So many factors, really, had sifted out what felt like the remaining solution: It was time to leave.
Among the factors: My husband’s job (he was moved to leadership, and had effectively mentored a national to take over his position). My kids’ education. Other family factors we batted back and forth, scouring for solutions until it seemed this was really the only way to love well.read more
Hopefully this one’s a bit of a gimme if you’ve already traveled overseas. Friends of mine used to joke about “Africa Wins Again” days–when a rat eats the special food you brought from home, the electricity’s been out for three days, and the government accidentally shuts off your phone.
It’s helpful for me to think of going overseas like skiing moguls: Keep your knees loose, not locked. If you like specific ways of doing things, missionary life might just eat your lunch–and even faster than everyone else’s (check out My Story: Culture Shock, Mayonnaise, and the Last Straw).
My family wrangled our carry-ons into that taupe-colored hum of a 757, bound for six months stateside. (After the lunacy of the week before, preparing to abscond for six entire months, I was just grateful to make it to the plane.)
I felt conflicted.
There was of course the sizeable slab of me that couldn’t wait to throw my arms around my parents, watch my kids grab the hands of with my nieces and nephews again. I was geared up to sit around a table with the people I’ve loved for a lifetime, just like that. Perhaps I would carry a dish of corn on the cob, say, to laugh at my sister’s jokes in crazy-easy normalcy. I hoped to devour a slightly unhealthy amount of blueberries and bing cherries in those months; to close my eyes over the quiet purr of a road devoid of potholes; to throw a few dishes in the dishwasher just because I could.read more
We know it. You know it. Heading overseas is this tornadic level of activity.
I remember fantasizing about the moment I’d finally click my seatbelt shut on that 757: At least–after finally checking our exactly-51-lb.-bags, shuttling four kids through security with every device we still owned, and waving goodbye to the posse of weeping family–I couldn’t do anything else for nine whole hours. (Um. Except entertain a toddler and keep him from driving the rest of the plane bonkers?)read more