Friday, April 29, 2011

What the Last Week Before Furlough Looks Like...

What the last week before furlough looks like for a missionary mama (or at least this one!)
The last week before furlough is...
realizing that you could have started cleaning earlier.
thinking that you could have been packing life away at a more rapid pace than you have.
trying to eat up all the leftover food in the house.
eating up said leftovers, but trying to make them into balanced meals.
sending your poor husband to the provision shop down the road or the petrol station a little farther down the road, because you've run out of something...again.
eating canned cranberry sauce as a fruit, 'cause it's what you've got!
rationing the sugar, because all of the sudden it seems like everything you cook requires sugar, and there are just a few grains in the bottom of the container.
knowing that no matter how many rubbish bags you’ve purchased, you are going to run out before this is done.
trying to bake cookies for the last night of children's Bible class, and because of trying to do too many things at once, not getting the recipe quite right....and sending poor John to the store for biscuits...again.
getting quite tired of hanging all the newly-washed doll clothes and stuffed animals on the clothesline and wondering why we have so many!
eating as much Ghanaian food as we can, because it'll be a long time before we taste the real thing again.
saying good-bye to too many people for too long.
making our last visits to church members houses and being spoiled with fufu for brunch!
staring nostalgically out the window of the vehicle and knowing that quite soon everything is going to look very different.
answering a million and one questions from your kiddos, because even though they are technically Americans, they don't remember anything about America.
holding new little babies and knowing that the next time you see them, they won't be tiny anymore.
praising God that our paperwork finally got finished (enough for now, anyway), and we don't have to change our flights!
knowing that it's time for a furlough because almost everything we own is falling apart, breaking, tearing, drying up, or spoiling right before time to go --- including the camera!
getting that strange butterfly feeling in the pit of your stomach every time you realize that in a week's time your entire life is going to be turned upside-down.
being sad, nervous, excited all at the same time.
making a million lists and knowing that you are still going to forget something.
wondering how your children have so many dirty socks to be washed, when they hardly wear them!
having faith that this is God's will and therefore doing my best to go about all this with a smile on my face and a kind, if rather urgent, tone in my voice!
trying again when that smile slips and the tone becomes frantic!

Instead of blogging next week on Friday morning, I will be in a big airplane winging my way over the Atlantic. Please pray for a safe, smooth flight for this missionary mama and family -- we need it!
Hopefully I'll see you back here in two weeks time with some great stories and a fun little contest!


  1. We're praying for you and your family and hope you have smooth travels.

  2. You described it perfectly, Patty! Now I am frantic and deciding I better get started. However, no matter how fast I start packing and getting ready some of those feelings are just going to be there! We are praying for you as you finish up and as you travel. Love you! Becky

  3. Praying for your safety.... it's gonna be fun!

  4. Oh we cannot wait to see you all! We have missed you so much! Yes Jackie and Jenni are a lot taller and older tahn last time you saw them but are still doing well. Praise the Lord!
    Looking so forward to this! Awaitin the arrival on the other side of the Atlantic!!!!!!
    We are praying for you!!!!