When Jared first mentioned that he wanted us to go on this trip, I wasn't real excited about the idea to say the least. Right away I thought of all the obstacles that we might encounter - finding someone to watch our 3 older children for the 7-9 days that we'd be gone, coming up with an extra $1,700 to pay for the trip, Miss S. was bound to have a difficult time with the long hours of travel and being so completely off schedule, etc. I halfheartedly prayed that God would give us direction as to whether or not He wanted us on this trip. It wasn't until a week or so before the first half of the money was due that I finally decided to seriously consider going. Jared and I were having a discussion about the trip and I was listing all the problems that could arise and explaining why I wasn't sure about the whole idea when Jared said, "Fine, we won't go. I just thought that it was something God would want us to do." It was then that God convicted me of my lack of faith in the matter and I began to look for ways to conquer the obstacles I had placed in the way of going on the trip.
Obstacle #1 - Finding someone to take the kids
- I called my mom about taking the kids knowing that she would be back to work teaching after winter break. She told me that she'd check into things and see about taking off of school. Between her and my sister, they worked out a schedule for watching the kids. God provided a way over this obstacle.
- God provided our $1,700 for the trip in some unusual ways. I had already decided that Jared was going on trip and had begun saving money for his half ($400).
- After 3 weeks of almost constant illness among our children that had hindered my usual weekly shopping trips, I discovered (while going through our finances) that we had $300 leftover in our monthly budget. Then I got 2 last minute sewing jobs, which brought in another $120. Between the two amounts, my first half was covered so we made the decision to go.
- In the weeks between the first half of the money being due and the final half being due, things were not going very well for us financially. I didn't have any sewing jobs coming in and we didn't have any unexpected "extras". I really began to wonder if we'd jumped the gun on the whole thing. Then a week before the final payment was due, Jared got a bonus (which was completely unexpected) and it was just enough to cover his remaining payment, our tithe, and a couple of extra costs for the trip. All we needed was my remaining half, which God provided through my semi-annual commission check that was higher than expected and a Christmas bonus (the exact amount for my half + tithe).
- I really struggled with my imagination when it came to this obstacle. Every time I would think about it I would imagine the worst possible scenarios. But as God always does when we are doing His will, He worked out this detail. Miss S. was a complete "angel" the entire trip. She did great on all of the flights and even during the layovers and long car rides.
- This was an obstacle that I hadn't even imagined. The week before we were set to leave, Miss A. developed a few dozen large, painful spots, which turned out to be a Staph infection. Our doctor was worried that it might be MRSA due to the number and severity of the infection. Then one by one the other three developed the same sores but to a much milder degree. Thankfully it wasn't MRSA and the doctors gave us the OK to travel and put all four on antibiotics for 10 days. God worked things out again.
In Matthew 16:8-10, Jesus says to the disciples, "O ye of little faith...Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?"