I’d been warned by friends how quickly you can forget what city you’re in. It’s true that I found myself discussing something with my tour mate and we legitimately couldn’t remember if it was this hotel or one of the 4 other ones we stayed in.
As I sat on the plane to fly from Louisville to Honduras I kept thinking, is this really my life? How did I get so lucky? I’m thrilled to get to do this season of life. But to be honest, this is the first two hours I’ve had by myself in over 10 days. Being alone or having alone time to unwind is something I’ve always taken for granted. Our days are full with activities and full of each other.
I find myself settling into a small sort of rhythm of personalities. The quirks of one or the other. The almost familial way of teasing we seem comfortable with. I’m trying to keep showing who I really am so that there won’t be a facade of who I try to be coming crumbling down and my team is confused as to where the other version of Rachel has gone.
Our hearts are starting to connect in a way I didn’t know was possible. I can see how Papa has gone before us and paved the way. He’s woven each of us together in a way that will compliment and strengthen each other. Are we going to want to kill each other at times? Sure. But that’s part of life and we all know that. My spirit is calm in the midst of chaos. My heart feels secure and cared for – all things I couldn’t have without the years of preparation.
Papa knows what He’s doing, as He always does. He knows that there is a season of painful training. That He has to strip away the pieces of our old self to expose brand new self that needs to be tough but tender. I keep thinking about all the things He got rid of that would have interfered and possibly made me incapable of doing this job well. Oh does He know the plans He has for us.
Our journey has been such an adventure. I’ve woken up and fallen asleep in more cities, states, and countries in the past 10 days than I can even remember. This is to be the cadence of our lives for the next 6 months. Apparently life gets slower come next spring. Not quite so many days on the road. A few more days off. But for now it’s sprinting. We’re sprinting for our launch date and we can all feel it. But our bosses care deeply about our well being and want us to do what we need to do to be ready for this tour.
And yall, what can I say, this tour is going to be incredible. The trailers where the mobile experience is are phenomenal. The stories and details, the sheer amount of space, the purpose behind it. It all blows me away. If we’re anywhere near you in the next two years PLEASE come see it. You won’t regret it. I’d also like to meet you if you’re someone who has been reading my blog and we haven’t met.
The trip to Kentucky was crazy. It was maybe a terrible idea to fly from Arizona and start driving to KY on the same day. Bad move Mueller. But we made it. Several podcasts, dance parties, Sour Patch Watermelon, Diet Coke, Redbull, gas stations, and phone calls later, we made it. I was coming off a sweet and wonderful time with my family. My cousin got married and I got precious time with my grandfather. Here’s a picture of us from the wedding.
We just enjoyed each other. It was probably one of my favorite family times. I know these get fewer and fewer so I savor each one. The rest of the family was there too and it was crazy to see my cousins all grown up. A constant reminder that life ticks on, minute by minute.
After I made it on the road, it slowly started to sink in that I wasn’t coming back. I watched the silhouette of my beloved mountains fade from the sky and I smiled to myself. Marveling at the change of who I was in those two and a half years. Marveling at my excitement to begin a new chapter and my sorrow to finish this one. It’s been a good chapter. One of the best.
When we finally rolled into Owensboro 24 hours later, I put my windows down, pulled my hair out of the ponytail and smelled that sweet Southern air. I felt the humidity hit my skin in a gentle reminder how far from the arid mountains I was. I could smell a BBQ or fire pit somewhere in the distance and watched the golden sunlight dance through the big green trees. Ah, yes, this is why I love the South. This is why I wanted to come back.
We got to meet the rest of our team the next day, tour the facilities where our trucks are being built, do some minor work on them, and jump on a conference call. We then headed out to Louisville to stay the night before our 7am flight. Once we made it to Honduras we all pretty much crashed. I think I slept about 4 hours Thursday afternoon.
Yesterday was a visit to a Compassion Project and visiting the homes of sponsor kids. I’m always amazed and humbled by their hospitality and generosity. They almost beg you to sit on their small bed or couch so you’re comfortable. I could see pride in the father’s eyes as he spoke about his sons and their education. But I could also see a flicker of shame mixed in with his tears of gratitude. He knew Americans had to help him provide for his family. I can’t even imagine what that is like to live with on a daily basis.
The kids are incredible, like at every project. They just want to hug you and kiss you and hold you. They don’t care if you can’t speak their language, they just want you to know they are they and they matter. This project was structurally very different from the one in India but the feelings of life and joy radiated from them both nonetheless. It feels like hope in the midst of sorrow. What Compassion does works. And it not only works but it’s more life than so many of us could hope for in these situations.
Today I got to see around 30 sponsors meet their sponsored children, many for the first time ever, and play with them at a water park. The meet and greets just slayed me. I don’t think I made it more than 5 minutes without tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. These children wept openly as they hugged their sponsors tightly. The sponsors were just as emotional as they wrapped these precious children in their arms. I don’t have enough words to convey the dept of heart connection these moments have. I wish you could all experience it yourself.
Anyways. This has been a long post and I am exhausted. I’m trying not to acknowledge the slightly queasy feeling I have from probably getting a little bit of gluten, so many a nice nap will help before we jump back in. One more full day in Honduras and then we fly back to Louisville to begin a 4ish week race to launch the Mobile Experience. Nashville and Knoxville, we’re coming to you first!