Oh, wait, I think I know.
When God tells me to.
It's as simple - and difficult - as that.
How will he tell me, you ask? Well, when you walk with God (as I try to do, imperfect as I am), He is faithful to order your steps, faithful to lead you in the path you should take when you trust in Him and lean not on your own understanding.
Just as He made it clear when it was time for me to move here to Mozambique, He will make it clear when it is time for me to return to the US. "They shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace" the Bible says and that's how it will be for me.
Although when the time comes to drive down the driveway for the last time, I cannot even imagine how hard that will be or how devastated I will feel, I know I will be filled with His peace and His joy as well. It's a mystery but it's true.
My mother's health - having had cancer for five years now - is probably the biggest natural factor that would determine how long I stay. It's been a great blessing to have the flexibility to visit her as much as I have, something that, ironically, I wouldn't have been able to do so much if I was living in California working a 9-5 job.
I appreciate your prayers, comments, support and encouragement!
Come visit, why don'tcha??? See these gorgeous pumpkins for yourself and why I don't want to leave them!
Thanks for reading this submission of More Information Mondays!
A final thought - I wrote this email a few days ago in preparation to post on Monday but I'm a day late. Well, this morning, one of our toddlers in the Baby House died. His name was Dino and he was three years old. He came to us directly from the hospital where he was abandoned by his mother at birth. His death today and the re-reading this post tonight kind of tie it together for me. Although I don't know that I'll live the rest of my life here, it certainly puts in all in perspective. What I am doing here with these boys is life-changing, for them and for me. And that's not meant to be blowing my own horn, it is simply the truth. Every day that I am here to care for them is precious. Every sacrifice I make is worth it. Every inconvenience I experience is no price to pay. Every boy whom I can pour my heart and love into is a precious gift from God and my privilege is to serve them.