I usually pack for my husband. It’s just easier since I’m at home and I’m the one who does most of the laundry. I have been known to forget things, though, like socks AND church clothes on our most recent weekend out of town. Oops.
He will be leaving soon for an international mission trip, and I was going to write a post about the more practical side of packing him for that. Then I found plenty of good info about that on pinterest (search, “packing for a mission trip”), so I decided to skip straight for the fun part!
Gifts and Words of Affirmation are my primary love languages. That means care packages, cards, and things like that are pretty much my favorite things on earth. He’s going to be gone 11 days, so I started gathering little things for him here and there several weeks (read: pay checks) before his trip. One day during nap time, I spread everything out on the kitchen table and started brainstorming. I tried to mix up light-hearted and sentimental, plus mixed things from the kids in here and there. I included little gifts or photos on some days and not others. Some days I wrote out a long-ish letter, and other days just a quick note. Here are examples of a couple of the more elaborate days, including a travel day:
Also because he’s using a carry on, I had to be careful not to include anything that won’t get through the check points, and to just close those manila envelopes with the brad, so if they need to open them, it won’t tear them all up. You can see in the top pic that several of the days are just an envelope or even a folded piece of printer paper. Not every day is fancy!
Seriously, I love doing this for him. I might enjoy it more than he does. He’s sort of the King of Understatement, so it’s hard to gauge how he actually feels about things like this. But, hey, he doesn’t wonder whether or not I’m proud of him and crazy about him!
Okay, here are some other ideas for what’s in the envelopes:
-scripture cards with the verses written out
-activities for the plane, like a deck of cards, puzzle book and pencil, etc.
-a short note w/ a list of relevant scripture for him to look up
-travel sunscreen packet and lip balm for a day he’ll be outside a lot
-photographs of our family
-list of reasons why I respect/admire him
-notes/pictures/hand prints from the kids
-cards: miss you, sappy, funny, a little spicy, etc.
-notes encouraging his leadership on the trip, etc.
-mini photo album
Here are pics of a few pages of the little photo album I made. These are at Dollar Tree, Target, or Walmart, and are really cheap. I just used stickers and paper I already had, so it wasn’t an expensive project! It was probably my favorite thing, and I kept it light and funny, so I think he’ll get a kick out of it.
(And even left my scribbled out spelling error because I know he’ll laugh about what a terrible speller I am. Ha.)
Here’s another fun thing. I read on one of the blogs I found on pinterest that it might be a good idea to take your own pillow case. I wrote a note, prayer, and Psalm 116:7-11 on a plain pillowcase that I had lying around. I’m sure most of you reading are much craftier than I am and could do a cuter job with this:
Okay! I think that’s all I’ve got! What do you do when your husband/wife is traveling, especially when communication is going to be minimal? I think some of these ideas could be modified for a deployment or longer-term mission trip, and I’m hoping to do something like this for my kids when we travel to Ethiopia. I’d love to hear your ideas!
If you’re really just here to hear about our adoption, don’t fret! I know I haven’t updated in a little while, but we have been working hard on our dossier, and will hopefully be posting an exciting update soon!