It’s the equivalent of buying your wife a vacuum

Mr. Right knows me. Like, really knows me.

He bought me the perfect souvenir from India – gorgeous, high-end fabric so that I can include a little bit of India in some of my quilts!

I am in love. It’s super soft and different from fabrics you buy at the local JoAnn’s. It feels luxurious and exotic, and when I use this fabric, I can assure you that I’ll be KEEPING this quilt for myself. (I never keep quilts – ever. I think they’re made to be given away. But this one will be an exception.)

One of the other pastors traveling with my beloved husband was a little worried I might be offended by his gift. He told Mr. Right it was like buying me a vacuum for my birthday. Because he’s giving it to me something that I will then have to make something out of. So, in essence, he’s giving me a gift that will make me work.

Which is probably true… for most women. But not for me. No, for me, this was the sweetest thing he could have possibly gotten me. Fabric is expensive and I try to be frugal with my purchases, only buying what I need and always using coupons. So luxurious textiles from India… those I can’t wait to get my hands on! Plus quilting is my escape and something that brings me great joy.

Oh, and he got me this rose-colored wrap to wear with my little black dress. That was a good move too. I debuted it at a friend’s bachelorette party over the weekend.

He’s home

Well, my friends… my man is home. And life has gone back to normal, whatever normal is. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to spend all day Saturday home with him, watching movies and napping to the sound of the rain hitting our window. We had missed each other so much, and I just wanted to soak him in.
And I’m happy to report that the sweet smell of curry washed right off in the shower the first night he got home.
But there’s no rest for the weary – after one day off Mr. Right had to hit the ground running, working an 11-hour day on Sunday that included his once-a-month preaching gig at the local nursing home. He did so well, and afterward he looked at me with those tired eyes and said, “Did I make any sense at all?” My poor man was almost delirious. But yes, he made wonderful sense, thanks to the holy spirit and the two cups of black coffee he drank on the way there.
I’m still learning bits and pieces about his trip, but I thought I’d share two pictures he took of the beautiful people in India. My man’s not a photographer by trade but some of his pictures made me absolutely swoon with pride.
I love this first one, because you can see all of this woman’s life toils and memories written as wrinkles on her face. I think she is gorgeous.
This second one is a group of orphans that Mr. Right preached to… 1400 in all. I asked him if we could go back and adopt one or two… or four. Maybe someday. Pray for these children, as most are not Christians.

Thank you for praying along with me during this trip to India. What a blessing you are to me.

Insert popular 90s dance moves *here*

My man is headed home! He’s got almost two full days of travel… he hops on one of his two big international flights in two hours, and I get to see him TOMORROW! I’m so excited it’s all I can do not to do some silly 90s “whoop there it is” dance move to the Vanilla Ice soundtrack that’s playing in my head. Maybe I’ll burn some energy by doing the running man when I get home.

Thanks again for praying… we are so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who are such faithful prayer warriors. I can’t wait to hear all of the stories about the big things God did in India. Unfortunately communication was terrible in the last city they were in, so even when we spoke on the phone it was so garbled that I only understood about half of it, and email wasn’t even an option. I look forward to hearing more over the coming week. And I look forward to hugging Mr. Right’s neck.

What have I learned while he’s gone? To give up control. I decided the very first day that I have zero control over anything that happens on the other side of the planet, so I might as well not waste my precious time worrying.

My man visited a leper/HIV/TB colony.
My man flew in an airplane after his pilot and grounds crew got in a big fight over whether or not the plane was flyable. 
My man drove out to villages so remote they’ve never seen a white man before.
And the worst one – I never knew when I’d hear from him next. 

How would worrying have changed any of those situations?

Instead, I tried to blanket the team in prayer and then move on. Most days it worked well… occasionally I had a pity party, but that was more out of missing my man than worrying about him. My God, in all his sweetness, chose to give me supernatural peace in place of panic.

If only I could apply the same idea to life here. Control is just an illusion. I don’t have any more control over things in Fort Worth than I do in India, and yet I worry so needlessly over so many things here at home. I’m going to pray that God will continue to refine me to the point where I can blanket things in prayer, and then move on. Worrying causes way too much stress… and wrinkles. Why bother?

Home free… almost

The first eight days that Mr. Right was in India have flown by. Seriously. I know it’s only due to the many people who have so graciously prayed for me during his absence – I worried I’d be a total wreck while we were apart, but instead God has given me peace. Peace, and a lot of fun with my girlfriends and family (thanks to everybody who has hung out with me – I haven’t been this social in years).

But tonight was hard. I hoped all day I’d hear from him for Valentine’s Day. And, about 8:00 tonight he called! But what did I do? I cried through half the call. I couldn’t help it – we were talking about how soon he’ll be home, and how much we miss each other, and the waterworks turned on and I couldn’t stop them. I think part of it was frustration that the reception was so bad that I could barely understand him (who would have thought cell phone service in a remote Indian town would be so bad?). There was so much I wanted to talk about – but instead it was a bunch of “huh’s” and “can you repeat that?” until we finally gave up.

