This morning I had coffee with one of my dearest friends. She GETS me and I am so grateful that she is so supportive and prayerful for my family. She has such a similar heart and someday I just know we are destined to go and serve together. I can’t wait. As she left this morning she was reminding me that this trip for Hayden will be so eye opening and so life changing. It was such a refreshing and helpful little dialogue of love and support and she will never know just how much it means for others to support a decision that feels a bit uncomfortable at times.
Do I know if this kid is ready to process all that we will see while in a third world country filled with need? Of course not! Is this perhaps a bit crazy? Sure it is! Only God knows what this child can handle but I will say this… Hayden has already been stretched and is questioning things to a great degree since we have returned home with Ava. In fact ever since he was very young he has been talking to me about taking a mission trip to help others. He loves to travel and since he could read he has been our little tour guide no matter where we were. He loves maps! Hayden is wise and growing up so fast with an intense level of maturity that sometimes rivals mine (slight exaggeration but he usually just seems to get it). He is easy going and willing to work hard. He is playful and filled with love for others. My hunch is that the children from the various orphanages are going to just love his spirit! So there is no perfect time to leave all that we know on a daily basis, all that is comfortable and predictable. There will never be a perfect time to leave behind our family and step out. But here is what I do know to be true in my mothering heart… Our children are living in a world of tremendous comfort. They have all their needs met be it food, shelter, heat, education, new shoes, play dates and toys. My children have few true life struggles and while that is good, I feel very certain that we are called out of our safety zones and into places of contrast. In Ethiopia we will strive to be the salt and the light as we bring our comforts to those in great need. Even a child can bring love , hope, smiles and fun to another child and I cannot wait for Hayden to feel a connection to a new culture and the new land where his baby sister was born. Ethiopia gave us Ava and he and I have talked many times that we cannot wait to give our time and energy back to her people.
Hayden and I have traveled together once before, just he and I and it was such a blast. We make a good team. His comment the other day was. ” Well Mom at least we will be able to be together on this trip with no crying or whining. ” Then he smiled and said, “Oh I think I just gave myself a compliment. ” He is the oldest with now three younger sibs who he loves, guides and generally treats so well. They will all miss one another but getting away and experiencing a whole new purpose for 11 days will be so good for both Hayden and I. I simply cannot wait and I invite you to pray with me for open eyes, health and God’s stirring in Hayden’s heart over the next two weeks. We are in our final packing days and it’s Ethiopia or bust! I look so forward to living like Christ lived, with true compassion for the least of these.