Because one jumbo can of ravioli isn’t going to cut it.

See that countdown in the sidebar? Subtract about 16 hours from that, and you have my actual departure time. Holy cow— I leave Saturday morning. Eek.

Today I looked at the one can of ravioli in the pantry and it finally hit me. I’m leaving really soon. And among many other things I’ve got to put together some food for my family to eat while I’m gone. Granted, I’ve got enough big people around that they COULD cook on their own. But tossing a few casseroles into the freezer seems like the least I can do, considering I am leaving my people at home for a week while I go gallivanting.

This afternoon I made two pans of pork chops in mushroom sauce (to be served over rice), 2 tater tot casseroles, and a big pot of bean and ham soup. Besides that we’ve got hamburgers, fish sticks, burritos, and tater tots in the freezer, and fixings for sandwiches (tuna, ham and peanut butter) and breakfasts (oatmeal, pancakes, cereal) in the cupboards.

Oh, and that jumbo can of ravioli.

I think they’re set for the week. (Actually, they could probably eat for two weeks).

This afternoon after I’d made a whirlwind of a mess in the kitchen, I proceeded to do the exact same thing in my bedroom, except with heaps of clothing. Must pick exactly the right things to wear, you know. The heaps still sit there now, at 1 AM. I’ll have to scoot them over when I go to bed so as not to trip myself in the night.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll actually get the packing pulled together. I am still puzzled as to which closed-toe tootsie-protective comfy walking shoes I can wear that will not look hideous with a khaki skirt. No sandals, said the Compassion packing guide. But tennis shoes and a skirt? I refuse.

I’m hyper-aware of the triviality of the decisions I’m obsessing over. My trip is much bigger than ravioli and tennis shoes. I’m wanting to get things pulled together for everyone at home, needing devotion time, and quality moments to chat and play with various children before I leave.

But the suitcase calls. And children sass. And there are bills to pay. And I need a haircut. And some cash for the trip. And a bunch of other stuff I probably haven’t even remembered yet. I’m drowning in details.

This is when I start wondering if I was crazy to plan this, crazy to hassle my family by leaving them for a week. And yet I have to remind myself that I truly believe what I told my 10 year old daughter the other day when she was unhappy about me leaving.

There are kids out there that people should know about. Kids who with a little extra boost from a Compassion sponsor could have a chance at a decent life. What if a week of my life could mean a lifetime a difference for a kid? What if one person or two or ten, saw the need and stepped forward and partnered with me to make a difference for a child?

My family and I will miss each other. But we’re praying great things for this trip, great things for these kids who need a hand. Will you partner with me in prayer? If you are so inclined, will you also mention the Compassion trip on your blog? I truly believe that together we can release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.


  1. I am so excited for you!!!

  2. I’d have to admit that I am a big fan of tennis shoes and shirts, you couldn’t find it any other way in high school for me. 🙂

  3. I know — I’m thinking the same thing — what to pack and what to do to prepare for those here who will be taking care of my people.

    And I’m wearing jeans and tennies unless the call tomorrow indicates something else.

  4. Re: closed toe walking shoes with khaki skirts… Keds. Black ones. Got me through a trip to Southeast Asia without feeling too touristy (besides the fact that I was a different color and a head taller than anyone else…)

    I hope you enjoy your trip thoroughly!

  5. You’ll be fine with your tennis shoes and skirt. We won’t take any pictures from the knees down.

    As for preparations, I think my family would like to come stay with yours. At this point all I’m going to give them is the number to Domino’s Pizza.

  6. Skirt? as in Not Pants? I haven’t worn one of those in oh, 10 years.

    I did have on a dress for a wedding in April, and wore my buckle on shoes with it.

    I’m the same way as Big Mama = when I leave town, theguys are on their own in the kitchen. Seems to be extra empty soup cans in the recycle bin later.

  7. Mary, I doubt any of your efforts will be in vain. I remember when I left my husband for two weeks to visit my family in Canada I spent two or three days stocking our fridge and freezer and low and behold when I got back most of it was still there – with the exception of the pizza!

    Anywho, I will be praying for your visit – I hope all goes well!

  8. Hi Jennifer, Yeah, I’ve got jeans and brown pants, but the travel packet said to pack one skirt too…and I’ve read that people dress up a lot there, so I want the skirt option if I get there and see that is true. Thus my shoe question.
    And Big Mama– I like your photo plan.


  9. Have you thought about some Merrells? They look cute with jeans, pants, shorts or a skirt. I have some and they are very comfy. And rugged enough to take a beating.
    Have a wonderful trip. I’ll be praying for you and your friends.
    (and thanks for the kind comment on my blog)

  10. I wish I was going with you!! Sounds AWESOME. You’ll be in my thoughts. ~Heather

  11. I am so excited for you too! Packing makes me a little crazy, I like to be prepared. I am praying you get everything ready with time to spare.

    I mentioned the trip on my little blog along with you and your husbands blog. I am praying for him too:)

  12. Mary – I sponsor a little girl who lives in the Dominican Republic. I have no idea if you would see her but I thought I’d ask you to tell her hello for me and give her a big from me. Her name is Estevania Contreras and you can go to my blog to see a picture of her. I know the chances of you meeting her might be slim but I figured I’d try. Thanks so much. You can go to this link and see her beautiful face:

  13. Can’t wait, can’t wait!

  14. This is going to be so exciting for you! Take care of yourself and I hope this trip leads to many wonderful things!

  15. My CI girl is in the Dominican Republic (I think you got a copy of an email from me from Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer) and I cannot wait to continue to follow your blog while you are there!!

  16. I continue to hold you in prayer-ever since you first said you were going! And I am planning on blogging about you and the rest of your bloggity co-horts. You are going to have an amazing time!

    Sounds like your family will eat quite well in your absence. 😉

  17. Praying for you and your family at home. And what you are doing IS important. God Bless!

  18. Praying for you and all the others going on this trip! What an opportunity.

  19. Definitely praying with you, Mary! I know there will be a harvest of hope from this trip!