Tomorrow we leave for our first furlough, home assignment, or whatever you want to call it. After 3 1/2 years, we are taking an 8 week furlough to connect with friends and family, to visit supporting churches, and to touch base with donors. I'm excited, I'm nervous, and I'm feeling some trepidation about the list of things that need to happen while we are there. Somehow we are supposed to rest in the middle of this, right? We are supposed to be getting a break from the crush of ministry and cross-cultural living, aren't we?
My biggest fear is that I will end up more exhausted than I started. I have concerns about how my kids will handle the whole thing, I am nervous about leaving ministry in the hands of others, and I dread the good-byes when we come back in August. I realize I'm not alone in the whole hatred of good-byes judging from recent posts.
All of that to say, I am feeling conflicted. I will miss El Salvador, but I'm thrilled to see family. We get to go to new places, and meet new people, but will we be too overwhelmed to enjoy it? I'm feeling mixed up about the whole thing, and it seems like every last aspect of this life makes me feel that way. We live in these paradoxes all of the time, don't we?
So...I'm in need of some advice here from all of you veteran missionary moms who have walked through this several times already. How do you make the most of your home assignment? How do you keep the kids somewhat stable through the whole thing? What are you going to do differently next time?
This is a season of travel in many parts of the world, so if you are furloughing, vacationing, hosting a million short-term missionaries, or just enjoying a break from the school schedule I hope that this is a great season for you and your family and I'd love to hear your advice!