As mentioned, I am still recovering from the trip. Partly in the sleep world, but partly because I got screwed up and forgot a few too many days to take my migraine preventative, so I'm trying to adjust to that all over again. I'm thankful to realize it isn't just me in my age -- Ashley woke up feeling pretty crummy yesterday and I think we are all just trying to adjust.

Trip was, as mentioned, wonderful, but not without snags (has anyone ever been on a mission trip that had no snags?). Got about 15 miles out of town and had the first flat. Oh, yes. Hobbled another 20 miles to get it fixed (that vehicle was a bus-type thing, so the tires weren't standard size). Drove another 30 or so miles and had another flat. Major ordeal to get the kids unloaded in shifts, etc. and to lunch while the bus got into town and repaired. We left at 8 a.m. and it was 3:30 p.m before we had been on the road for 60 consecutive minutes. Ugh. 10 hour trip became 15.

Obviously, that isn't a great way to start a trip, but it's a great way to see who you're traveling with. The adults were so amazing. I wish I could be like all of them. Even-keel, and treated all of those teens with kindness and respect the entire time. Precious folks.

Later (maybe) I will tell you what all we did. I did a little different than most: another lady and I were basically 'mission trip moms' and (what else do you do when you're a mom???) went to Wal-Mart a million times, took a kid to the clinic (which gave me two weeks worth of blog material alone), and shuttled work crews to their sites. We also cooked real for real food for lunches. I say 'we', but the other gal did the lion's share of the work while I stood around thinking, "she makes that look SO easy..."

Oh, and we sweated. A lot. It was HOT. I was accused of not breaking a sweat because I wasn't on an actual work team the first two days. I just made it look good! :-) The afternoons were for VBS for a little Hispanic church across town. We split into teams: snacks, crafts, Bible lesson, games. Poor games: outdoors on a blacktop parking lot. Bless 'em. But it was awesome and the teens did GREAT and the VBS attendees seemed to have a GREAT time. So precious.

More details later. For now, those of you that hang around here regularly, I wanted to share this with you. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling a little bit (or a lot) like a loser because my writing isn't going like I would like? Well, one of the last nights we were there helped me gain perspective on that.

We split into a boy group and a girl group. Each group went to dinner, then back to our dorm for a boy devo and girl devo. The girl devo started with some 'girl business' that turned into a few of the adults being mom and talking through some stuff that had NOTHING to do with the devo, but was necessary for the moment. It was precious and hilarious. The devo just became 'what's on your heart' and was very sweet.

After the devo, rounding up all of the girls getting them towards bed (can you say 'herding cats'??? OI!!!) one of the girls crawled up in my bed. "Can I talk to you?" Her gorgeous brown eyes were brimming with tears and her chin was quivering around braces with multi-colored bands. She poured out her heart about her relationship with God and what she wanted it to be and what it really was -- those things we all struggle with, but when you're 13, you don't know you just may as well get used to the struggle and start learning how/praying to come out on top more times than not.

Getting her squared away and prayed over, I realized I wouldn't have traded that moment for any book deal I may have gotten had I missed last week. My writing isn't helping us financially very much these days, but I am so thankful my life is where I am able to make those kinds of trips and experience those things with the teens. It also doesn't hurt that a few of Ashley's friends told her I was 'awesome' and she heard from a few others how they 'just aren't close to their mom...' I think Ashley has realized that, yes, I'm a dork and embarrassing, but it could be so much worse. Oddly enough, I bet we didn't spend 30 minutes together all week, and I had to make an effort to spend those 30 minutes with her. We were BUSY!

So, I continue to rest and nap and recover little by little. But I'm oh-so-thankful for the opportunity I have to witness God in action, molding lives.


dad said...

Wow. Not only did you witness a lot, you witnessed TO a lot of people (myself included).

You have a real gift for putting thoughts into meaningful words.

Eileen said...

Very special! Thanks so much for sharing the highlights as well as the darker moments. . .

Kelly Sessions said...

Your words may not fill a book, but they fill hearts!

haha that was cheesy but I remember telling another writer friend of mine that...God will give you a vehicle to testify ...we seldomly forget our mouth is the greatest of them all!

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