Friday, March 27, 2009

One of the my most defining characteristics is the fact that I ALWAYS have a plan.  Each day, I already have our entire schedule mapped out in my head: when we will meet the kids at the church, what we need to accomplish that day, how long it will take to get to the next church, what time we should stop to eat lunch, what time the host family meeting will be, and what Jay and I will do that night.  And then I wake up and do it all over again.  I do everything in my power to stick to the plan and to not deviate from it in any way.  I find that this gives a me a sense of stability.  It also allows me to feel ("feel" being the operative word) like I have control over what happens to me and to those around me.

This week has been a true wake-up call for me in this sense.  I feel as though nothing has gone the way it was supposed to.  For example, Monday night, a wind storm hit Tulsa, rocking the RV back and forth like a boat (terrifying me to death) until Jay and I ended up taking shelter sleeping in the church lobby.  Not part of the plan.  The next day we had a nine hour drive on less than three hours of sleep.  Not part of the plan.  When the kids showed up at the church the next morning, we realized that many of them were getting sick.  We found a doctor to see them in the middle of our long drive to Texas, and left the clinic with six sick children on prescription medication.  Not part of the plan.  The kids were contagious, so we had to finish the drive but then stay in a hotel in order to make sure we didn't get church families sick.  Not part of the plan.  Today, we were supposed to have a seven-hour drive to New Mexico.  I assumed and planned on warm weather and sunny days, only waking up this morning to realize that there was a BLIZZARD right over our route and we would have to delay our trip for a day.  A blizzard in Texas/New Mexico??!!!  Not part of the plan.  Even now, I am stranded in a hotel room having evacuated the RV, feeling like I am off the path that I had created for myself.  (Reading back on this whole thing, I think I sound like a psycho control freak that any normal person would be terrified of.  Luckily, I have an off-the-charts, easy-going husband who can deal with my craziness.)

There's only one problem with all of this: I DON'T HAVE CONTROL.  And why do I even want it?  My life is not my own- I have already given it to the One who has the Master Plan.  Why can't I just get out of His way and let Him guide my every step?  This is my constant battle.  Planning might give me a "sense" of stability, but that's all.  More often than not, something happens to ruin my perfect (at least in my eyes) plan, and then I find myself scrambling around to pick up the pieces.   I am trying every day to fully surrender myself to God's plan.  He has each page of my life written out already.  What makes me think that I have a better idea than He does?

Right now, there are two parts of my life that require daily surrender.  The first: mine and Jay's future.  As I've mentioned before, everything is so up in the air right now.  We are praying that God will lead us to the church where He would have us serve Him.  I wish we could just know what STATE we were going to move to.  But God only asks that I trust in Him.  

The second: the inevitable departure of the kids in June.  Once the children go back to their countries, I don't know if I will ever see them again.  For the past year, Jay and I have essentially been their parents in America.  We have loved them, hugged them, comforted them when they've cried, talked with them when they've needed us, disciplined them, and prayed with them.  It's so hard for me to come to grips with the fact that once they leave, I will not be able to take care of them.  I will have NO CONTROL over their futures.  World Help will take care of them and make sure they get everything they need.  But what if one day, they feel like they have no one to talk to... no one to love them... no one to get them out of trouble... no one to pray with them?  Just thinking about it is devastating for me, and something God will have to lead me through one day at a time once summer comes.  He will be my comfort.  He will be my strength.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Photo Shoot!

Thanks for doing this, Ashley!  The kids love their new spring clothes, so we figured we should get some pictures while the clothes are still in good shape!  These were taken at the Old Mill (pictured in "Gone with the Wind") in North Little Rock, AR.