We always try to be up at 5:30 a.m., but it is usually closer to 6 before our feet hit the floor. Quiet time / devotionals, then catch up on some quick internet world news. Sarah is up at 7:30. Family breakfast, then off to school. We walk Sarah to school each day (15 minutes there), then we head off (brisk walking) to the town center to try to combine some exercise with some errands and some cultural learning. We take a different route almost every day, so we have now almost walked 2/3 of the city’s streets. We stop along the way to do any banking or light shopping or post office things that need to be done. Our town is all uphill / downhill, so it is a decent workout. Almost daily, we run into someone we know and stop to talk for a bit. Home by 10:30 or 11:00 a.m.
Showers, dishes, laundry, then office work… contacting several of the other missionaries whom we care for, writing for the blog or the newsletter or the TMS website we are working, writing curriculum for the coaching workshop we will teach in January, etc. At least once a week, that plan gets side railed by an urgent need from another field, a counseling or coaching call, expense reports or time-sensitive issues that need to be dealt with. And at least once or twice a week, none of the office stuff happens because we receive a call to come meet someone for coffee and discussion, which always becomes a fantastic 3 hour meeting that we know was planned by God Himself. Morning office time is important, as it is our only time when Sarah is not in the house and doesn’t need help with homework, and we have hours then when the USA is still sleeping (i.e. no emails, no calls from USA, no urgent requests for anything from that side of the world) - so we try to get a lot accomplished before 2 p.m. This is when we can be most effective in the office, as well as work with ‘this side of the globe’ on ministry, counseling, and coaching.
Walk to school to get Sarah by 2 p.m., then we walk home and have lunch. Spaniards have a big family lunch in the afternoon, then they have siesta hours until 4:30 or 5… but not our family. We eat lunch and we take a small break until 4 p.m. at the latest… can’t afford longer breaks as Sarah is playing catch-up this year in school and she is swamped with homework (usually 4+ hours of homework each night). Sarah gets to work, as do we. Afternoons become a little more hectic, as we begin to get emails and Skype calls from the USA for ministry things, etc. If we have meetings with missionaries who are in their preparation stages, or if we meet with the office for anything, those calls happen in the afternoon for us.
Late afternoon and evening time is a juggling game, as we have ministry things (bible study, meetings with people) or “extras”… Sarah has a class on Wednesday evenings and we have a bible study and fellowship with another couple. Every week on alternating days (Monday or Tuesday), Laurie has a group meeting; and again on either Thursday or Friday, depending on the week, she has another group in another town. Billy meets his friend to help him with English, or with another friend to talk about culture and immigrant issues.
We try to have dinner at 8:30ish, Sarah is in bed by 9:30, and we are finally ready to sit an relax together or fall asleep reading. We try to be in bed by 10:30 or 11 p.m. so we can start all over again tomorrow. ☺