Category Archives: Adventure

Meredith is going to Honduras

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hnOne of the great joys of raising our daughter, Meredith, is watching the social-justice vein within her grow. Ever since she was very young, she has been concerned with and tested many venues for helping the disadvantaged. Her father and I are often caught in the balance between lending a hand to her “charity work” and reining her in when she tries to help a little too much.

“You’re right. All girls should be allowed to attend school! But, no, we cannot spend the summer after Kindergarten traveling to all the countries and speaking to the leaders. Not this year.”

“Yes, feel free to make bags of toiletries and snacks for homeless people, but no you cannot walk through the city alone to distribute them.”

“Thank you for helping collect clothing and school supplies for the orphanage we support in Honduras, but no you can’t travel there…  Or can you?”

This last request, one of dozens, sat differently on our hearts. Could she go to Honduras with one of us, meet the children she has supported for more than five years, work alongside us, build relationships, play games with kids her own age but vastly different backgrounds, be forever changed? Why yes, this time we can say with resounding clarity – YES.

Honduras

Meredith and I are headed to Honduras in less than six weeks with a small team of parents and teens. At age 10, Meredith is by far the youngest member, but we believe ready. She is excited to meet the kids, teach crafts, and play games. Our team will host a week of summer camp activities with sports, music, games, crafts, and devotions. We are raising money to take all 100+ kids to a local water park. We will share dinner with the older teens and worship at church alongside the whole community. But the most important “work” will be to spend time and build relationships with the kids who don’t benefit from regular attention, hugs, and quality time.

For Frank and me, our prayers for Meredith are many. Among them, that her innocence will be protected in a place where the harshness of life isn’t hidden away. She will come face to face with much of what we in America shield from our children’s eyes: poverty, greed, desertion, immoral life choices, animal cruelty, physical and emotional abuse, desperation. When I consider all the awfulness and danger of a third country as poor as Honduras, I question our decision. Why expose her to this at all?

Because she will also get to see God show up in a place that seems so void of His love. She will meet children who have nothing yet are filled with a knowledge they have everything simply because He holds them in His hands. She will learn family is everything, even if it consists of 100 brothers and sisters without a single biological connection. She’ll perhaps realize taking the top bunk above her little sister isn’t quite as bothersome as sharing a bedroom with seven other girls and no air conditioning. Working alongside half a dozen women who cook, clean, do laundry, bathe, and care for more than one hundred kids, she might learn a heavenly perspective on housework – theirs and ours.

Above all, I pray Meredith will experience the uninhibited joy of childhood! No matter on what continent a child has been born, no matter what advantages a child’s family can or cannot provide, no matter what horrors a child has seen or experienced, when all the distractions of life are stripped away, each child on this planet is entitled to joy and unconditional love. Despite all we give our children in our affluence, our children are left unfulfilled, hungry, wanting. Yet, these kids who bring no material possessions as they escape lives of abuse and neglect, find their security in others who care for them, hope from the opportunity to be educated, and wealth in being loved by God. The first time I ever looked into the eyes of pure, overflowing joy was 4 years ago when I met the children of Heart 2 Heart Children’s Village. I cannot wait to introduce my daughter to them!


We are working with the team to raise about $1,000 to take the kids to a waterpark. If you would like to help us make that happen, feel free to make a donation here www.h2hcv.org (please mention Meredith or me in the subject line).

To learn more about the amazing work happening at the Worldwide Heart to Heart Children’s Village, visit the homepage at www.h2hcv.org. H2H is a home and school to over 100 children and youth, ages 2-20. The children come undernourished, abused, and unloved, but H2H changes their lives by raising them in a Christ-centered family atmosphere and educates them at a bilingual school.

Read more about my experiences before, during, and after my first trip to Honduras under the Missions tab. Meredith and I both hope to catalog our trip via this blog.

Above all, please keep us in your prayers!

 

 

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And then there is BRAVE

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Learning to be brave can take many forms. For some, it goes so far to as find a newly brave soul jumping from an airplane; others test their taste buds with strange foods in strange lands. Many people consider stepping in front of an audience to be a bravery make-it-or-breaker. In my own quest, I am testing my limits and finding my courage by sharing my heart via this blog and offering it for others to read.

