A week from Monday I board a plane with seven others to start our journey to South Africa. Oh, the feelings! I am having all the emotions! This week is going to fly by and be full of so many emotional ups and downs.
There will be lots of packing this week, as I have to pack all three of us. There will be lots of anxiety and fears and tears this week. Both for me and the kids. I plan to spend a lot less time on my phone this week and just enjoy the week with my kids. I'll check my phone when I get up, at lunch, and at the end of the day and keep it on airplane mode in between (or at least that's the plan. I know I use my phone as a crutch when I am feeling anxious, tired, or lonely.) So, if you call or text and I don't answer, don't stress, I'll get to it eventually.
I will be super emotional this week, so if you live around here or normally see me during the week, don't be too surprised if you don't see or hear from me much this week. I am stepping back a bit, enjoying my kids, and knocking out a to-do list while telling grief and anxiety to take a hike.
I am a little nervous heading into this week, but I know that God is in control and even if things don't go the way I am envisioning or hoping, God is still good. He knows what it best. He makes the ugly beautiful and He gives beauty for ashes.
I would love to have you praying for some things on our behalf, if the Lord leads you. Here are some things I am praying for this week:
*I am asking the Lord to remind me that He is the priority, regardless of how long the to do list feels. I need to have quality time in the Word and in prayer.
*I am asking the Lord for precious, teachable moments with my kiddos between now and when we leave. I want to make the most of the time we have this week, in laughter, quality time, speaking truth, and making sure they know I love them but that God loves them more.
*I am asking the Lord to be my peace, Sophie's peace, Ethan's peace. Again, I hate that I feel like I blame everything on grief, but all three of us respond to tiredness and emotions and pretty much everything since grief entered our lives last year, differently. We need His peace in order to keep the meltdowns to a minimum and so we can survive this separation. I am especially asking this for Ethan. His responses to things, especially when he is tired, are just unpredictable and over the top because he just doesn't quite have the words to express himself at this point. This causes him anxiety. I don't want him to have to experience that when we are apart.
*I am asking the Lord to help me trust that, even if something happens and I don't come home, He will provide for and protect my children. He loves them even more than I do and He has already seen all of their days. Nothing will take Him off guard.
*I am asking the Lord to move in ways we cannot even imagine on this mission trip. Whether it be in the airport, on the plane, while we are in London, or at Bethesda and the surrounding towns, I just want to be an instrument to declare His love and praise to all I meet. I am asking Him to show me how to serve the moms and other missionaries at Bethesda so that they are encouraged and uplifted and reminded that the Lord sees them and loves them. I want to be open and obedient to whatever the Lord asks of me.
*I am asking the Lord to move and work in the lives of my children while we are apart. I want them to see answers to their prayers, to see Him in new ways, to become more like Him each day. I want Him to be more real to them each day. Oh, how I want Him to steal their hearts each day! Oh, how I want the Lord to bring salvation to Ethan's soul.
*I am asking the Lord to flood me with self-control during this trip. Emotions will be high. Sleep will be little. This is a recipe for out of control emotions and reactions. I do not want that to happen, so I need the Spirit to overwhelm me with His self-control.
*I am asking the Lord to fill me with a hunger for His word and a burden for the lost through the work He does on this trip. I too often tend to be focused only on what happens in our home and I need to be looking outside our four walls.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouragement. Though there are nerves, I really am looking forward to this trip. I know that God has opened my heart and opened the doors and He will do great things!