Saturday, February 17, 2007

Today's the Day!

For those of you who will want to keep up...I am hoping my sister and Randy will be able to post some pictures of our time while we are there...

We have laughed at our boys this week. I have been wanting to take pictures of them together...seems the new fad for the Brooks brothers is to scream whenever they see the camera. They have so much fun together.

Thank you for your comments, prayers, emails and encouraging words. We leave walking in confidence that the Lord is with us.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


This Saturday Payton and I leave for Benin, West Africa. We will be gone for 12 days. Emotions are running high at our house as we anticipate being apart.

Payton and I are so excited about being with the Vaughns...we cannot wait to meet our sweet Lael, to throw our arms around everyone of them, to experience life and the "dailys" of living in Benin, to laugh and to just be together...but there are some mental hurdles I have to cross before I get there...some windows I have to walk by first.

I made my first trip to Africa when I was in the 6th grade. I remember staying up late the night before I left and writing my will. For some reason, if something happened to me, it was very important to me to make sure my collection of hair bows went to someone I loved. I have been back to Africa many times since...each time I have painstakingly made out a will. (I wish I had saved them over the years.) The last time that Tony and I went to Benin was before we had children. Obviously now we have a will that is sealed in some vault in our attorney's office somewhere downtown. There is no need to write another one. Even more obvious people go to Africa all the time and return in one piece. And yet...just as I pondered my mortality that night before leaving in the 6th grade I find myself here again.

I have not been sleeping much...if I so much as roll over at night I find myself wide awake...and then my conversation with the Lord begins...

I have found myself peering through the window of "what if" way too many times...I wonder why outside of this window is always the worst case-scenario? I have stopped pausing at that window. I have spent more time as of late pausing at the window of faith. When my emotions go full throttle I am left choked up at the thought of leaving Benjamin, at the thought of leaving Tony...and so I wrestle in prayer to lay those emotions instead take hold of the joy that we get to go. That Payton and I will have this experience how sweet our reunion with Benjamin and Tony will be.

And I have to rest in confidence that the Lord cares for my husband and my children, if anything were to ever happen to is Him who has plans to prosper them, to give them a hope and future and regardless of circumstances His plans stand. I feel increased vulnerability traveling with Payton and yet He calls to mind that it is His shield that protects Payton, not the comforts of America, not our pediatricain around the block, but Him. I must rest in that.

Tony is quick to remind me that what we want for our boys are lives of following the Lord's call. We want to teach them a life of trust, not one of fear. We want their lives to be one of adventure and we want them to know that they are the Lord's given to us that we might point them to Him...that someday they might advance His Kingdom either across the street or around the world. We want them to know that they cannot go anywhere He has not gone before them...there are some lessons that cannot be taught at home.

I have felt in my late night conversations with the Lord the same still small voice pressing in on my heart, "Do you trust me?" Its amazing how many times in life you find yourself boiling life down to that one question and I know it is a question I will answer on Saturday. My eyes will be filled with tears, my heart with anticipation and with my hand holding Payton's we will walk towards the plane...answering yes and praying He would help my unbeleif the whole way...

We would so appreciate your prayers...