I'm married to an Eagle Scout. My husband has been away from the scouting world for several years but much of what he learned sticks with him today. Every impending storm results in a refreshing of batteries in flash lights and an upcoming vacation means multiple lists, generally a master list for the entire family with smaller lists for each family member. We do not pull out of the driveway until all the boxes are checked.
I'm more of a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of girl. It might drive my husband a little bit crazy. I'm often snickering at the lists and saying things like, "We're just going to the beach, I know there's a WalMart somewhere." The reality is that I often find myself needing something last minute or stressing out and there he stands with the item I need in his hand. He's really kind about it and doesn't say "I told you so" but I'm sure it's satisfying. Deep down, I'm really thankful for the lists.
Today, I sat in my first short-term missions meeting. There was a lot of talk about preparation. Topics included shots and immunizations, passports, fundraising and prayer. We were given short summaries about each trip and an overview of the mission projects for each team. As I sat there, I thought my husband's lists just might come in handy and for the first time in my life, I may just ask him to help me get organized.
I am also seeing where God was preparing me decades ago for this upcoming trip and I didn't even know it. It's quite amazing to think the little bit of French I learned in high school could help me understand the Creole language of the Haitian people. I also obtained a passport in 2006 for a family cruise in Hawaii. Even though the trip was in Hawaii, our family's travel agent asked us to get passports because travel guidelines were changing so frequently and she thought they would be handy. We didn't use the passports on the trip and I was a little miffed at the expense and headache we went through. Today, I was able to check that box and say that I have a current passport for this trip. I was prepared in advance.
God doesn't always prepare us in advance, sometimes we are completely surprised and ill-prepared for circumstances. But I am amazed at the grace He gives us when something we thought was useless, overlooked or a huge mistake becomes an asset or valued skill to a team. I'm excited to discover more about how God prepared me an advance for the upcoming adventure in Haiti. I am praying that He wastes nothing in my life and makes it all useful for His purposes and His kingdom.