My Christmas present to everyone several years ago was a family cookbook. Along with the recipes we enjoyed in my family, I included stories about the great Banana Pudding chase, the time David took on a bear for our picnic lunch, Daddy's wreck with a plate of Deviled Eggs sitting on the front seat and other gems of family lore. I put tips with the recipes like why the cut-out cookie dough is my favorite (doesn't require lots of refrigeration time and doesn't get tough when handled a lot) or why Unbaked Cookies are best made in the fall (low humidity) and how with Dumplings you just have to keep trying.
Dumplings are my kids favorite. In the cook book I point out "Luckily, even when they don't turn out just right, they're extremely edible." Then I added, "Just keep making them and after a couple dozen times you'll realize you couldn't make a bad batch of dumplings if you tried."
That keep trying thing works for more than just dumplings. One thing you learn when you move around is feeling at home doesn't happen fast. There is no secret way to fit in or be comfortable. Just time and showing up. The good news? It eventually happens.
Last night at church I came out of a door and actually knew what was down the hall in both directions! This is a very large church, so it was a definite milestone.
I got back to writing on my next book yesterday. Due to a lot of doubt and fear and other icky stuff, I haven't written much lately. I know now to get back in the groove is going to take doing it cold. However, the flow will come back. It will feel natural again. Eventually.
Whether it's dumplings, a new place, or an activity, I've learned that the comfort and familiarity I want is available, if I'm willing to walk through the uncomfortable and unfamiliar long enough.
"God, make me willing to keep walking today. We'll worry about tomorrow - tomorrow."