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Transition journals

A while back, as we began to think about how to prep for our big move, Arthur and I went to a Missions Interlink online seminar on helping TCKs enter Australia. One of the things they recommended was transition journals, so we duly went out and bought some. The journals we got had a pre-teen version and an adult one, so it was clear we weren’t just doing them for the kids but for all of us: we’re in this together. The kids’ one is more activity based in contrast to the adult one which just has some guiding questions.

These journals are actually just about any move, even just moving house within the same state or country. They’re also American, which means some of the activities need to be modified. But they do the job: they give you the chance to think about what you’re leaving, where you’re going, and give space for the many varied feelings that come along with that.

As soon as Elliot got his, he set to decorating it and I was surprised and pleased to see him draw our family in the motif we have often used, of being part of the family of the Trinity. This idea has been grounding for us: wherever we are, the Father, Son and Spirit are with us. I asked Elliot why I am holding hands with Jesus (as opposed to Arthur!) and he said it was because Jesus was leading me. (Fair enough! In Tanzania PDAs between married couples are seen to be unnecessary, so Elliot has probably only seen Arthur and me hold hands a handful of times.)

Now that we’re back from our trip, we are getting into these journals in earnest, setting aside time to work through them. The boys are keen and would have gone and done all the activities themselves but we have said it will be something we do together and over a period rather than individually or all in one hit. We’ve also got another resource which we’ll be using in conjunction with these. More on that in the next post.

Categories: Cross-cultural parenting Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

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