This time next week I will have driven halfway to GA and back to meet my mom and step dad and handed over my kids to be spoiled rotten for 13 days while Bruce and I are in Peru. This will be their first trip to ATL without us and pretty much their first time away from us for any extended period of time. I'm pretty sure they are way more excited about this than I am.
This time next week I will have cleaned my house so that I will not be totally embarrassed when aforementioned grandparents bring my children back from GA and arrive back at my house 2 days before I actually do. While I am super excited that I do not have to drive the 12 hours to ATL to get them, I am not as excited about cleaning my house.
This time next week I will have packed my clothes, flip flops, converse, flashlight, meds, sunglasses, Bible, passport, camera, and the various other 200 items that cannot weight over 50 pounds in my suitcase...and chances are I will have done 100% of Bruce's packing too....cause I'm a good wife like that ;)....and I want to be sure that his clothes match.
This time next week I will have made a lengthy list of contact numbers, social security numbers, life insurance policy numbers, dr. office numbers and every other number that might in some way make my mother feel more comfortable as she cares for my kids.
This time next week I will be almost ready to turn my iphone off because as "smart" as it is, it hasn't found a way to allow me to use it without costing me as arm and a leg while I am in Peru.
This time next week I will be eating my last of American food.....maybe.....I hear there's a Pizza Hut in Lima....and we all know how I love me some Pizza Hut.
This time next week I will be ready to see my friends. To hug the neck of a sister in ministry. To hear of the ups and downs and the ins and outs of their new ministry. To hear vision and dreams for a city. To experience traffic like I've never seen. To ride in a double decker bus. To visit places I've only thought of and prayed for. To love on some people, to encourage, to spend time with my church family. To eat food that I can't pronounce. To get motion sick, to drive through the Andes Mountains, to see the jungle, to take a cold shower, to have no airconditioning.
....and I can't wait!
But in all the planning and preparing it's all for nothing if my heart goes unprepared. I've really been thinking about what God wants me to "get" from this trip. What does He want me to see, to hear, to experience that will change me. I don't believe He gives opportunity without giving us the chance to be changed. This is true everyday....not just on a mission trip or at youth camp, but everyday is an amazing opportunity for Him to do His glorious work in our lives.
So maybe, just maybe, this trip should be like every other day...only in a different country, with people who don't speak the same language as me, where things are different and strange and beautiful. What if I lived every day like something glorious would change me? Because it can. The place you are in ....your location... doesn't dictate how God can use you. He's capable of using a jailer, a murderer, a thief, a tax collector. Certainly if He wants to use a willing subject in Texas He can. But am I surrendered to that opportunity to be gloriously changed while I am caring for my family, taking kids to tennis and piano, buying groceries, attending my local church? Am I willing? Somehow we've adopted some stinkin' thinkin' that says, "God doesn't work out His glorious plan in my little ol' insignificant town in small town USA." But that's exactly what He does when we are willing. Just think if we all asked Him to.....what would happen? How would we be changed? How would things be different? What kind of impact would that make in our world?
If you're still reading after all that...please know that I realize that I got off on a rabbit trail there....but these are just the thoughts that are floating around in my head. I've thought about erasing them and just decided that maybe some mom, wife, teacher, secretary or who knows who else reads this blog, might need to know that whether or not they ever go to a foreign country or not, whether they feel like they are making a difference where they are that HE can and wants to do something beautiful right where you are!