Well, this is the big day! My 12yo, Big D, is leaving with our church's youth group this evening. They are heading to Los Angeles to work with CSM there for a week. There are now 10 kids going and 2 adults (they'll be assigned another adult when they get there.....someone who lives there and is familiar with the area). They were planning on leaving at 4 tomorrow morning, but decided that if they left around 10 tonight, the kids would chat and be excited for a bit, but then they'd (hopefully) fall asleep and get some sleep before arriving in LA. They're thinking they'll get there some time in the morning and spend a couple of hours on the beach before heading to their check in at CSM. Big D seems excited about it, but I'm sure he's a bit nervous too, as some of his "I'm stressed out" behaviors are surfacing. He still needs to write a short devotional to share with the group this coming week, so in just a bit he and I are going to work on that (could use prayers for that as he's really drawing a blank). He's got his stuff all packed into one bag as per the packing list that we got. Later this morning we need to run to the bank to get out his money (thank you to all, he did raise what he needed!) and also we're going to run to Saver's thrift store and see if we can find a small back pack for his Bible, journal, pencils, camera, etc. On their last day in California they are going to go to Disney Land to kind of wind down a bit. Big D, of course, is so excited!! I just can't wait to hear about all his adventures during this trip.....I know it's going to be life changing for him. My hubby and I talked to him a bit about some of the strange things he might see and reminded him about respecting other's privacy and such. But I know he'll do fine; I really believe this is something God has made this boy for. He loves reaching out to and serving others (and like his Daddy, he seems to know that he can reach out to others and know that his family is there for him when he gets back.....so we don't always reap from his "servant's heart", but I've learned that people like that need to have people in the background running the home for them while they're out there serving.) :) We will be getting daily updates via email and the kids will be able to make short phone calls every other day (all the adults with them will have cell phones).
Regarding my Momma heart....I'm okay with this. I really am! I truly believe that God told me that D was going on this trip, so who am I to worry or stand in the way of that? What blessings he might miss out on if I decided he wasn't ready....and believe me, I truly did not think he'd be ready for this. But God's got it, and He promises to never give us more than we can handle and that He will equip us for the journey (Hebrews 13:21). Who am I to doubt the Creator of all?? :) This week I was thinking back to when I was pregnant with him. I was spotting a lot and worried that I would lose him. Dear friends of ours prayed with hubby and I and basically they just thanked God for this precious baby and whatever time we would have with him. I realized that this was God's child, that He had entrusted this baby to our care, that we could not hold on too tightly because this baby wasn't OURS. During a communion service while I was still pregnant with him, as the pastor spoke the words of Jesus, "This is My body given for you..." (Luke 22:19), God spoke loudly to my heart (really, I didn't even hear the pastor), "This is My body given for your baby." And that was when I knew that while I was Momma and it was my job to raise him the best that I could, he truly was not my child, but God's. We've been through other rough spots and it is so much easier when you can relax your hold and know that he's in God's hands. And yes, people think I'm crazy, but I'm kinda getting used to that! A lot of things in my life seem like craziness unless you know my great big God!! And THAT is why I can so easily let "my" child go to Skid Row in LA.....his Father said it's okay. :)