here, we've found our favorite local fruit stand, spent the day at a police station filing a report for a stolen purse (thankfully, not mine), taken the metro all over town and the bullet train out of it, discovered in the middle of cooking dinner that certain pans do not work on an inductive burner, learned that sometimes the router needs to be reset seven times in one day, sat in our apartment with the walls vibrating from the jackhammering taking place next door, and made new friends at shanghai community fellowship. Dave has been to the U.S. and back to obtain his work visa, and I've survived the first of ten months of teaching while in grad school.
There's still a lot to be learned and a lot to be accomplished in the next months. So much to be documented and shared (I'm already behind). And as temporary as this adventure may be, we've done our best to adjust and come to terms with Shanghai as where we're supposed to be right now. The pastor at the church that we've been attending mentioned this verse the other Sunday, and it just resonated with me:

God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live. God wanted them to look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him, though is not far away from any of us.
-Acts 17: 26-27, NCV

This October, we'll be without the apple orchards and pumpkin patches and halloween parties. Which I hope will give us the opportunity to look deeper and work harder. I've hit some lows, but I couldn't be more excited about this place, literally and figuratively, in our lives. Exactly when and where we must live? Shanghai, now.