To that end, I recently submitted an entry to be published in an online publication. While my piece was not chosen, the act of editing it to conform to the publication’s standards (and limit of 450 words!), then sending out to be judged took as much gusto as that first time I stood behind a podium to address hundreds of people. And, maybe, just maybe, when the task was complete, I put on my well-worn SuperGirl tee shirt!

The following is a consolidated story from my mission adventures in Honduras


And then there is Brave

I thought I was so brave when I left my children. I filled their arms with stuffed animals to cuddle and their hearts with promises to love them forever. I arranged for babysitters, church friends, my mother to comfort them in my absence. My MOPS Mentor mom suggested I leave love notes and Bible verses to read if they felt sad. I packed my bags, I kissed my babies, and then I left them.

As the plane took off and my home receded farther into the distance, I recited the verse I had left with my daughters, my mantra of bravery.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Several hours later, our plane touched down in the third world country I was to spend the next two weeks. My mission team and I wound our way through customs, hoping our bags would not be confiscated. We traveled through checkpoints of armed teenaged military personnel and were awoken at night by nearby gunshots. I was often frightened, but not afraid. This was an adventure, an opportunity to see another side of life, to bring God’s love and hope to hurting, abandoned children. I would return home and tell my daughters I had left them to spread goodness in the world. It was hard being away from them, but I would show them I am brave.

And then I met bravery face-to-face, looked into eyes of true courage. She arrived at the orphanage with her five young children, then the young woman signed paperwork, handed over her babies, and walked away.

The native language being foreign to me, I gleaned only a little of the conversation but words were unnecessary. Grief has a language all its own, a non-verbal way of taking over one’s posture, gaze of the eyes, strength of hand, to expose the deepest heartbreak. I saw the vacant look in her eyes as she left her babies; the orphanage would provide a safer home than the one she offered full of sickness and abuse.

What love and wisdom – bravery she probably didn’t know she possessed – it must have taken to leave her children, giving them their best chance at survival. In weakness, my heart crumbled as I recognized the strength she possessed was something I do not, with my clean, secure home and healthy, well-fed children. Choosing to separate herself from her children in order to save them, she revealed to them – and me – what true bravery is: a sacrifice of love.

Souvenirs

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Upon returning home from vacation, most of us unpack the souvenirs and download our photos that serve as physical reminders of our adventures, but the stories we bring home remain the mind’s delight. The memories make the planning, the budgeting, the packing and unpacking worth the effort. Not the “Let’s remember this moment” variety, but the spontaneous memories that pop up unexpectedly during life’s mundane tasks.
– Folding laundry yet remembering the taste of Chianti and homemade pasta served expectantly in an ancient Etruscan cave-turned-restaurant.
– Standing in a checkout line and taking a mental vacation back to Nice with its perfect weather, invigorating colors, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.
– Washing dishes while pedaling a bicycle and laughing hysterically in pouring, soaking rain next to the Chateau at Versailles.

I have been fortunate to travel a good bit, though not as much as I’d like. Paris and Rome, Tuscany and the French Riviera, Poland, the Caribbean, the Baja coast of Mexico are all reflected in the pages of my passport. Thanks to many years of business travel and an adventurous husband, I have driven across the US and back, and visited 39 of the 50 states. I have enjoyed fabulous, pampering spa weekends and “we’ll laugh about this later” debacles that tested my character and my ability to truly laugh later.

I’ve flown with (and been vomited on by) my children and I have given thanks I was traveling without them because the plane I was on would surely go down. Due to a rough pregnancy, I have been sick coast to coast, and can rate airlines, hotels, and airports accordingly. I’ve been the passenger, driver, and caravan leader, even the trunk-popper when the brakes caught fire.

Among the varied travel-related emotions, there is no feeling quite like careening in a metal can seven miles above the earth, and feeling the desperate chasm between yourself and your children. Turbulence be damned, I have prayed and willed my way back to my daughters, sitting at the edge of my seat to be an inch closer and wondering if the trip was worth the ache in my soul.

Except when I left Honduras. I boarded a plane and left behind my children to return to my children. I couldn’t wait to get home, just to shorten the time until I can go again. My heart, now existing in two places, is left in a paradox; I both love and resent my life. I want to fully embrace all the blessings God has given me and my husband in our daughters – the ability to feed and clothe them, to provide them quality healthcare and excellent educations, to meet their needs and desires. Yet I despise our greed and consuming behaviors. I want to educate my family of the world’s ache, emptiness, and needs without burdening them with guilt.

