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Wow! Already 2013, how time flies when you’re having fun. I had a great time celebrating Christmas with my family, and ringing in the New Year with J ‘n G. Sadly all that fun kept me so busy, writing for CorKnits went by the wayside, sorry everyone. 😦 But now I’m back and ready to share more stories with you my dear readers, as I continue to prep goods for the Etsy shop.

Before we get to today’s story, let me give you an update on . . . knitting! Since last I was here, I finally finished the models of the new scarf I created for the shop, in all three color schemes. I finished the model for the new twist on the scarf that started this whole Etsy shop thing (sorry that’s not today’s story, keep coming back its story is coming up soon), inspired by a comment by a coworker. And now I’m working on my last model for The Scarf. Yep, I’m going to be all mysterious right now. I like surprises and want you all to get to be surprised when I open the shop. ^_^

Last time I explained how I first started knitting. Today I thought I’d talk about my first mission trip.

I go to a church that is pretty involved in Missions. We tithe out of the general giving of the church body, and it goes to specific missionaries and organizations around the world that we’ve committed to support. There are two short term mission trips offered through the church each year, one with a focus on youth going (but adults can go to) and one with a focus on adults going. But there are always several other trips going on, offered by the organizations we work with.

The youth have had the opportunity to go on a short term mission trip to Mexico since way back when I was involved in the High School youth group (let’s just say it’s been awhile). When I was younger it just never really appealed to me, and I didn’t give it much thought. I did always enjoy hearing the report that they gave each year after they got back, and hearing how God had worked in their own lives and the lives of the people around them. This mindset of mine went on for many years.

About ten years ago I began to realize that my faith and everything I believed needed to be more than me just saying I believed. And I started trying to figure out what that meant. Around this time our youth pastor asked if I’d be willing to be a counselor at the High School camp he lead for a week each summer. After a lot of praying I agreed. It was a great week, and I was inspired to begin attending Sunday School again. I began to work on being more involved in my church body, a little tricky for me as I lived a 20 minute drive from them and over an hour bus ride for me (I didn’t drive yet). That continued on for several years.

Then I finally started driving, and opportunities opened up. I began attending service every week, which helped me feel more connected both to God (though I know that attending services isn’t what connects me, but going into this topic will make this post even longer) and my church body. All this got me to begin thinking I’d really like to do more than just “do church” on Sunday, and I wondered if maybe I could go on that trip to Mexico. This led me to go to the informational meeting in October of 2008, to a lot of praying and thinking, and finally to turning in my deposit and paperwork at the last moment of the due date.

I wasn’t nervous because we were going to Tijuana, Mexico right when the Swine Flu was breaking out, or over the fact that there were all the reports of violence in Tijuana. I was trying to make sure I was going for the right reasons, and that I’d be able to get time off for everything involved with going on the trip. But God helped me to understand that if I kept waiting for everything to be perfect I’d never go, and I’d never do anything. So, I told him the only way this was going to work was if he helped me through.

Know what? He did. I talked to my employers at both jobs and explained what I wanted to do and would I be able to work with them and find a way for this to happen. They both said yes!

I continued to pray and seek after God and he helped me to keep my focus on what mattered – the people involved and caring for them.

As you can see a large part of the story of my first short term mission trip was what lead to it, and how I got there. I’ll share the story of the actual trip next time. But for today I think that’s enough.

Let me just end with this – Live life. Don’t wait for the moment to be just right before you do something. If I did that then I wouldn’t be where I am now, getting ready to launch an Etsy shop, and talking to all of you. It’s the beginning of a new year, we like to think about goals, and all that sort of thing, this time of year, and so let me strongly encourage you to pick something and actually do it!

I’d love to hear your plans for the coming year. Or your story of the first time you just went for it and did what you never thought possible.

^_^

jessica

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