Some of the most embarrassing moments of my life came as we followed our pastor through airports on our mission trip, carrying and dragging our bags of dumb, unnecessary stuff. Pastor Jon clipped along with his rolling carry-on containing an extra pair of shoes, a change of clothes, his Bible, a jacket, and his shaving kit.
He even had room to spare in that one small bag so he could take a gift home for his wife.
Our luggage consisted of the maximum number of pieces and poundage allowed on a plane, including a large container of hot cocoa powder mix, extra bedding, and far more clothing than I needed.
And our luggage had to be lugged. None of it had wheels. It was crazy!
I learned my lesson
I comforted myself with the promise to give a bunch of our things away before our return flight. Surely I could find someone in India with a hankering for Swiss Miss.
Getting ready for a conference
We packed too much for India because I trusted some questionable advice and didn’t do my homework. Now I plan for trips more carefully.
The most important things on my list for my next conference:
- Stay on course. I committed myself once again to keeping my focus on following Jesus. Silly me, I’ve been worried about what I hoped to gain instead of doing his will! Instead, I’ll pursue knowing and trusting him, preparing thoughtfully, and working hard to learn all I can.
- Give and receive. I bring home a treasure chest full of valuable relationships and insights when I follow the “love your neighbor as yourself” rule. I try to stretch the bounds of my comfort level every day by starting conversations with strangers and looking for ways to be helpful. It always pays off.
- Don’t forget to love your closest neighbor as yourself. It’s not easy on the husband I leave behind. Sure, he may say he’s happy with chili dogs for dinner every night, but it keeps the sparks sparking if I find creative ways to love him during the time I’m gone. For me, this has to be set up before I leave – or it won’t get done!
For the Oregon Christian Writers summer conference this year, I’m taking the essentials and one quirky item, my little box fan. It helps me sleep, and getting good sleep helps me take better notes. It also gives me clearer thinking for the editor, agent, and mentor appointments I plan to sign up for.
I’m certain I won’t need to take extra bedding.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis