We’re getting excited. And we’re on the brink of full-blown packing, which bring on both butterflies and sobering thoughts. Part of me wants to be there yesterday and part of me wonders if in hindsight the emotions of leaving the States will hit me like an monsoon wave. I feel so ready and yet so unprepared all at once.
I miss my family thinking about how old my girls will be once we return to the States for our first furlough. And yet, part of me really longs to be there. I know in my heart that it’s not going to be romantic. The past ten years at this church have been both sobering and joyful. The body of Christ is tough. And lost cultures are tough too. Spiritual warfare is heavy and I feel like we’ve only just barely glanced the tip of it’s iceburg. But then God reminds me that He has designed us for this. He’s the one equipping and so purposing our lives. It’ll be messy. This world always is. And we’ll cry and hurt, of that I am sure. But I also know that God’s plan always has beauty that catches us off guard and blesses us to the core.
I just feel ready. Ready to make the sacrifices and re-define so much in the delight of faithfulness. And yet I also know that many things in our family culture will be universal. And we are not seeking to flee America but to find a balance with Mozambique culture. It makes my mind fuzzy and is a really hard reality to conceptualize until we’re there.
Packing sometimes feels like a lockness monster hiding under the water’s surface, but I know if we meticulously chip away at it, then we will survive it.
It’s still hard to give away the bassinet in which all four of my babies slept away their newborn little lives. It’s still hard to know at some point in time I will have the last hug for a good long while from my dearest family. That lump in my throat just thinking about it reminds me of the depth of our relationship. It’s still hard giving away an era of our family lives and trying on some new foods and habits. It’s weird to continue compartmentalizing our lives as “memories to keep in the States”, “to go to Quelimane” and “for the Maxixe crate”. It’s weird planning what of ours to replace and what of ours to simplify. Everything comes with a deep questioning now, “do we really need that?” or “do we want that enough to bring it at the sacrifice of something else?” Eight hundred cubic feet of crate. The details are panning out. What would you bring for a family of six in eight hundred cubic feet?
Future Mozambique team members and beginning friendships have been such a blessing. “What would you bring in hindsight?” “What would you not bring?” “What’s available there?” “What’s not available?”
Sometimes the research feels like it never ends and yet it has just begun.
Homeschool planning has taken on new phases as we work around unavailable English book options in Mozambique.
The floodgates of information from the IMB have opened once again as we prepare for appointment on Feb 23rd. It still feels like orientation is a lifetime away. And stepping foot on Moz soil is two lifetimes away. Portuguese comprehension bounces between feeling impossible (Like who in their right mind can actually learn a new language?! Ha!) and then again we will devote all we have toward learning Portuguese. We will overcome! Because swimming is the only choice!
Rachael has told us she’s ready to move. She’s excited. She’ll miss her friends, but she can’t wait to meet new friends. All things Africa are burning in her mind. She gravitates to African stories, seeking out anything she can find to cross the seas in her mind. Her heart is being married to Africa. And mention of Mozambique now lights a spark in her eyes.
Abi has begun to express sadness in leaving. I’m thankful that she is beginning to process this big transition. We continue to talk through our losses, grieving as a family, and also holding tight to God’s truth of going before us and behind us. Abi also freely expresses that she wants to go to Africa. She’s still processing Portuguese school and she’s beginning to try to grasp the concepts of future change. I’m thankful she’s thinking about it now instead of just carrying on with her normal as if nothing is changing.
Hannah and Eden remain clueless. The only difference between the two is that Hannah takes the opportunity to tell others that we’re moving to Africa. Sometimes she identifies Mozambique. She’s excited about the beach. And swimming. And wearing her swimming suit. She’s excited about playing in the dirt. And she gets a light in her eyes when she talks about jumping in rainy season puddles.
Eden is simpler. If Mommy goes, Eden goes. Paci also has to go. And ba-ba. Mommy should hold Eden. At all times. Stroller is an acceptable substitute. Sometimes. “Up”. “Mama”. End of Story.
And so the adventure continues…
Next up: Appointment on Feb 23rd at 6:30p (EST).