The stories and memories that came home with me from Honduras are more precious to me than any treasure. I wear my inexpensive beaded bracelet and coconut earrings, not as a fashion statement, but as a connection to the love I found at the orphanage. I spent weeks creating my photo album, smiling back at each beautiful face, carefully crafting my words, and selecting Bible verses to bolster my aching heart. But now it sits, untouched, on my bookshelf. I don’t know how to crack it open to share the stories within the pages or within my heart.

Many weeks have passed since my return; the “How was your trip?” niceties have stopped. Unlike other travel memories that bring a smile to my face – walking along the Seine with my beloved, driving the wrong way through a one-way tunnel in Rome, watching the sun rise above the glaciers of Alaska or set past the beaches of Hawaii – the memories from Honduras bring joy, sadness, longing, and pain. It will take quite some time to sort through them, and to know where to put them, what to do with the memories and my changed, broken heart.

In the meantime, the trip replays in my head. I laugh, I well up with tears, I lash out at simple frustrations. I seek, desperately seek, a space where I feel comfortable, torn between two vastly different worlds. When it comes time to unpack my souvenir, my changed heart, I need to know where in the world to place it.

It’s Been A Busy Week

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As I reflect on the past ten days in Honduras, I thought it wise to chronicle my week before I forget a moment.

What I did in Honduras (hotter, sweatier, dirtier, and happier than I can remember ever being) turns out to be quite a lot…

Held babies that don’t belong to me. Not only orphans, but the children of shopkeepers. Every baby and child I found, I wrapped my arms around or touched their heads, praying over them in my heart.

Organized storage rooms. Dirt-covered floors, jumping spiders, bags of donations, soccer balls, and more all needed to be put in their places. I spent several hours making sense of a space no one wants to enter due to the heat; it had become so disorganized, it was barely functional. Enter my mother’s daughter.
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Played UNO, backgammon, frisbee, jumprope, and basketball among the heat, dirt, and bugs. For a mother of girls, hanging outside with boys aged 5-16 was a rare treat!
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Adonis and Kevin
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Luis, Guillermo, Ezekiel, and Frazen gave me a run for my money at backgammon

Fought off attacks by fireants and pesky no-see-ums.

Filed paperwork for a teacher so busy I don’t know how she keeps her grace. A woman who’s preference is to homeschool her own 4 children, Stephanie lives at an orphanage with 90 kids and manages a classroom of 35+ young teens.

Colored, playdoughed, and stickered with preschoolers. Just like home.
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Estafany loved making a paper selfie.

Made popcorn and poured cold Pepsi for the kids who earned movie time at school. We almost burned out the school’s one small microwave while popping dozens of bags, one at a time.

Sat through Honduran rush hour, was awakened by gun shots, and cuddled in bed with a stranger. Goodbye comfort zone!
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Chopped veggies and chicken, cracked dozens of eggs, and patted cornmeal into pastalitos to feed a small army. Working alongside the tireless house mommies, I learned much about the Honduran culture. 20131004-203138.jpg
Worshipped and sang praise songs in Spanish while attending two very different church services.
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Cried. Every time I have thought about leaving Honduras, I have been overwhelmed with sadness to say goodbye to the people, their culture, and this country, all with which I have fallen in love.

Held children whose parents have abandoned, neglected, abused, and otherwise given up. Some motivations were pure, some were purely selfish. Whatever the cause, their children are left craving love. And for a moment, I was able to give them just that.
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Me with the birthday boy, Carlos.
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Loving on Nicol

Watched a video of my daughter rock climbing in the United States. Technology is awesome!

Shopped at a tiny country grocers, a city tourist shop, and a busy mid-size grocery store. In each, the proprietors were welcoming and kind. I dread going back to my local Safeway.

Rode on a school bus with a hundred sweaty kids and smiled the whole way.
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Ate chicken, rice, and beans until I was chicken, rice, and beaned out.

Started my days with early morning devotions and steaming mugs of Honduran coffee. Through the various perspectives of my team members, I gained a deeper understanding of God’s Word.

Took a half-dozen teen boys to dinner. Our group feasted on grilled beef, pork, chicken, fish, and chorizo, sided by spicy cabbage slaw and chips and beans. Mmmm!

