When we first decided to take our girls with us I knew it was the right decision in my heart. Josh and I have traveled internationally in a short-term capacity for years. In fact, some of our dearest friends now live across the globe, and before I became pregnant I had a bit of a bargaining session with God. It went something like this:
Me: If I agree to this whole kid thing, what is it going to do to our love and sense of calling when it comes to international travel and missions?
God: I don't understand?
Me: Well, do I have to give it all up?
Me: Well, how is it going to work?
God: You'll see.
Me: I don't like this answer. I would like you to expound please.
God: You'll see.
Me: Again, I need more details before I commit to these children I think You intend for me to have.
God: Sigh...Paige, some things in your life are gonna change - change for the better actually - and you'll just have to trust me on this one. But I will tell you this about travel. It's going to change too, but overall, if I give you the grace and love for the nations, don't you think I can grace your kids too? You and Josh know that I've called you as a family to this...and that calling can extend to new additions of your family...including small additions.
Me: Okay...do you promise?
God: Trust Me.
****Hope you know, I just took great liberty with this conversation, but in general it went something like that, and from that day forward I had an internal sense and belief that God would give grace to my girls for whatever He wanted us to do as a family.
So, I knew in my heart that travelling as a family was the right thing, but I have to confess that as the date of the trip drew near I began to panic. How would the flight work? I mean, I have a 13 month old who crawls and moves and is BUSY! How would I keep her at bay for a 10 hour flight? And what about jet lag? Packing? And our poor team? Would the 7 young people traveling with us explode at some point with Selah's amazing propensity to ask "Why?" 57 times in a row?
Suffice it to say, I started to pray a lot and I made plenty of lists. The morning that we left I woke up with my stomach in knots, and it wasn't until we had been on our longest flight for a couple of hours that I finally took a deep breath and remembered God's promise to me - my girls had His grace for this trip.
And His grace is always sufficient.
|We helped with a creative arts camp in Czech Republic & one day Haven got to be a model for the photography class. She was definitely up for the task!|
Throughout the trip I was continually amazed at His grace. My girls laughed more, played more, and slept more than I could have ever imagined! The team embraced my babies and someone seemed to always have them on their hips. And not only that...but I saw how God wanted to use my girls to bring His love into the lives of the amazing young people we met in Czech Republic. A 13 month old with a big toothy grin can bring down defenses like nothing else, and I found myself having easy conversations because they were kicked off with laughter at my kids antics.
|These sweet girls were in my fashion class that helped out with & they were quite smitten with Haven|
Also, there really is something to doing less and being more. I read that statement a while back, and I'm realizing that in essence this what I did on this trip. At one point I was feeling the pressure that perhaps I wasn't DOING ENOUGH at the camp because of the needs of my girls. Wasn't I supposed to be helping more?
I texted my mom & mother-in-law about this frustration and asked for them to pray, when my mother-in-law sent me this text:
God's Love is being communicated greatly through your family of 4. So rest in that. Meaningful
conversations may "look" differently this trip, but KNOW THIS, His will IS being performed, and
you are grooming two amazing missionaries, even now, carried in your arms.
Such wisdom and such truth.
And now, as I'm back in "real life" I'm asking myself how I can be more while doing less...how I can bring my girls more fully into the life I know I'm called to live...and how I can rest in His promise of grace.
|Josh talking with the team all while juggling his girls|
|The plane ride was one of Selah's favorite parts! The time went fast, and there are plenty of great blogs out there with ideas on how to keep your kids entertained on long flights.|
|Selah enjoyed painting in fashion class...she jumped right in with the "big girls"|
|And our amazing team made my girls laugh to know end. In all honesty, they may have been tired of Selah's "roars" in their face (she was a lion or something for a couple days) but they were the best people to travel with|