Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why Travel?.

The smell of diesel... memories of the bus ride from the terminal to the plane.  The feel of the wind as we rode the ferry across the bay every trip to boarding school.  The tightness of being squeezed like a sardine riding the train to and from school with my little sister.  So many of my memories relate to travel...  For me, it's in my blood. My entire life has revolved around traveling. Born in Texas, my parents brought me back to North Carolina as a two week old.  At two years of age, I traveled with my parents to Singapore where they were in missionary training before continuing on to Sapporo, Japan.  Planes, ferries, trains, buses, taxis were all common modes of transportation for me and my sisters growing up.  For a few years, I commuted to boarding school by airplane, flying as junior pilots (as our little pendant said) with my fellow MK friends back and forth from the Tokyo area to the northern island where our school was located.  In middle school, my friends and I commuted by train to our weekly boarding school in Tokyo.  

It's in my blood.  The thrill of the hustle and bustle of airports. The smells.  The people.  Maybe that's why I want to share the country of my childhood with my children.  To see this amazing land through their eyes, to experience the food and smells with them, and to embrace the adventure of traveling once again. 

Why now?

If we don't go now, the opportunity may never present itself again. Our girls are at the perfect age to travel.  They are still young enough that everything will be eye opening and thrilling, yet old enough to walk decent distances without need of strollers.  I pray they will remember this trip for the rest of their lives.  

Yes, it is costing us an arm and leg, and we pray daily that our vehicles will survive another year.  But we know that God will provide as He has already shown over the past few months.  Sweet friends and family have given sacrificially, and to watch our girls put such effort in selling their sea glass creations (from Okinawa) and cake pops & lemonade to help supplement the cost of travel has been so humbling. They have put every penny in our Japan fund. Never once have they asked to keep it for themselves or use it for spending money.  

"To travel is to discover profound things and learn about yourself in the world; what a joy to give children that experience while they're still under their parents' roof.  It takes money, time, and planning, but so does most everything in life.  Traveling with kids is so very worth the effort." - Tsh Oxenreider, Notes from a Blue Bike

I will not pretend to say this is primarily a mission trip.  The bulk of our trip is funded by our tax refund money.  But I do pray that God will do a work in all of our hearts while on this trip.  I pray over those we will be sitting next to on each flight. I pray that God will open the eyes of our girls to a world full of amazing things and to instill in them a passion to reach out to those who are hurting and without hope.  I pray for strength for each of us as the traveling will not be easy.  But now that passports have arrived and tickets have been reserved, we are eager to embark on this exciting adventure!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I learned in February & what's to come in March...

What I learned in February...

 - snow skiing is still as thrilling as when I was 8 years old and brings an entirely new dimension with your 4 year old between your legs.

 - traveling with my children is and will continue to be one of my favorite parts of life.  Their passports will become their greatest textbooks.

 - my 10 year old does not have a birth certificate!  Discovered this at our local post office trying to get their passports.  We thought that her hospital certificate was her birth certificate for the past 10 years!  This was quickly remedied.

 - I love my best friend more now than ever!  Traveling on youth trips with him, taking time to date him when we can squeeze it in, living life:  the good and the bad with him.  I wouldn't trade him for anything!

 - Even though I love the winter months (& my sweet girls), I crave alone time, whether it's a hour at our local coffee shop or just in my kitchen fixing supper with a podcast going.

 - God is teaching me patience through my girls wanting to help in the kitchen.  The perfectionist in me really comes out!  Mold me, Lord because I can't do it in my own strength.

  - Purging stuff is hard.  I have done horribly at my 40 bags in 40 days.  I don't even know what day I'm on.  I could blame it on the snow/ice and the laziness that comes with days like that in NC or that we had a quick stomach bug with one of our girls, but it just comes down to the fact that it's hard.  I'm not giving up though.  

Now for what's to come in March...

1.  Get ready for bed when my nightly alarm goes off.  I NEED TO GO TO BED EARLIER!!!  I have been working on this for years.

2.  Finish Notes from a Blue Bike, read Love & Respect, and pick up where I left off on The Happiness Project.  I finished The Best Yes last month.  Phenomenal book that I'm still taking notes on. Will share more in another post.

3.  Order plane tickets (once tax money comes in...), train tickets, and arrange lodging (already have some tentative arrangements made.  Yay!) for Japan.

4.  Continue 40 bags in 40 days...

5.  Celebrate birthdays well.  Two of my favorite people are turning another year older and celebrations will be quiet, but special. My littlest informed me last night that she is no longer 4, but already 5.  I turned weepy at the thought of my baby being 5 soon, but she quickly assured me that she would still be my baby when she was 5, and 6, and 7...