***updated to send  you all here, to my brother in law Greg’s blog.  I refer to this later in this post as a family prayer request, but wanted to wait until they made an announcement before passing this information along.  Please be in prayer for them..***

What do you all think the chances are that we are raptured before my flight tomorrow?

That’s what I’m thinking too.
I wanted to give you all a quick update before I left so that I could mention some specific prayer requests.  At this moment, I am feeling the most anxious about the flights, which shouldn’t surprise you if you have read my blog in the past.  Our first flight leaves Nashville around 4, and then we will meet up with the rest of the group in Chicago and then I think we leave around 7:30 for New Delhi. We will spend one night there and then take off first thing in the morning for Kolkata (apparently my friend Mr. Red Squiggly does not know that it is not officially “Calcutta” anymore, but rather, “Kolkata.” Why? No clue. But it is a fact).
That flight is (gulp) 15-16 hours long. 
So you may want to pray for those around me as well.
Generally once we get off the ground and are kind of stabilized above the weather, I do okay, but for some reason the thought of the whole trip feels really overwhelming.  I think the Lord has allowed me, to some extent, to focus on these kinds of things instead of really processing what we will be seeing when we get there.  I’m not nervous about being in India-mostly the getting there and getting back part are what has me in a bit of a panic.
I’ve been trying to play it cool with the kids so they won’t worry, but after the past year, they haven’t dealt well with separation.  Abby came to me a few nights with tears in her eyes and told me she had to confess something. She led me into her bedroom, gingerly lifted the ruffle on her bedding and dug deep under her bed to produce what I have been referring to as my “India shoes.” She told me she was pretty sure if I didn’t have them, I couldn’t go. She proceeded to show me other things she had hidden under there that were favorites of mine. Some were there to distract me from going, and others that she planned on holding onto while I was gone. 
I lost it.
I held her and cried and told her that I didn’t want to be away from her but that Jesus wants us to go help the helpless, and mommy needs to be obedient and brave.
Then I took a Xanax.
She was not privy to the latter, in the event that you are wondering.
As I type, Todd is starting schoolwork with the girls and I am sitting at my desk across the kitchen. I am thinking about the fact that I take so much of my beautiful life for granted, and I am humbled by the fact that I am going to come home several days from now a changed woman. That, I am sure of. And I cannot wait to see the faces of the children that Compassion is impacting, and the way that the Lord is using people oceans away to share the love of Christ with them. 
I just have to get on the plane.
And I have to say goodbye to my Toddy and these little faces (they suddenly don’t look so little, do they?)
The past week has been one of the hardest of my life.  Part of that has been that I was taking a pill for malaria that was giving me some very strange side effects, and I wasn’t sleeping very well. I called the clinic and they promptly switched me to another, which I began today, and I am hoping that this one doesn’t mess with my mind so much.  
There have been other developments that we have had to face as an extended family in the last week that I am not at liberty to discuss at this moment, but that have really been difficult.  The Lord will sustain us, but there are moments that feel hopeless, and I feel like the timing of this trip is difficult because I am having to leave a situation where I really want to stay and be available.  I hate to be vague, but when you pray for me and our family, just know that the Lord knows where those prayers are going…thank you in advance for that. 
The other issue we are facing in India is that there are some uncontrollable forces that may prevent me from meeting one of my sponsor children. She is the one who shares Audrey’s Birthday, and I am at peace with that if it is God’s will because the reasoning behind it is good, and above all, we want to try and be as safe as possible ourselves, as well as keeping the safety of our sweet Compassion kids foremost in our minds.  There are conditions where she is that may prevent us from meeting, but above that, I just ask for you to pray for her safety.  More on all that when I have a little more freedom to discuss…again, the Lord will direct your prayers…
Combine that with a major cold and some other weirdo effects of shots, and I guess you could say I feel a little off-kilter, and I so wanted to be in tip-top shape to be able to offer myself up to what the Lord has for us there.
I also have to say that I wanted to hear that Stellan was on his way home, and that all of my other bloggy friends were doing well. It appears that Stellan is going to have a little farther to go before they are able to release him, and I cannot imagine what MckMama is going through as she faces all of this.  Please continue to lift them up as well.
When I left for college, I would call home all the time just to make sure that everyone was okay. My entire life, I have felt the burden of “leaving” and not wanting anyone to need me while I was gone.  I feel that over the past several years, the Lord has shown up in these situations to remind me that He is perfectly capable of continuing to be God without my presence.
In fact, He has a pretty solid history of being God without me being in the picture.  
BUT, there is still that nagging voice…maybe some of you can relate.
This post is jumbled and I had intended to make some kind of coherent list of things to pray for, but I guess my type-A personality will have to rest in knowing that you all have helped pray me through the hardest year of my life, and I trust that the Holy Spirit will prompt those of you who have walked alongside me to offer up whatever you feel led to on my behalf.
The good news is that we will be posting each day from the 26th until the 2nd (I think?) on our blogs, so you can see all of the amazing things that God is doing. I will also be twittering a lot from airports and such, so if you want to follow my tweets, just click on the button on the right side of my blog and come along with us.
I cannot tell you what these prayers mean to me. I feel that this is one of the hardest things that the Lord has ever called me to do…it is a trip that combines all of my greatest fears (flying, being away from my family, the devastation of poverty…), and just on the heels of such great personal tragedy. I know that these are the places where the Lord is the most glorified-in our personal weaknesses, and I want to be a vessel for Him to use mightily.
That is, you know, if He doesn’t come back before then.
Love and gratitude,