Friday, June 24, 2011

The Second Blessing of Furlough

Yes, I know I've been absent from this poor little blog for three weeks, but as you'll see, we've been quite busy! Not that that's an excuse or anything!

One thing I was really worried about when thinking of furlough was the pace of American life. Life in Ghana is routine, calm, manageable. Life in America seems anything but! I'm sure people here have their routines, their moments of calm, and even a way to keep things manageable, but that's tough as a missionary. We only live in the States for a year at a time. We have churches to report to, lots of driving from place to place, and trying to spend quality time with all our family and friends we won't see again for four or five years. We live out of suitcases, sometimes in hotels and sometimes in people's homes. And that, my friend, can feel a bit overwhelming.

As we've been back now almost two months, I've certainly had my moments of panic, fear, and complete desparation. If you don't believe me, ask my husband about my grocery shopping trip the other day! But through all these adjustments, I've been asking God to show me what He wants me to learn through this time.
I finally stumbled onto my second lesson of furlough this morning -- the blessing of experiences.

Some people live their entire lives in the same area, doing the same things, living the same way, eating the same things, and knowing the same people. That's not a bad life; it's a good one!
But God hasn't called all of us to such a life. He hasn't called my family to that life. He has called us to one that is a little out of the ordinary, one full of new places, new things, new foods, and new people. And I've got a choice; I can either balk at the new, out-of-the-ordinary, uncontrollable, and sometimes scary things, or I can embrace them.
I can go out of my way to make memories, choose the joy, and live life now, or I can miss out on all these amazing new experiences for my family and me!
Here are just a few of our recent experiences....

Carey and Ella at School Field Day

Making mud pies at Nana's house

Enjoying Greek food and dancing at the Greek Cultural Festival

Finding out that everything in America is a bit bigger and stranger than real life(including, but not limited to bacon band-aids, enormous marshmallows, mice, and cheese)!

Exploring a nearby German town with my Papaw and Grandma Martha (the girls great-grandparents!), who came all the way from Kentucky just to spend a little time with us!

Spending time up north with John's family and all the cousins, and learning that you can handle colder weather than you ever thought possible - the trick is in the ever-present sweatshirts and campfires!!!

Learning to fly a kite, because if you live in such a windy place like Saginaw, you might as well use it to your advantage!

Thanks for taking the time to read today....have a wonderful week filled with living life with all its experiences!


  1. Thanks for the reminder to look at all the experiences as blessings instead of hurdles. A reminder I am in need of often. :)

  2. Hey! I absolutely remember you from Midland. That was such a great conf. and so glad that we were able to meet you and your sweet family! My how time flies, huh?!
    Congrats on your new baby on the way and staying faithful on the field! Such an encouragement to me!
    This is a great post! We truly are so very blessed to get to experience so many wonderful things. Thanks for the reminder! Enjoy your furlough!
    Love~Heather G.

  3. I love you Patty!
    The beautiful little baby I carried everywhere has grown into such an extraordinary woman! Thanks for all you are! Such a blessing and encouragement!
    We are so thankful to have you here!~

  4. Glad to see that you are enjoying "good times" with friends and family:)