Living Well: Returning to Swaziland, Part II

It is out of this great foundation, that we return excited and eager to Swaziland. To celebrate our full-time return to our lives some lists, of all the things I miss, what we hope for next, and what we brace ourselves for.

What I Miss:

  • simplicity. Simple meals. Simple living. Simply less distractions.
  • People. Our friends. Faces who smile bright when I see them. Laughs shared. People who have opened their hearts, and homes, and lives, inviting me in, and making it feel lovely.
  •  Our dog. It’s been almost 7 weeks, and I’m starting to forget I own a dog. It’s time. And gosh, our friends who are keeping him – whew! They rock my socks off. May I be such a friend to my friends.
  • Warmth. It’s likely upon returning to SD, that we will experience a 100 degree F difference. In one week, our bodies will go from -9 to probably 99. And then I’ll have to start thinking in Celsius again.
  •  Ahh. The nuances of phrases I haven’t heard in 7 weeks. Except when Sean accidentally says them. And our American people look at us, cock their heads, and say, “Huh?” And then Sean changes his “We’ll make a plan” to “Sure, I’ll letcha know.” And the American folks can move on.
  • Living outside. Sitting under trees. Putting on sunscreen everyday as I get dressed.
  • My garden. Eating from it. Watching it grow. Watering it. Dancing when the flowers bloom. Sharing the work with Glorious & Nolwazi. Planning what to plant next. EATING IT.
  • My chickens. Their clucks and fluffy selves. The eggs they bless my belly with. Their color. And 4:00am wake up call. Their delightful digging that prepares the soil I’ll soon plant in.
  • SiSwati. The words, the sounds, the secret joy of knowing what someone is saying to me.
  • a rhythm to this dreamy life I share with my best friend
  • how difficult it is sometimes to get anything, any simple thing done. How it forces me to be slow.
  • the slowness.
  • the every-day reminder to live beyond & outside of myself, that somehow I forget more when I’m away.

What I Brace Myself For:

  • having no clue what someone is saying to me.
  • hours of re-learning siSwati nuances that now will escape me for a few days.
  • missing people. Missing family. Crying when I get home and realize it’s just me and Sean. Knowing absolutely that I’m supposed to be THERE. In that grass-roofed house. But also missing people because THERE I am not fully known like I am here.
  • the hard work and long hours of transforming our space into a vibrant, green, fruit-yielding Eden
  • the absolutely, overwhelming reality that injustices exist in my community; that Sin has taken root in our hearts, once again; that innocence died and harm happened; that hunger is real. And I have LITTLE LIGHT to see the NEXT STEP. And the emotion of knowing other’s sadness, of carrying other’s anguish is heavy.
  • the warmth! The sun feeling like it might cook me like a baked potato, just from stepping out of the shade.
  • not knowing which wonderful face to visit first.

What We Hope for:

  • long hours, hard work turning our dead-ish space into a green, vibrant, fruit-yielding Paradise
  • eating that fruit, year-round, and learning more about homesteading
  • speaking increasingly more hours of siSwati with our neighbors
  • walking around, greeting people at their homesteads. Writing down their names, so I can memorize who everyone is. Spending time being with them.
  • building a chicken mandala
  • organizing our inside space. Having a cupboard, dresser, or drawers to hide things away in.
  • Settling into that space. Rooting in a bit, enjoying the first time in our 4.5 yrs of marriage that Sean & I know “We could be here more than 10 months. We may live IN THIS HOUSE for 2 or 3 years.” Allowing my spirit to rest in some stability. Some home-ness.
  • Getting to LIVE our dream with my husband. Watching him live his. Seeing me live mine. Knowing these dreams support each other, welcome God’s Kingdom here and now, and are only, just getting started
  • Experiencing the miracle of life with mother, after new mother. Seeing God work, talking about God working, knowing God working through me and them and us. Praising Him for that work.
  • Email and receiving phone calls from the States (Yes! You can call our cell phones on Skype. It costs $.23/minute for you, but NOTHING for us.) Skyping with people we love.
  • Hearing stories. Of people outside of Swaziland doing great, creative, selfless acts for the King and Kingdom. And being reminded that I AM not alone. God is moving, acting, loving everywhere, in every place His people kneel and serve.
  • Sharing what God is doing in our life, through all mediums possible, including roof-top shouting. Listen in.

For you, who wants to know how you can keep in touch with us. It’s simple: 1) On the left-hand side of this page (scroll up a bit), you’ll see a box titled “Email Subscription.” Click ‘sign me up!’ and enter your email. You will receive an email from my blog ONLY when we post a blog. 2) comment below & tell me you’d like to receive our newsletter, mailed 10 times/year. 3) Email us at  Tell us your story. 4) Snail mail us at the address at the bottom of this page 5)Inquire about Skyping with us. Or give us a call.  6)Tell us how else you may want to creatively be in touch.

Categories: Kingdom Coming Related, Social Justice, Swaziland Updates | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Living Well: Returning to Swaziland, Part II

  1. MOM

    YOU are FUNNY I always find my mind wondering how yall must fell and within your blogs there lye the answers. Yes I do read all that you both may write but never feel you have to include or mix words ! I am very sad knowing you both will be on your journey home , although we don’t talk daily or weekly sometimes I find feeling secure that yall are here. So as you both return my thoughts will be for SAFE TRAVELS ,new ADVENTURES to take and how quick another year can pass! We LOVE you both be safe Mom

  2. Kama

    Love reading this! You are a blessing.

  3. Dave Slagle

    Hi S&N,
    Had a great sermon today, as every Sunday, on leaving a legacy. As Sean said, people will remember us as who we were not what we owned or possessed. Hope your trip home was a good one as we were glad to see you at Missions. Hope your trip back was safe.

    Looks like cold again Tuesday thru Friday. I’ll keep putting quarters in the meter to keep the electric heat on.

    It is always good to hear from both of you.

    Lots of love and prayers,


    • Hi Dave,
      Thanks for checking out our blog! Mm sounds like a good sermon indeed. I was just thinking about such language the other day… Our trip home was good. Hope to post some updating photos and news end of this week. We are definitely not cold. Probably 95+ each day, but sleeping weather is cool. Thanks for your prayers!

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