If you are a facebooker, then maybe you have seen the collage of pictures for different roles and professions: The Military Wife, The Teacher etc... under each picture it reads something like this: What friends think I do, What my Husband thinks I do and so on, then the last picture has "What I really do". It reminded me of a story I penned about a real day in my life several years ago.
If you have been following my blog, then you already know that we are missionaries in Russia for the past 13 years.
We love to get emails from friends and churches with questions about us and our lives as missionaries. The one that is sometimes hardest to answer though is "So, what is a day in the life of a missionary like?" Below is a story of a "real" day in my life, back when we were in Moscow. All four of our kids were still home. They were all homeschooling in English half a day and going to Russian school the other half. I found a calendar from during that time, not long ago, and let's just say the days were full: Language lessons for everyone, piano lessons, guitar lessons, Russian school, basketball, Russian tutors, team meetings, evangelism, prayer walking, volunteer teams, reports, reports and more reports, Bible studies in 3 different homes, English club, not to mention just day to day living: cooking, shopping, cleaning, paying bills, which all can be quite complicated in another culture/country.
I thought it would be fun to share this old story with you, hope it brightens your day in some way, or at least helps you realize that "this too shall pass" Those kinds of "busy" days are long gone for me, with only a 15 year old still at home with us. I never thought I would say it, but I miss the "good ole days"!
THIS IS FOR EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO KNOW WHAT THE DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MISSIONARY IS “REALLY” LIKE, WHAT I REALLY DO: (Moscow 2004)
After cuddling with my kids, having an awesome Bible study/prayer time and about half of the cup of coffee that my husband brings me each morning, and a great start to my day, I decide to get to my dirty dishes. As I walk into the kitchen to turn on my praise music, I remember my half a cup of coffee by the bed that Michael brought me. As I go to get my coffee, I see a pile of clothes in the floor, and decide to put a load in first. So I set my coffee on my desk. When I start to put the clothes in, I realize why they were still in the floor. I still had some to hang out. As I put the clean wet clothes on the desk under the clothesline to hang them out, I notice a couple of tests in the basket and decide to grade them, but first I will heat up my half a cup of coffee. I take the grade book and tests to “Michael’s” desk, and my half a cup of heated coffee, where the computer is and begin to grade them when Caleb comes out and asks if he can read to me. As he is reading to me, I remember the wet clothes on the school books and rush to remove them before the books are ruined. As I am carrying the wet load of clothes to find the basket, the doorbell rings, so I put them back in the washer real quick and go get the door. At the door is Michael, who needs to get on the computer. He begins to fuss as the kids tests/books, and coffee near the computer. I quickly remove them from his desk and put them back in the box on my desk, along with the half a cup of coffee, now cold again. I proceed to put it in the microwave for 4th time, when I realize it is almost lunch time. I begin to make lunch and realize that I needed to go to the store for bread first. I go to find my list on my desk, when I see my house keys which I forgot to put back in my purse. I begin to look for my purse when Michael asks me to help him with some volunteer projects. I lay the keys down on the bookshelf and begin to help him, when he realizes the internet is not working. He picks up the phone to call the service provider, when he realizes the phone is also not working. While he is looking for his cell phone, I return to the kitchen to make lunch, when I remember that I never got to the dishes. Michael finds his cell phone which is out of time, so he borrows Reagan’s to call the phone company. They tell him he can access online to print the form to go to the bank to pay the bill, which we never received a total of about $3.00. He then calls the service provider who says he didn’t pay for service, which he did 2 days ago. He finally convinces her that it was paid. They finally turn it on, and he prints the paper needed and the place to go and pay and heads out to pay the phone bill. I decide to go back to the dishes. When I start to wash the dishes, I remember I never hung out the clothes. When I go to hang out the clothes, I see the grocery list and realize that dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent and bread are on the list. I decide to run down to the store, but I can’t find my purse. As I am looking for my purse, Reagan enters the room with a reading quiz for me to dictate. Before I can write down his grade, I need to find the stack of kid’s books that I moved from Michael’s desk, when I see my purse. I decide I better go to the store as the kids will be hungry and have to head to Russian school, when I realize I am out of rubles, and Michael has already left. I go and make the kids some soup, and find the last jar of peanut butter and a pack of crackers, when the phone rings and it is Michael (the cell phone). He says that he went to the bank paid the phone bill, and called the company to tell them it was paid, when she declares there is still no record of payment. She then asks him where he went and he says he went to bank of Moscow, where the note said. She says that it will take days from that bank to turn on the phone, that he should have gone to sberbank.
At the end of the day, I wondered what I did all day. I tried to figure out why nothing got done.
The dirty clothes were still in the floor. The wet clothes were still in the washer. The dirty dishes were still in the sink. The kids papers were still ungraded, and unfound. Caleb didn’t finish his reading. Reagan’s reading quiz grade didn’t get written down. The volunteer requests were not completed. Groceries were not bought. The phone was still off. I still couldn’t find my purse, my list, my keys, the kids’ tests to be graded, or my half a cup of cold coffee It was time to fix supper, and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember if I had even fed the kids lunch or not.
I was really confused because I knew I was busy all day long, and besides that, really tired. I decided to check to see if the internet and phone were working, when I heard from the hallway: “Mama, I just spilled your coffee all over our tests…"
IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES, IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES. hahaha