Helped as an assistant teacher for kindergarten through eighth grade classes. We read, sang, learned, and scored together.
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Music time in Beka’s Second Grade class
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Marylin and Dimas trying a fun clapping game I taught Brenda’s “prepa” class (kindergarten).

Brought sick children to a clinic.

Rocked a sleeping baby girl for three hours. With numb arms, back, and bum, I prayed God’s provision and grace for Naomi and her siblings.

Left my son. Guillermo holds a place in my heart that seems carved out for him alone. I was honored and humbled to meet him, hug him, look him in the eyes, but I could not say goodbye. I will be back for that child, in one way or another, God willing.
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Indeed, this has been a 40th birthday celebration unlike any other. Thank you for your prayers of encouragement and support. It has been an honor to journey with you!

Bus Ride from … Heaven

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Much to the chagrin of my fighter pilot dad, motion sickness plagues me. I’ve learned to avoid it by sitting towards the front whenever possible (driving is best), selecting airplane seats strategically, never ever touching carnival rides, and not boarding public buses. Especially hot, crowded buses with multiple stops. But this trip isn’t about me and the transportation isn’t going to cater to my issues.

Our group of 14 has been traveling by van to and from the Children’s Village, school, and our hotel. Each hot, dusty drive takes about 30 minutes. My compatriots have been kind enough to let me sit towards the front, and God has protected me from the first sign of queasiness.

But yesterday, our group was split: 7 at the Village with the van and 7 of us at the school. At the end of the day, our small group hitched a ride on the school bus with the kids… 80 from the Village, 6 adults from the Village, 7 of us, 14 teens that live elsewhere, and a gaggle of local kids who ride the bus to stops along the way. Well over one hundred people on one standard school bus. No air conditioning, no seatbelts. To say we were packed like sardines makes it sound organized. It wasn’t. There were bodies everywhere! Hot, sweaty bodies. Three to four of us piled in each seat, kids climbing across one another in the aisles.

What was also in abundance were smiles, laughter, pure joy. People were singing, battling through thumb wars, sleeping, and enjoying the human crush. Shoved somewhere in the middle of that bus, I sat on the edge of a seat already filled with 10-year old girls. Three boys leaned in from the aisle. We talked and laughed, then watched videos of my “loco” daughters. When time came for our group to disembark 45 minutes later, I was filled with such disappointment. This had been a heavenly bus ride.

Wednesday’s schedule will require us to travel on the same hot, loud, sweaty bus. And I cannot wait!!

A world of difference… First, the bus as I boarded, at about 80% capacity. Second is a shot I grabbed last week on a first grade field trip with my daughter.

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Grocery Shopping

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Ever fill a basket of Thanksgiving food for a needy family, donate non-perishables to a food bank, or deliver a meal to a new mother (or dad whose wife is on a mission trip – ahem)? It feels good, right? You are delivering not only food, but sustenance, life.

There have been times I have felt the pang of frustration, looking at my somewhat barren fridge, wondering what I will feed my family for dinner. At worst case, I serve them cereal or leftovers, order take-out, or zip to the grocery store. No such luxuries in Honduras. The Children’s Village here provides 3 meals a day to 90 children, plus the men, women, and visiting missionaries who care for them. They get by okay, but there is no room for extras.

One of our tasks for the week was to take team funds and fill those refrigerators. For a gal who usually detests grocery shopping, I had a blast!

A small group of us drove 15 minutes to a nearby town of Cuyamel, a little “bedroom community” of sturdy shacks, clothesline-filled yards, and warm people. We didn’t know exactly where we were headed, but our 4 requests for directions were met with kind eyes and smiles. We finally found the “super-mercado,” an un-air-conditioned building the size of 7-11, stocked with essential family needs. No extras. The usual shopping carts were inaccessible to us, as they were in use as the produce aisle. We each picked up a small carrying basket and started filling. Carrots, tomatoes, green beans, chorizo, flour, rice, cereal, ketsup, cream, cheese, toilet paper, shampoo, 24 whole chickens. Piles and piles of food. We were able to splurge where the village house mothers cannot: cake mix, frosting, raisins, lotion. In total, we spent over 12,000 lempira, equivalent to about $600 for the three houses (boys, girls, preschoolers). A king’s ransom.

