Ask anyone who knows me, I am very outspoken. I try to temper everything that I say with love, but of course sometimes my humanity gets the better of me, and it doesn't come out the right way. My husband has taught me a lot about holding my tongue, about knowing when to speak and when to listen. Knowing which battles are worth it and which aren't. These have been hard lessons for me to learn, mainly because I'm so hard-headed, and am very passionate.
However, God has found a way to help me keep my mouth shut to those I feel then need to put in their place, so to speak. He did that by moving me over 2,000 miles from my south Louisiana home to the middle of nowhere Romania, where I don't speak the language, and where the cultural differences are HUGE.
For instance, my mother-in-law, whom I love, can drive me nuts. It's like she has this insatiable need to always have some sort of melo-drama playing out. And it is usually instigated by my brother-in-law's wife. Now my MIL I can deal with, she's being egged on by a woman with no heart or soul, who is very selfish and self-centered, so much so, she can't even be bothered to raise her own two sons, instead her mother's raises the oldest one - from her 1st marriage, and our MIL raises her son with my brother in law. Did you get confused there, yeah, I know; sorry. She has taught my middle child to curse in Romanian. We were there when she was putting filth in my child's mouth, and my husband stopped her, she said something to the effect of "she'll learn it at school and from other kids". My hubby didn't tell me what was going on, till several days later. I of course hit the roof and was ready to get in the car, drive to her house, and yell at her in English - she would've understood me. My hubby said, why, why do something that isn't going to do any good? Why get down on her level? Just ignore her and pray for her.
Well I pray for her, but I literally cringe when I see her. I keep waiting for the day when she asks my why I haven't learned Romanian yet, I'll have a few choice words that my husband can translate or not. I think God has slowed my learning curve down on this new language, just because of people like my sister in law. I've said it before in another post, that they people here are rude. It stems from 40+ years under communist rule, where you had to stand in line for hours for food, and then it was rationed. You had no electricity till after the sun went down. There is no such thing as customer service here. Waiters, cashiers, government workers, etc. they are all rude, and impatient.
Two examples. One of the grocery stores here - there are two check out lanes. You put your items on the counter, there is someone in front of you. Being from America, I have a concept of personal space, so I leave some room between my buggy and the person in front of me. The people behind me have never heard of personal space, and will push you with their buggy. If they don't have a buggy they will literally stand right on top of you. I want to turn around and ask them if they want to crawl up my butt, cause that's what it feels like. Then when all your items are rung up, they have to look to see how much you just spent.
Second example the Post Office. The only time I go to the PO is when I get a notice that my family or friends have mailed me a package from back home - it usually involves Hazelnut creamer, something I can't get here. Well you can only pick up or send International packages on Monday's and Thursday's between the hours of 1 & 3. The reason, a customs agent has to be there to inspect the contents of the package. I tried to send a package back home to some friends of ours. I didn't tape up the package, cause I knew it needed to be inspected. It was inspected, she told me I needed to tape it up, I said I didn't have tape, and asked if they did, NU! What kind of PO doesn't have packaging tape????? I was livid! I had just stood in line for 45 minutes!!!! I grabbed my package, and mumbled "Friggin' Communists" as I walked out! I KNOW, I know, not the best witness. I repented, I feel guilty about it, but still, I mean, c'mon. They didn't have any tape?? I would've paid for it!
These are the kinds of things, the differences here that drive me insane! God is smart - he knows what he's doing, he knows, that stupidity like that will set me off, so he slowed my usually fast learning curve on this language thing. Which is good, but it's bad too, because I don't understand a word being said when I want to understand - like church for example. I don't understand anything, and the services here are v.different than what I am used to. I am used to more of the "charismatic" churches. There is one baptist church in our city, and there is a lot of standing and sitting - reminds me of a Catholic church. But I think till I learn to let things go and see people and things through Christ's eyes, God will have a hold on my tongue!