...with both a sense of anticipation, nervousness and,
depending on the day,
either a little bit or a lotta bit of dread!
We've accomplished a lot since Christmas (in no particular order):
- Home assignment housing secured? ✔
- Plane tickets purchased? ✔
- Hotel reservations made? ✔
- Travel vehicles, where required, rented ✔
- Furlough vehicle purchased? □
- Sell list/spread sheet made? ✔
- 3 major recording studio projects? 1.5 ✔
- Plan for the studio while we are gone? □
- Homes found for our pets (
43 goats, 54 pigeons, 3 cats, 2 dogs)? □
- luggage that could be sent on ahead? ✔
- Final packing lists? ✔
- Brendan's senior pictures? ✔
- College paperwork completed? □
- Scholarship paperwork completed? □
- Drivers' licenses renewed? ✔
- Family vacation scheduled? ✔
- Family vacation planned? □
- House repairs and walls painted? □
- Sell vehicle 1? ✔
- Sell vehicle 2? □
- Home school curriculum sorted, stored or delivered? ✔
- Educational options/possibilities for our 8 children explored... discussed... evaluated... decided? □
- Schedule meetings with home/sending church □
- Schedule meetings with financial and prayer partners □
In some senses, though? Those are all the easy things. They take time, but they are all relatively concrete and tangible. They can be put on a list and checked off as they are completed... and completion is usually pretty cut and dried. Either it is done or it isn't.
What about the intangibles that we have on our list?
|Photo by Jessica Neff|
Of course, many of those "intangibles" have to do with people - colleagues, friends, neighbors... all those dear folks we've come to love over the past years, those people who've become our family when we weren't near to our blood families.
|Photo by Christine Banke|
Whether or not there is the intention to return after a time of home assignment, preparing to leave well and recognizing that there is no guarantee for what the Lord might bring into our lives underscores the importance of ending well each term we spend in this expat world. Those preparations will inevitably include asking some probing, uncomfortable or even downright hard questions:
|Photo by Sally Manhard|
What intangibles and questions to ask would be top of the list for you and your family... if you were leaving for home assignment this summer?
Other posts in this series of preparing to leave the field: