Sunday, July 20, 2008

Something Worth Counting (On)

“That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~2 Corinthians 12:10

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” ~Philippians 4:12-13

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” ~1 Timothy 1:12

I never meant for it to be a competition, but apparently three of my friends have taken it upon themselves to try and beat our “record” of 46 state license plates (plus D.C. and three Canadian Provinces) spotted on summer vacation.

One of these friends, who had just, herself, returned from a driving trip to Kentucky and Pennsylvania, called me while we were en route home on Thursday. “We thought we were going to beat you,” she said, “but we only got forty-six.” We compared notes as to which states we were missing, and she made an open-ended comment about whether or not I would be allowed to combine our two trips.

An hour later, when we were still approximately 30 miles from home, I suddenly had reason to call her back.

“Ah-HA!” I exclaimed. “We’re not home yet, and I just saw West Virginia!! We win!”

She rolled her eyes at my chuckling and told me it didn’t count – that I could only use one trip. I relented, of course. I suppose it would be unfair to compare our 9000+ miles to their 3500 and to our other friends’ even shorter trips (those families are going no farther than Colorado.)

9,100 miles.

It exhausts me just typing it.

I’ve always loved to road-trip, and could, in my 20s, drive cross-country by myself and not blink an eye. Now, pushing 40, with two kids in the backseat, I think I had it out of my system at about 4000 miles. I am sure that one all-nighter didn’t really help, despite the cappuccino, but I only have myself to blame for that one. Regardless, I think I am good for a while.

I have to hand it to the kids, though. They were great travelers! We have no complaints. And say what you will about our parenting, but I thank God for the person who invented portable DVD players.

9100 miles.

Can you believe that that is actually more miles than it would be to go to Papua New Guinea? If a crow were to fly it, (according to this cool website I found), he would log just over 8000 miles from our home to Port Moresby, the capital city of PNG. Just think of the license plates he would spy on that trip!

We, on the other hand, probably won’t see many license plates from 30,000 feet, but we are going to make the trip. It’s official. We have received and accepted our invitation to serve in Papua New Guinea. We just returned from my training in Florida, and my husband will start his here in August. We are starting the work permit and visa processes (oh my, the paperwork!!) and details from all the various aspects of our plans are falling into place. In some ways it seems like we have been at this forever, but we are definitely watching the pace pick up almost exponentially. It’s utter craziness.

We know, though, that this is something we simply can not do. It is a God-sized task. I am working constantly to resist my “need to control” and to step aside and allow God to be God ~ to allow Him to do something that we could never accomplish in our own power.

I am so very grateful that in my weakness, God proves Himself to be so very strong. That’s something we can definitely count on.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:20-21


  1. We're just back from Colorado, and we found 45, with 3 Canadian Provinces, 5 Mexican States and 1 Indian Tribal license plate added onto our state total. My 7 year old was completely obsessed.

    The missing states were West Virgina, North Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island and Hawaii.


  2. We just started our trip Friday - layover in VA. I have 24 states + Quebec to start. I will travel through WV, so I'll have that one easily. But my mom says the state doesn't count if you are in the state. LOL

    Ü Woody Clowns

  3. When traveling to NY, our sons have occupied their time looking for license plates. They found 46 plates in total and were overjoyed when they got Hawaii and Alaska, woo hoo!

    There was a really cool show I watched on the Travel Channel about Papau, New Guinea, fascinating. I envy and admire you. What a servant's heart. I can't wait to read about your adventures. It seems like you always find them wherever you are.

  4. God has great things for you family!

  5. The summer we moved from KS to VA (before I started 9th grade) we travelled all over the country and I counted license plates through all our travels. It took all summer, but I finally got them all. Of course, it didn't hurt that we were on military bases, where you can usually see all sorts of states.

    Glad to have you back at church yesterday, even if it's only temporary.

  6. I am so thankful that I know God will provide the strength and take care of all the details for you. I know it's a continuous challenge to give up control, but I admire your faithfulness. What a journey! BTW, if you average out your miles for this summer over the next 4 years when you won't be driving at all, it won't look so bad ... :-)
    Love you!!

  7. Just to update. Upon returning from IL/MO, we had a total of 45 states, 4 Canadian procvinces, Turkey, and Aruba (the last two found at a restaurant).


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