I wanted to tell him how I’ve been thinking back to last Valentine’s Day when he surprised me with a gourmet dinner set on a table pulled up next to the fire. He took the afternoon off work and cooked and cooked and cooked so that I could have a special dinner. I wanted to tell him that I’m looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day with him next week instead. That I’m counting the hours until I can greet him with a big old hug in the DFW Airport baggage claim.

But all I couldn’t get the words out through the tears. Stupid, stupid tears.

Thanks to my friends who have so diligently prayed for me – your prayers have worked. Please pray that the next three days go by quickly. Please pray for travel arrangements – every flight he has been on has either been cancelled or delayed. Please pray he gets home safely and on time. With 36 hours of travel ahead, delays could add another day to his trip.

And please pray along with me that God would do big things in India. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Trading recipes with India

Isn’t technology simply wonderful? I was feeling a little blue that I didn’t hear from Mr. Right yesterday (if you’re keeping track, today is Day 5 of his trip to India). So you can imagine my excitement when I got TWO emails from him, and THEN we got to chat for a few minutes on google chat.

God bless google.

And you know what we did? He told me about his secret recipe for the world’s greatest sugar cookies. I need to make them for a party tomorrow, and was sad I hadn’t remembered to get it from him before he left. But thanks to technology, and my sweet husband (no pun intended), I’m all set. For the record, we talked about more than jut sugar cookies.

God bless google.

Speaking of India, we kicked off our new ESL semester last night, and many of my beloved students were back. I haven’t seen them since late November, so it was so nice to hear how they’d been. One of my sweet beginner students, who speaks very little English but has a big heart, looked at me with big eyes and said…

“Where’s your wife?”

And the crazy thing is, I knew exactly what he meant. My beloved students missed Mr. Right, but they were so happy to hear that he was living a big adventure and that he’d be back to teach them soon. In the meantime, they were stuck with me. 🙂

And finally, this is a scripture that jumped out at me this morning:

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS.” (James 1:23)

Translated: Just do something. Stop talking about how you want to serve Christ, how you want to work in ministry, how you want to love your neighbor or tell people about Jesus someday… and JUST DO SOMETHING. Start serving.

You know why?

“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom (the gospel), and continues in it – they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:25)

So, what are you waiting for? Just DO something… and you will be blessed in what you do. God promises it, which means you can bank on it. For me, my “just do something” last year was teaching ESL. I was scared to death during my first class (okay, confession… I was scared to death for the first month). But I did it anyway, and it turned into one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever received.

Not just a “churchy” blessing. No, we have a total blast doing it. Many times, just doing something can be a ton of fun. Sometimes you just have to take that first step and try something scary. You never know how much fun you might have.

I’m fine… and I mean it this time!

The minute Mr. Right’s airplane took off, my tears dried up. Thank goodness, because I think my eyeballs were starting to swell. I haven’t been emotional since.

I hosted a meeting for church at my house last night, and afterward two of my close friends stuck around to eat brownies out of the pan and catch up on girl talk. It was just what my weary soul needed. After that I climbed into bed and caught up on most of last night’s Bachelorette (snooze fest), before finally drifting off to sleep.

I woke up at 3:45 a.m. to TWO emails from Mr. Right, who was enjoying free wi-fi in the Frankfurt airport while I was in my benedryl-induced coma. Then this afternoon he texted to say they landed safely in India, made it through customs, and are going to try to catch a few hours of sleep before starting their first full day over there. Feel free to pray along with me that God does some big things over these coming days. I was just thinking today how cool it is that the same God I serve over here in Fort Worth, Texas is the same God that people on the other side of our planet are worshipping. It makes me feel so small, and gives me so much comfort that my God is so big.

In the meantime, I have another dinner party with girlfriends tonight. And lunch with my in-laws tomorrow, after a PHOTOSHOOT with my local newspaper. Crazy thing is, this time I’ll be the one in THEIR ad (so random, I promise). Then we kick off our new ESL semester on Thursday night, I’m squeezing in lunch with one of my favorite people, and this weekend I’m throwing a wedding shower for a dear friend. This may go down as one of my most social weeks in a very long time.

En route to India

If were were going to make a list of things I’m really good at, these items would not make the list:

1. Having a poker face
2. Holding back tears
3. Saying goodbye

Yes, my friends, you know what this means. I was a big, sloppy, weepy mess all day Sunday (and this morning… and maybe a little bit Saturday night) as I prepared to send Mr. Right to India for 12 days. I didn’t mean to be a mess. Through the tears and snot I would reassure him, “I’m fine. Really. I promise.” And he would just look at me and see right through my reassurances.

Actually, even the dog could see right through those reassurances.

So I must say that I’m a bit relieved that he’s finally on his way. I think waiting for him to go and preparing myself to say goodbye will be a lot harder than actually having him gone. I’ve scheduled one fun thing after another for the next week, and I’ve reserved the right to schedule a massage if I get desperate. For the record, I am not at all scared for his safety. I’m just sad because I’ll miss him while he’s gone.

In the meantime, please pray for his travels over the next 24 hours (he should arrive in India sometime tomorrow afternoon our time), for his health and the health of the other pastors meeting them over there, and that God would be glorified through everything they do.