Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And the Countdown Begins

You remember last week when I said that there were a lot of things going on in my life? Well, one is now official, and it's time to share.
We are getting ready to go on furlough! Exciting, you say? Sort of. Overwhelming? Extremely!
When it came time for our first furlough I was so very excited. I couldn't wait to see my family, my friends, my old home. I couldn't wait to eat American food, indulge in some old hobbies, live in a culture I was comfortable with, and see things I hadn't seen in a long while. And we did have a nice furlough. I noticed something strange, though. Things didn't seem quite the same as I remembered them. Everything was a little different than what I had imagined.
Then God brought us back to Ghana for our second term. God has grown us and stretched us in many more ways than I thought I could be grown and stretched! And now we are looking at our second furlough. I've not left Ghanaian soil in almost four years. Though I love my friends and family, my life is here. God's given me another family, more friends, a new home. I love Ghanaian food, have new hobbies, am comfortable in this culture (on most days :) ), and enjoy the thought of exploring and learning new things here.
I must be honest, I'm looking at this furlough with a bit of trepidation. I'm not sure what to think; not quite sure how to imagine it all. I'm not who I used to be. I suppose I'm a bit of a mutant -- not fully American and not fully Ghanaian.
Sure, I have moments of furloughitis. The thought of a Fuddrucker's hamburger makes my mouth water. I'm thrilled at the thought of enjoying a Barnes and Noble for several hours. I can't wait to hug family members that I haven't seen in years, hold nephews and nieces I've never met, and spend time with a brand new sister-in-law and brother-in-law. I want to experience four seasons. I'm looking forward to laughing and giggling with old friends and meeting their new babies.
But in the back of my mind, I think of what I'll miss here in Ghana: a heaping plate of Joloff, bargaining in the market, church members, new converts, brand new babies that will be born while we are away, days and days of beautiful sunshine.
In the end, I can't be sad. I have a choice in how I view this. I can choose to see it all as a blessing instead of a trade-off. I have two families, two homes, two cultures, two languages (okay, maybe 1 1/2 :) ), and an amazing life.
And as for that, I can start counting my blessings today!
Since we are leaving for furlough the beginning of May, I'd like to ask you all a favor. If you know me well, you know that I'm a bookworm. And this bookworm has no idea what books to read, borrow, or buy while back in the Land of More Books Than You Can Imagine, America. So what would you suggest? Biographies, Non-Fiction, Mothering, Fiction, Classics, Cookbooks, Christian Life, and any genre I've missed are all fair game. Old or new, doesn't matter. I just need suggestions! Thanks :)


  1. Patty, you need a Nook or a Kindle. That way you can take your whole library back to Ghana with you! I just got a Nook and love it! If I see the same deal I got (which was incredible) I'll let you know!

  2. Well Miss Patty, we are so excited you will be here for Jackie's graduation!She can hardly believe you will be here. I can totally understand everything you said but know there are so many of us so looking forward to see you and hear all about everything, who truly love you!
    See you soon ou friends~!
    All our love and prayers!
    The Trogen's

  3. That's a great idea, Heather!
    Some books that I have really enjoyed:
    My all-time favorite missionary book, To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson. John would also enjoy this book, I have read it over and over.

    As far as some light reading... sometimes I need fiction to keep sane:) I have been reading the Millie Keith series, and they are fantastic. The author is Martha Finley. I also like the Elsie Dinsmore series by Martha Finley. Both of these series would be great for young girls... though I love them.

  4. "Feminine Appeal" by Carolyn Mahaney, "Treasuring God in our Traditions" by Noel Piper, and "Spiritual Mothering" by Susan Hunt. These are probably my top three reads from this past year. We will be praying for you!

  5. Patty, I totally understand your feelings about furlough. When we left the United States 15 years ago, it was hard for me to believe Cambodia would become home and God would give us a second family. However, He keeps his promises! I love living in Cambodia! Furlough is a bit frightening for me too! I will NEVER forget my first trip to Walmart last furlough. I stood in the toilet paper aisle and cried because there were too many choices. :) Over here, the choices are white or pink...THAT'S IT! In America.... WOW! Anyway, I am thankful for the love God has given us for our new country! I am also thankful for a wonderful church back home and look forward (sort of) to being there for a while! By the time we get back you will be all settled in and can get me through the rough spots! (like my first trip to Walmart!) :) Love you! Becky