Thursday, February 23, 2012

Countdown to Furlough: Vacation or Marathon?

A photo with my dad and brothers from my last furlough 

I have five days to get ready for my two and a half month marathon vacation.  I need to see several friends, get our spring clothes out of storage—it’s still winter here!—pack suitcases, organize, and pack school materials, and clean my house for the people who will stay here while we’re gone.  I wrote a breath prayer for myself this week: “Holy Spirit of Peace, order my steps.”

I have mixed feelings about our time at home.  I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also a bit scared of our schedule. Everyone says, “Oh I hope you get to rest,” but I’m not sure if this is a vacation or a marathon.  
My husband will attend a week-long intensive doctoral course at Fuller Seminary.  He will travel to Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Tri-Cities Washington, El Salvador, and Puebla, Mexico.   Together we will go to Albany, Miami, El Paso, Dallas and Austin.  In between trips I will try to complete 22 days of homeschool during the two and a half months.  “Holy Spirit of Peace, order our steps.”

Even with the grueling schedule, there are many things I’m looking forward to:

Morning coffee with my sweet Texas mother on her back porch

Mexican food at the family owned restaurant we went to weekly when I was a child

Seeing  family and dear friends.  I have a four year old niece and nephew, twins, that I last saw two years ago

Visiting my home church, the one I started going to when I was fresh out of college, where there are people who have known me for 25 years

A change of scenery and the refreshment of getting away from our regular routine

Target

Barnes and Nobles

Public Libraries

Bathtubs 

Sunny Texas skies

A Tres Dias retreat for spiritual renewal

What I’m Dreading:

Stress

Car trips and airplane travel

The way consumerism in America affects me.  I get an “I need this” mentality!

Living out of a suitcase for two and a half months

Staying as a family in peoples’ homes and hoping you’re not imposing…

The confusion of grocery shopping with so many different choices

Maybe this furlough is not a vacation, but I don’t want to look at it as a marathon, a challenge to be endured, either! I want to focus on the bright side. Maybe furlough is a change of pace, and a change of scenery. I may not rest, but I hope to be replenished by seeing friends, family and going to Target!

What do you look forward to when you go on furlough? What do you dread?

6 comments:

Creatively Content said...

We are heading to the States this summer and your list is close to mine when it comes to the things you are NOT looking forward too. Grace and wisdom.

us5 said...

great post, Olive Tree! may i piggy-back off of your ideas when we get closer to our furlough? may God grant you His peace, and an ability to live in each moment, giving thanks for all the goodness, and trusting Him for the challenges. i'll be praying for you.

Linda said...

I remember those experiences and the word "weary" comes to mind, but you have such a sweet, grace-filled attitude --- and that wonderful prayer. I'll keep you in my prayers for that busy time. I hope you'll keep blogging to let us know what's going on and how we can be praying.

Smiles,
Linda

OliveTree said...

Thanks for the encouragement, friends.

us5 said...

thinking of you in prayer today, hoping all the planning is going smoothly. i hope, too, that you'll keep on blogging! :D

Nancy said...

I'm in the middle of our first term and have never experienced a furlough but was already dreading it based on what others have experienced and told me. Thanks for the reminder to trust God and ask the Holy Spirit of Peace to order my steps, both now and when furlough comes.