In 8 days we will be on our way back to Madagascar. From the Vancouver, Canada area, we're talking 32 hours of travelling, and a 10 hour time difference from here to there.
I have started mentally preparing myself for the homeschool. The beginnings of Kindergarten with my second child, and Grade 2 with my oldest daughter. The other two children will tag along and likely absorb some things and distract us away from others. Since being on furlough or home assignment, I have been blessed to have close family (aka Mom and Mother-In-Law) doing much or all of our cooking over the past three months. So I am also mentally preparing myself to return to meal planning and gathering new recipes, grocery shopping, and the logistical details of running a household. I am happy to return to this.
My youngest is also on the verge of being out of diapers. This is huge for our family! It's exciting to watch him discover abilities and freedoms that come with the beginning stages of potty-training.
Reuniting with fellow-missionary friends, and beautiful locals in Madagascar is also making me anxious to return. I will be happy to see them again. :) Routinely serving guests in my home, and nurturing these friendships will continue as part of our normal.
Returning to focusing on my immediate family, my husband and children--all of the responsibilities and gifts of child-minding, training and discipline, loving my husband, nurturing our bodies and souls as we serve away from extended family. Once again, I don't look forward to continuing long-distance relationships with close family and friends in Canada, but I recognize how close our family unit is becoming as we are without those ties in Madagascar.
I am also looking forward to adding warmth to our physical home there. Decorating it with some new items we found here. Filling it with music again, and lighting candles to calm moods and bring us together.
Returning to our routine won`t happen overnight. After the long 32 hours on planes and in airports finally sees us to the end of our journey, no doubt we will spend days recovering, finding our bearings, and rediscovering the nuances of Madagascar---this country that we call home now. The routine will not automatically snap back into rhythm. The children won`t automatically co-operate with the rigors of school. But we will grow together as we return to our routine. And I`m praying for grace as we transition back into it. Grace for the time it takes, and grace for each day to take us where God wants us to be.