Whatever our best intentions ... things don't always work out as they should. Like writing this blog three times a week when me and all my family are suffering from some viral cold/stomach bug infection and can't function let alone keep up with any other commitments ... sorry, you'll notice I'm missing one this week, we're all still recovering!! Scheduling 'home' time ... is ... let's just say, not all that straight forward either!!
We are very lucky that with MAF UK we get to return back to England every year to visit friends and family, talk to churches, renew visas and raise support. During our time in Ohio, we get 2 weeks allocated and later on, when we're on project it will be 4 weeks. We appreciate that we're really lucky in this respect, as other friends with different mission agencies don't get that frequncy. Some don't get to travel home for several years or have to do a long stint each time. With MAF they need the expertise of the pilots and mechanics on the bases so would rather the staff take shorter breaks each year which works out well for our family ... especially the grandparents back in the UK!!
Last year we took an extra week's holiday in the middle of our time at home which worked perfectly ... a week of craziness ... a chance to totally relax and re-energize and have some fun together as a family at my in-laws holiday cottage by the seaside ... followed by another week of craziness.
This year was planned with our previous success in mind. We emailed friends and family several months in advance so we could get organised ... but even then it wasn't til we sent out our final almost packed itinerary that the majority of people contacted about meeting up ... it was a bit late by then ... but a lesson learned for another time!!
We're nearly at the end of our time in the UK now and I can honestly say that almost all of our trip hasn't gone as we arranged it ... from planning funerals to missed holidays to colds and stomach bugs ... it has been almost a month of learning how to adapt, be flexible and in true missionary fashion make the most of how each and every situation turns out. We've learnt more about each other as a family and how we all adjust (or not) and what our limits are ... something we need to know as we continue on our journey together all over the world. So I guess in that respect it has been a complete success!!