God has taken away our chair…

God has taken away our chair…

By Mr Chaos on March 26, 2019 in Family, Living Abroad

I was going to say that we’ve been poor at posting on the site recently. But that’s an understatement – the last post was at the end of January. So what are our excuses? Well, we’ve got a few things going on…

As well as the normal chaos of a family of 6 and starting home school for our eldest, we’re also neck-deep in the process of packing and selling all our ‘stuff’ as we prepare to leave Zambia.  And I’ve been finishing off at my job which has involved working away from home and long hours. And to top it all off, everyone in the family – ALL 6 OF US – have had a stomach bug. Just a good-bye present from Africa. Let’s just say that none of us are farting with confidence….  other than the twins, who aren’t aware enough to hold back…  Which is a problem, as we’ve just started toilet training…

Are these valid excuses? Well, yes and no. They’re perfectly reasonable mitigating factors, but if we want to be intentional about this blog and our writing, then we need to intentionally set aside time for it. Otherwise there will always be something that comes up that gets in the way. And its writing about the things that get in the way that are most interesting.

Thanks Alan for reminding me of this! So expect more posts going forwards. This is the same principle for anything important in our lives – whether that’s time with kids, with your spouse, reading or on anything else. It is much too easy to get caught up with the urgent rather than the important.

But why on earth are we leaving Zambia?  We’ve been here for nearly 5 years and it’s our home. The kids are settled, we’re in our groove, and the crumbling house we moved into when we arrived now looks great – even if there isn’t a level floor or straight wall in the house. My theory is that the builder mistook a slinky for a spirit level.

And did I mention that Mrs Chaos loves living here – it’s close to her roots, she’s got great friends here, including one of her sisters, and she’s had time over the last eighteen months to explore some of her creative abilities. You know what they say about a happy-wife, happy-life. So why on earth are we leaving?

The best life for our family doesn’t involve living in the same place for the next 40 years.  We know this and it’s one of the reasons we moved to Zambia in the first place. We want to experience more of the world whilst having a positive impact using our God given talents in places where we can really make a difference. But the driver of THIS move is not about changing things up.

The ‘why’ of our leaving comes down to circumstances. The organization I work for has done some incredible work in raising sanitation standards for rural Zambians and has helped reduce malaria in the country. But the time was right to step away, knowing that I was leaving a good finance team in place in Zambia. And without a job in Zambia, we have no work permit that would allow us to stay, and we have to look further afield for our next challenge.

Although the catalyst for our move was not self-imposed, we are starting to get excited about some of the opportunities that it will bring. We are going to use the end of my job as an opportunity to take a few months out from work to spend as a family – most likely in Spain. More on that another day.

A Zambian lady that runs an amazing school for disabled kids, orphans and other disadvantaged kids for one of the poorest areas in Lusaka told me last week (I’m paraphrasing – so apologies Dorothy if I don’t get this entirely correct) that ‘sometimes God takes away our chair to force us to stand up and walk to the next opportunity’.

Life doesn’t always go to plan. Which is another reason why building margin into every area of your life – including your finances – means that you can look at some of these changes as opportunities rather than catastrophes.

Anyway, I need to leave it there. I’ve just seen the dogs legging it away from one of the twins. I suspect an over-exuberant fart may be to blame…

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Terry Pratchett
Finder’s fee to Jen for this one!


  • Jen
    Jen - reply

    Thinking of you all 🙏

    Mr Chaos - reply

    Thanks Jen, that means a lot!

  • Laurie
    Laurie - reply

    I can only imagine the length of Mrs. Chaos’ task list right now… Very excited for you guys and grateful that you’re going to blog a bit more consistently!

    Mr Chaos - reply

    Its a huge too do list – but we are gradually getting it under control!

  • Marjorie
    Marjorie - reply

    It’s been such a pleasure knowing you all and for sure when the chair is pulled away you have to stand up and walk!! Change is never easy especially when it is not out of choice. However, with every move comes an opportunity to make a difference and to touch so many lives. May the Lord lead you to your next assignment and may it as fulfilling as this last one and probably even more.

    Mr Chaos - reply

    Marj – you’ve been a real blessing in our lives and we’re proud of the work you are now doing! You never know if there is another chair for us in the future in Zambia!

  • Alan Donegan - reply

    awesome article with some great quote and a great message. I LOVE the chair quote. genius. This is a really good article. Although I didn’t spot a single spelling mistake which dissapointed me!

    Love to you all. Alan

    Mr Chaos - reply

    Alan – thanks for the accountability and pushing me to just get this out there! I’ll try to ‘improve’ on my spelling for the next article…

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