Our team was blessed to see the wonder in the eyes of the proprietors, a kind family who helped us at every turn of our shopping spree. After we paid, we drove away thinking of the bounty of their day’s profits.

Oh, how I wish I had snapped a few pictures. The refrigerator before and after. Our loot at the grocery store. The smiles of gratitude for provision, both at the village and the market. This was a thanksgiving I will never forget!

We (He) did it!

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We did it!! With the generous commitment of some amazing friends and family, we raised every single dollar for my trip to Honduras!!

Deposit $200 Paid
Flight $540 Paid
Participation $950 Paid
Immunizations $300 Paid

Well, by “we” I really mean He. Because, as excited as I am about ME having the courage to go and YOU offering your love, support, and prayers, none of this – not one tiny molecule of an idea of this – would be possible without God setting the stage, choosing the participants, and making it happen.

A huge THANK YOU to every who contributed, both prayerfully and financially. It has been a treat to hear from friends far and wide, offering loving support and sharing how this opportunity is blessing them as well. I can’t wait to see the next step in this adventure!

DCA to SAP

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One non-refundable ticket purchased. Washington Reagan (DCA) to San Pedro Sula (SAP).
I’m going. I’m going! I AM GOING!!!

This fall, I am traveling to Honduras with a small group from my church! We will serve at Heart to Heart Children’s Village (www.h2hcv.org), a home and school to about 90 children and youth, ages 2-20. The children come from the streets, undernourished, abused, and unloved; H2H changes their lives by raising them in a Christ-centered family atmosphere. It is my heart’s desire to spend time with these children, serve them tirelessly, and pour love upon them, though I have been warned it will be me who receives from their abundant goodness.

Christ called us to go into the world and share His love. I believe that when we serve and care for the “fatherless and the widow” as He commanded us, He is able to minister to us in our own brokenness. You already know I feel called to go. I want you, also, to be present and active in this work if you desire, so I plan to share the journey here, on my blog.

Please join my friends and me in praying for our group as we prepare for and embark on this trip. Let me know if you want to join my prayer team so I can count on you and pray for you, also.

Current/ongoing prayer needs:
– complete healing for my shoulder and knee to be prepared for the physical demands.
– that I am able to raise the balance of the $1,600 financial requirement for the trip. (If you want to participate financially, let me know. It would help tremendously!)
– for one more person to feel called and empowered to join our group. (Is it you?)

I am thankful to all those who will take this journey with me. I truly believe that through this experience of blessing others, God will bless us in ways we never expected!

Tow Truck Date Night

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My husband and I went on a date last week! With little ones at home, we use up most of our “date nights” at required functions for business, school, and church. A night on the town for just the two of us is a rare treat. This night was no exception. We drove through the city, felt the late night urban buzz, and saw the monuments by moonlight. Odd that this evening, like many of the special times he and I have shared, also included a tow truck driver.

Earlier in the day, my husband’s beloved 10 year old Jag overheated. Summers on the East coast are brutal, with the regular forecast being “hazy, hot, and humid.” It’s all a person can do to not melt into a puddle of sweat by 9:00 am. The 100+ degree heat indices take their toll on everyone and everything, including cars. Especially older cars, something for which my guy has a fondness. Like a child who reaches out to wounded animals, he is drawn to cars that need TLC. At least this Jaguar, his “impractical sculpture,” is in far batter condition and looks nice compared to some of the others he has loved.

When we met in college, he parked his old grey Cougar next to my shiny red Honda with its stick shift and bucket seats. He loved to whip around our little university town in his automatic car with the American engineering. I loathed that boat and offered to drive my zippy little Japanese car at every opportunity.

By the time we made the crazy love-fool decision to spend a summer driving cross-country, we “upgraded” to his father’s ’84 Grand Marquis. This twenty-year old monstrosity bore the scars from the acid rain crisis, with peeling grey paint across the hood, roof, and trunk. But it worked and had a cavernous trunk to hold all our belongings for an 8-week adventure. In fact, it worked quite well until we hit the Pacific Coast Highway 40 miles south of Tijuana, Mexico. That’s when it just kind-of stopped along the highway. Well, not kind-of. It stopped. Dead. We flagged down a tow truck driver who, though already burdened with another couple of unprepared gringos, jump-started the “Merc” and suggested we head back north to the US border. We heeded his advice and drove away, laughing at the silly Americans who needed a tow truck in Mexico!

