Monday, June 3, 2013

8 kids, at least 10 carryons (probably more), 20 suitcases, 1 stroller and a pile of paperwork

...and if our oldest daughter gets her way, at least one czar-ish black cat.

I don't think that's gonna happen.

Hopefully I won't misplace the husband or the grandparents in all of the craziness.

...or the passports or the residence permits or the plane tickets.

Speaking of plane tickets, did you know we qualify for group rates when we travel (although it isn't always the best deal), we often dress in uniform... or at least something somewhat matching so I can quickly scan - count to ten and identify my group, and it can easily take us several vehicles to get to the airport and over an hour just to get through security, regardless of the locale.

We are really only just shy of being our very own traveling circus. I dislike (a gross understatement) that part.

How can you be excitedly anticipating climbing the steps and finding that letter-numbered, uncomfortably small seat while at the same time dreading it so very much? 

These last few weeks are turning out to be doozies.

Even with all my carefully laid plans and preparations, surprises have happened, are happening... and at this rate, a few more will probably happen. More gets added to my list more quickly than I can check it off. People have expectations of me that will be impossible for me to meet... or they accuse me of being self-absorbed and not genuine. Electric and internet cuts make it next to impossible to keep up with the regularly scheduled stuff. Then there's the tense political climate and current events restricting travel and limiting opportunities... city wide lock down today interfered and rendered impossible a last Sunday of worship with our local brothers and sisters and some goodbyes that just will not be able to be said. (If you are curious about all that sort of stuff, type my country/city of service into a search engine... we've been making international news repeatedly this week.) Those things are just the tip of the iceberg. So, in that sense, I can't wait to get outta here and leave some of those stresses behind.

That doesn't change the fact that goodbyes are hard.

But what do you do when circumstances force you to abort those goodbyes?

I guess that's where it all comes down to trust while riding the roller coaster of emotions that are part and parcel of this transition:

  • that God will make beautiful things out of the dust as it settles;
  • that God's grace will suffice even where my efforts don't;
  • that His mercies will renew morning after morning after morning, just as He promises;
  • that what man thinks isn't nearly so important as God's assessment of my heart and actions;
  • that God knows His plans even when I'm not sure of my own next step... that He is about the business of doing great and mighty things beyond my imagination;
  • that I'm neither as important as I think nor as unimportant as I feel;
and perhaps most importantly,
  • with Him, all things are possible.
We'll be traveling... soon... 

... some moments, it isn't soon enough and others it is way too soon!

But I can't wait to see what God has for me and my family as we enter into this next phase of our adventure with Him.

What conflicting emotions do you have about your current situation or place?
What words help reassure and comfort you in those difficult moments?

I'm taking a break from posting for a few months. Many of you who comment or who are a regular part of this community will be in my prayers over these next few months. I look forward, Lord willing, to join up with you again towards the end of summer! Thanks for journeying with me these past few months.

Other posts in this series of preparing to leave the field:


  1. I am on the other side of the world and my family is back in Africa where all this is happening and I can't wait for them to leave and we can be together again. Coming home for surgery was a good decision! I have never done long distance parenting for 5 weeks and this has really taxed me as i have had to figure out logistics for getting me from one place to another, doctors appts. in a new environment, staying with friends for longer than I would like, etc. I can't wait to be back together with my family and yet I am missing out on some really important stuff--grad, goodbyes, etc. I have had to dwell on getting well, supporting my family, and counting my blessings through all of this! I have had to rely on God's Word to get me through. I am so thankful that my husband and kids made little notes of encouragement for me to read each day! The first day I read like 5 or six and my daughter said, "But Mom you will run out before we get home!" I told her I planned to read and reread what they wrote, because they were precious words to savor.

    1. those little notes mean the world, don't they? i know how hard i found the long distance parenting when i went back to have m&m... it was not an experience i was anxious to repeat. guess it gives us a taste of what our friends who have kids at the dorm live, all the time.

      we're missing you, too, Linda!