So. I know I have tons of friends and family that love me. I’m blessed that way and I know that. But these trips with the kids always bring that back home to me because of how much they love me. Horn! Toot toot!
Maybe because when I’m home, I have all of these issues. Insecurities, worries, fears, whatever you want to call them. How do I look? My hair, my makeup, my outfit? Am I pretty enough? Am I saying the right thing? Am I sounding smart enough and funny enough? Blah blah blah – it goes on. Here’s where you have permission to agree that yes, I am a neurotic weirdo. Anyway.
But somehow, when I travel with the kids, all of that goes out the window. Part of it could be because when we go places on mission trips, we’re there for a reason bigger than any issue I could have back home. Part of it could be that no matter what, we’re going to be seeing each other at our worst. Sweaty, dirty, right before bed, right after we wake up, before we’ve showered or brushed our teeth, after we’ve showered, when we’re tired, when we’re sleeping – it’s all out there. There were girls from other churches on the South Dakota trip who would get up at 5 a.m. so they could shower and do their hair and makeup. My girls and I rolled out of bed at 6:45, which was when they rang the bell for breakfast. Because sleep is WAY more important. My girls worked their asses off – mowing knee high weeds, assembling beds – they were always the first to volunteer for a job, no matter how dirty or difficult it might be. While the girls who made sure they looked perfect sat in the shade of the bus. Clearly there for the right reasons. Not to say our boys weren’t the same – they were always right in there doing whatever was needed. I couldn’t be prouder of all of our kids. They seriously rock.
Anyway, back to the fact that I feel totally loved on these trips. We got these booklets from Jim (our leader) with really cool quotes in them and also blank pages so we could write notes to each other. I thought I’d share a sample of some of the notes I got:
“You complete me! This trip has had it’s ups and downs – well, just ups with you. You are one of the coolest people I have ever met and we have many more trips together still to come. This is only the beginning. I heart you!”
“You are my best friend, my sister, my mom (except for the old part) all wrapped up into one. It’s crazy on mission trips just how close we get and I feel that with you a ton. I just don’t know what I would do without you. I WUV YOU!”
“This trip has been one of the best by far and without you it would have sucked! You’re the coolest leader just ‘cause you’re FUNNY – you’re one of us but you can also teach us life lessons. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without you.”
“I don’t know how I would survive without you! Thanks for always being such a great listener and such an inspiration – you have made an impact on me and you will always have a special place in my heart!”
“It was so fun and I can’t wait until next year – it’ll be so fun! Don’t forget to send me that zombie thing.”
(I had to put that in there because what trip with 14 year-old-boys is complete without the mention of zombies and/or ninjas? None.)
Those kids? Make my life a million times better than it ever would have been without them.