Yes, those silly Americans. Just. Like. Us. We spent a long, terrifying day fighting a dead alternator in a foreign country. Every time we used power in the car, the battery died hard and fast. Turn signals. Power window controls. Brake lights. It all drained the battery, requiring us to throw the car in neutral and rev the engine, hoping to restart the car without requiring a jump. Soon enough, all that revving also drained the gasoline, causing the gas level indicator to light up. Lights, power, dead battery again. After more than 16 kindly folks along the highway jump-started our dead battery, we limped to the US border, but not before the Merc gave one last shudder and died. In Mexico. We literally pushed the car across the border into our homeland where we could call AAA and a tow truck driver.

Fast forward many years (and several more tow trucks) to a Jag on the outskirts of the city, waiting for its own ride. I headed downtown to retrieve my husband from a very long, frustrating day. The tow truck driver didn’t know his way around the city, so we had to meet in a nearby town and lead him back, caravan-style. As he carefully pulled the Jag onto the flatbed, I watched my husband in amazement. Exhausted, disappointed, beaten, but never defeated or cross, he amicably chatted with his new pal, one of dozens over the years. Then he climbed into my trusty Japanese minivan. We drove home from our impromptu date night, laughing and retelling our many car stories. One more adventure under our belts, one more tow truck story for the rosters, one more evening spent with my best friend, learning to face life with grace and laughter. Now that was a great date!

Celebration on the Horizon

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Some folks turn forty without a second thought. My husband will likely try to get away with such craziness. Not one for public acknowledgement or parties in his honor, he’d rather allow his day to pass quietly, like any other day. I learned years ago that if I want my day celebrated, I need to “manage up” and give him ideas. Which begs the question… What DO I want for my fortieth birthday? How do I want this next year to go down in my personal history?

I’ve thought about the usual suspects: a weekend getaway with my mom and sisters, a cruise with my family, maybe even a return trip to Paris. I’ve explored options outside of my comfort zone like inviting my mom and sisters on a three-day walk for breast cancer. Noble, yes, but not quite “me.” In fact, for all the fun celebrations I dreamed up, none of the ideas felt inspired.

When my oldest sister first tipped “over the hill,” we girls celebrated together with a weekend of shopping, wine, and pampering at the Ritz. It was a time to honor the coming of age for all the women in our family: the birthday girl, our sister and myself, as well as our beloved mother who raised us so gracefully. We four take every opportunity to weave our bond as tightly as possible; being together for this milestone was no exception.

My middle sister marked the occasion more solemnly. She had recently faced a health scare and was as thrilled to celebrate life itself as the four decades behind her. The four of us gathered at a friend’s vacation home for time together, a few tears, and a lot of laughter. The birthday girl then returned home and hosted a joy-filled autumn harvest party with dozens of her family’s closest friends.

Just before my 39th birthday, my mind was preoccupied with what I would do during the coming year to make it special. Something to make me feel more mature, like I found my place in this world, like I was finally a grown-up. That’s when God spoke to me, directly to my heart.

Missions. Go.

At the age of 16, I heard God ask me to serve Him through missions. I felt a tug (pull, yank) on my heart and I answered Him. Yes, I’ll go. When the time is right. But first I needed to finish high school and start college. Then I didn’t want to miss a semester, so my commitment would have to wait. After I graduated from college, I was too busy proving myself to the world to bother with God, much less missionary work. When I finally settled down and found a church home with my new husband, the topic of international missions seemed as foreign to our relationship as the languages I had never learned.

For twenty years, I watched friends go on short- and long-term trips all over the world. Surely they were better prepared than me, holier and more righteous. And perhaps I was mistaken all along. Maybe I had been a sappy, heartsick teenager who just imagined the “still, small voice.”

This time there is no mistaking. Missions. Go.

For my fortieth birthday, I will ask my family to give me the gift of the opportunity, to care for my children, to support my husband as I go. I’ll ask my friends for the gift of prayer as I seek God’s direction for the place and time (please, Lord, not much longer than a week away from my daughters). I will finally fulfill the commitment I made decades ago and admit that forty-year-old me will never feel like a grown-up, I’ll never find my place in this world until I take that first step: Go.