This morning I looked at the clock and realized that Middle Child would be arriving at DFW airport and checking in with her middle school youth group for a flight to California in less than 24 hours. It's odd to contemplate sending her off, but she is so very ready. I watch her stretch her wings in preparation for this fledgling trip without the questions I had about her readiness to travel to Honduras. She is ready to go knowing she will be missed, and that her time away is temporary. I am feeling the pangs that come with the recognition of each step toward independence that she takes. The challenge is to treat her like the young woman she is rather than the little girl who I still see within her with such clarity.
So. I did what I would do with a girlfriend. I asked her to lunch. We did a little shopping and sat giggling over chips and salsa as we worked on her prayer calendar with crayons begged from the hostess after the only pen between us ran out of ink. We talked about the bits of Scripture that speak to each of us, and how those relate to these trips. We talked about the challenges of remembering that her school, our neighborhood, and the countless places we go in our daily lives are our mission field even though these mission trips have the feel of climbing to the mountain top with their intensive focus that takes us away from the everyday. Eventually, we come back down; yet, we are no less called to reflect the ministry of Jesus in the mundane days of our lives.