Two weeks, seven flights, forty eight hours in an airplane
Ok. I looked at my blog stats this morning. A lot of you have been reading my blog while I’ve been traveling. Except I haven’t been writing anything new. I feel like a bad blogger. At least I have a few good excuses…
The last few weeks have been amazing. Hard. Inspiring. Maybe even life changing.
Flying so far away from my family for so long is painful. I miss my kids and my husband more than I can begin to explain. But I know without a doubt that God is at work. He called me to go. He’s opened doors along the way. He’s planting seeds in my heart and building relationships I never expected. I have done nothing here. I just showed up. God is doing the rest.
Over the last six months I have been praying to grow in humility. I struggle with pride. Writers are inherently arrogant. We think we have something to say to the world. But somehow the more I write, the less I think I know. This book not about what I know, who I am or how much I have accomplished.
The discipline of writing is teaching me humility. Word by word, page by page, chapter by chapter I am learning that it’s not about me. At all. I just showed up. Because who am I? I am just a mom who is crazy enough to say yes.
Where do I even start in explaining the last few weeks?
On Friday, April 30 I flew to London through San Francisco. I arrived in London after a sleepless red eye, grabbed a cup of coffee and the world’s best breakfast if you need non-stop energy (half an avocado with soft boiled egg on toast) and began the process of looking for a house for our family to rent in London. After a few days of looking for houses and exploring the neighborhoods in Southwest London, I was pretty confident we’d found our new home. Unfortunately, our plans may have changed a bit, but we’re still trusting that God knows where we’ll live even if we don’t.
On Wednesday, May 2 I flew from London to Los Angeles. This flight was on Air New Zealand. Can I tell you how amazing this plane ride was? When it was time to get off the plane in LA, I wanted to stay on board. I’ve never been to New Zealand, but the people on the Air New Zealand flight made me want to go. Seriously. Great wine, lots of movies, funny people…I could even push a button and they would bring me a snack. If you need to fly internationally, people, fly Air New Zealand.
The purpose of my trip to LA was to go to the Orphan Summit at Saddleback Church. The Orphan Summit was interesting. I really enjoyed getting to visit old friends and to meet new friends. I love being with a crowd of people who get my heart. I will write a more about the Summit soon. After the Summit was done, I had one day to visit with friends. I met my friend Loryn for coffee at one of my favorite places in the world. I had a Noonday Collection Trunk Show with my friend Bonnie. I went out for Cinco de Mayo drinks with my friend Courtney.
On Sunday, May 6 I took a red eye from LA to Amsterdam. Somewhere near Toronto, someone on the airplane had a medical emergency. We had to land the plane in Toronto. This meant a delay of at least 3 hours – and that I would miss my flight to Rwanda. When I finally made it to Amsterdam, I found out I would have to spend about 12 hours in the airport before taking another red eye flight to Nairobi and then a flight to Kigali. Did I mention I cannot sleep on airplanes? So basically I did not sleep Sunday night or Monday night, but when I arrived in Rwanda on Tuesday, I had to jump right into work.
Can we take a minute to count? So far in this trip, I’ve flown from Seattle to San Francisco to London to Los Angeles to Toronto to Amsterdam to Nairobi to Kigali. That is six countries and seven flights. And 48 hours on an airplane. And I am not done yet. Tomorrow I fly to Uganda.
I don’t even know where to start in writing about this week. This week has been amazing. In being here, I have this deep sense of purpose or calling. I feel like I am at the intersection of what God created me to do, what fills me with joy – and these huge needs where I have a chance to make a difference. Tim Keller describes calling is something we have the ability, opportunity and desire to do. And I feel like I am getting a glimpse into what that will look like over the next decade.
The highlight of this week has been working with the artisans who are sewing the line for Noonday Collection and Matilda Jane. Again, I have so much more to write about these ladies, and I will write more soon. But for now, can I just say this? Something amazing happens when you give women the opportunity to do what they were created to do.
When you give a woman the ability to own a business, to work in community, to be creative and to take pride in her work – and through this the ability to provide for her children, you change the world for her family. Most likely none of her kids will be orphaned or abandoned. Her family has hope and a future.
This week I’ve also had the chance to talk with many different people who are involved with orphan care and adoption. Again, I am just blown away at how gracious God has been to me in setting up every detail of this trip. I’ve been able to sit down with people who are truly inspiring, to hear their stories and learn from their experience.
So there’s an update. I’ll try to write a bit more this week. But no promises….