Sometimes I think preparing for a trip is almost as much fun as traveling. First, there's planning the route. Where will we go, what will we see, where will we stay? This is seldom set in stone. We often get to a destination, find out it's not what we expected for one reason or another, and leave much sooner than we intended. Sometimes we love a place so much, we extend our stay. Sometimes, we totally skip a place we thought we might go.
Then, there's the lists: Clothes and toiletries to take. Groceries to use up before we leave, or give away, or take with us. Things we can't (don't want to) live without: computer, Kindle, books, Tim's keyboard, fishing equipment, golf clubs, ropes - this list can really get long. Things our kids need to take care of while we're gone: get the mail, feed the animals, water the plants…we thank God for our kids!
Then there's all the things we have to take care of before we leave. Things to do and people to see. This is the most hectic part, but also the most fun. This past week we have: Gone out to dinner with the other deacons and wives from our church, substituted for our Youth Minister for Sunday School, enjoyed our monthly Dinner on the Grounds after the Sunday morning service, gone for tacos after the evening service with the usual church crowd, took the grandgirls out to lunch, tried to buy their birthday presents (the store was closed on Mondays), gotten a clean bill of health from the doctor (me, thank You, Lord!), fed our friends' dogs for three days while they were out of town for a funeral, had lunch with a friend from high school, practiced team roping (Cowboy), went to art class (me), killed a rattlesnake (Cowboy), served meals at Center of Hope, helped with the Wednesday night Young Adult Class, bought our son-in-law's birthday present, went to our church's Ladies' Brunch (me), got haircuts, went to First Friday Singing at our church, kept the grandgirls, and, last but definitely not least, spent yesterday with our son, who lives two hours away.
Today (it's now 8:30 a.m.) we have already gone to the church to pray over the Youth before they left on a mission trip. We will once again teach Sunday School for those who are left, then race across town to a different church to see my cousin be baptized. Hopefully, we will be able to get a little packing done between the morning and evening service. Tomorrow we go see our oldest grandgirl perform with her piano ensemble team, and finish packing. Tuesday we will try once again to buy the girls' birthday present. They will both have birthdays while we are gone. I hate missing their birthdays.
The last week or two at home, we don't want to miss any opportunity to see the people and do the things that we will miss while we are gone.
Traveling, seeing this beautiful country, is something we've wanted to do our entire lives. I feel like it is a gift from God to be able to do this. But our home, our family, our friends, our church…these are the greatest gifts we could ever imagine. God's blessings really do overflow.
Not sure where I got this picture. Hope I'm not infringing on anyone's copyrights. I would love to give the photographer credit, if anyone knows who it is.