Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Day in the Life

For those of you who have wondered - here's a glimpse into our daily life. This is a typical Monday:

5:45 am - we wake up, hopefully before the kids, but not always, to spend some time in the Word, always with a cup of coffee for me. I try to take a walk each morning for exercise and sanity.

Stella, with her "coffee" (milk) and "Bible" 

7:00 am - Ben heads off to teach his Hebrew 2 class. The girls and I get dressed, have breakfast, try to get rolling for the day!

8:15 am - Ben heads to his office to get in two hours of isiZulu study. I sometimes try to do some preschool type work with the girls, or a craft, or we play outside. There might be some baking happening if I'm not ahead of the game.

as soon as they hear me puttering in the kitchen, out come the stools...

10:00am - Ten students arrive at our house for our Khutezanani group (discipleship group), where we share tea and treats, and catch up on life. I primarily try to keep the kids quiet while a student shares a devotional, and Ben shares a bit about another country, and everyone prays, often "in one voice" (which means aloud, at the same time).

11:15am - Our sweet coworker Susan tries to take the girls for a couple of hours on Mondays, so that I can get some study time in. I usually clean up from our group, grab a quick lunch, and make a lesson plan our language helper for the week. Working without the girls around is wonderful and peaceful.

When Susan isn't available, I have some great assistants. 

1:00pm - The girls return, usually very happy, and we have a mad rush of getting everyone into their beds/quiet spaces as Mama Tshazi, our language helper, also arrives at this time. We make coffee, spend the first 30-40 minutes speaking only in isiZulu, and then move on to grammar/vocab/reading for the rest of our two-hour session. Sometimes the kids wake early, or don't stay put as they should, but in general, we are thankful for this time to work together.

3:00pm - We take Mama Tshazi home (she lives just up the road), and Ben goes to our study to get some class prep in before breaking for the day. I will let the girls watch a show, or Facetime with Grandma, or we will go outside. I have to try harder to keep my attitude positive and my sanity in tact at this time of day.

how Grandma reads to you when you live overseas

4:30pm - Ben is usually done working around this time, which is great as I'm usually trying to prep dinner with a certain 18-month old clinging to my leg and crying.

it's all about trying to keep everyone happy now...

5:30pm - We eat dinner together as a family, and share about our day. We light the candles the girls dipped in four colors a few months back, and sometimes sing the Doxology for our prayer. We love to ask the girls about their favorite part of the day.

6:15pm - Lately, since autumn is here and it's much drier in the evenings (back in the "spring" we had quite a few storms in the evenings) we are enjoying family walks in the dark (the sun sets around 5:30pm now). The girls enjoy running around one more time, and Ben and I get a chance to connect.

7:00pm - We have that end of the day push to read a Bible story and sing a few songs, and get all the kids into their beds. Usually cuddling is involved, even though I'm about checked out at that point. Ben and I collapse on the couch. We will usually try to catch up on emails or other work things, but then spend some time winding down by watching a favorite show (if the internet is having a good day) or playing a game or reading.

9:15pm - Most nights, we are in bed early, reading or talking, and fall asleep quickly. Thankfully that hasn't been a problem here!


Not all of our days are this busy, but there's a notable increase in our pace of life here for me. Two mornings a week Ben is at chapel, and some afternoons there may be a staff meeting. Mama Tshazi comes on Mondays and Thursdays. On Tuesday nights, Ben and I rotate attending a three-hour Zulu 2 level class. Regularly, coworkers or teammates or students pop over to chat (this is a "pop in" culture). Every other Friday, we have the sweet opportunity to go to a local children's home to lead a little Bible class.

Thanks for hanging with us, and for your continued support and prayers! 

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