Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Provision Before We Knew We Had a Need

A post I made yesterday in our Facebook group, "Gentrys' Mission to Mexico": Sometimes God provides before we even realize we have a need. A month ago when we applied for our passports, the lady had one extra picture of everyone leftover. Instead of just disposing of these, she said to me, "Some of these are quite good. You might like to have these extras just to keep." I thanked her and stuffed them in my purse. Fast forward to this morning. Almost the first thing requested by the consulate representative were pictures of each of us to affix to our visa applications. Troy and I glanced at each other in a panic. Pictures? Nobody said anything about pictures! Before our eyes, our hopes of walking away with the visas disappeared. What were we to do??? And then I remembered the extra passport pictures. And exclaimed, "Hello!! I have some in my purse!" I'm quite sure the poor man was unsure of what to think of my outburst, especially when I alternately giggled and appeared on the verge of tears. We are sitting at McDonald's (where there is wifi) waiting for our paperwork to be completed. Thank God for His provision; we'll be leaving Houston later today with six visas!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bittersweet Countdown

The first family member arrived in Iowa last night. Troy and the kids are arriving tomorrow night, and the last family member is arriving on Saturday. We have lots of fun things planned for this visit, including a viewing of "Brave" (which the kids are very excited about). Plus, of course they are thrilled for the chance to meet their newest cousin, born July 11. Last night during a Skype chat, they talked over their menu choices with Nana. Many of the usual favorites were on it: Nana's homemade sugar donuts, waffles, chocolate chip pancakes. And of course, lots of Anderson Erikson chocolate milk (for those of you who cannot get AE dairy products, I am so sorry. They make what are quite possibly the very best tasting dairy products in the country. Maybe even the world). Things are planned, but not overly scheduled. Just the way we like it. As much fun as this time together will be, I can't help but realize that it is the last time we're going to have as a family for the next couple years. The last time Nana will make those sugar donuts. The last gallon of chocolate milk. The last movie we'll see thanks to the generosity of "Aunt" Jackie. The last time we'll hold Benjamin as a baby. So, as everyone arrives and the fun begins, I realize that this time is bittersweet. Fun and enjoyable as a family. I wouldn't trade this time for anything. Yet, I know we have to get to Tuesday night and Wednesday, when the goodbyes come. We would definitely appreciate your prayers as we face these goodbyes. It is never easy to leave. Especially this time, knowing that our time apart will last a little longer.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

And the Lessons Keep Coming

From the last couple posts, it's evident that we are stressing out (just a bit) about the paperwork and all the many other details that need to be completed before we leave. There have been some restless nights and stomach upsets as a result. But why? Isn't our God big enough to take care of all these details? If He's big enough to give us this opportunity--completely apart from anything we accomplished on our own--then surely He's big enough to handle the details. Right? Well, we sure weren't acting like He was. Until today. Just before lunch time, a special delivery was made to our door by the post office. Six mailers. And inside these six mailers were.....six PASSPORTS. Passports??? After only EIGHT DAYS!? I took one look at those passports and immediately burst into tears. The kids kept eying me strangely, trying to ascertain why in the world Mama was crying (again). What they didn't understand, and what I couldn't at that moment articulate, was this: It was another lesson from God. Another gentle rebuke. "Oh you of little faith. Why did you doubt Me?" You'd think after a similar moment only weeks ago, I would've learned my lesson. But apparently not. I've never heard of anyone getting passports back after only eight days (when mailed in). Even when expedited. And especially not for a family of six! And yet here they were today. It was like God was saying to me, "Quit stressing out about this! I've got this covered, My daughter!" This is a lesson I need to keep remembering when I'm tempted to stress and obsess.