Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Insider look at the typical travel habits for the Mannings

This is a map of our next road trip starting Thursday Oct 30th.  Please pray for us as we travel.There is a detailed list of our travels on the "Where in the World are the Mannings?" tab

In case you were wondering what happens when the Mannings travel, here's a list of what usually unfolds:

1) Mark usually always drives...and I'm A-Okay with that!

2) I struggle with falling asleep for two reasons: One reason is, I feel bad if I sleep because I know he won't get to.  The other reason is because if I fall asleep, this usually happens...

I know, isn't this attractive?
3) We pack food and only stop for gas and emergency bathroom breaks. (I'm getting better at making pb&j on my lap.)

4) We pray together for at least part of the road trip (so feel free to send us prayer requests).

5) If we're flying, I am normally the anxious one up until I get to the gate. Mark stays cool, calm, and collected.

6) Neither of us can read as we tend to get motion sickness (so if you have leftover audio books, feel free to send them our way).

7) Mark always honks the horn when we enter a new state. (yes we're that car!)

8) If flying, Mark always talks to whoever is beside us.

9) When driving up north, I test the outside temperature by putting my hand on the window.  If I jerk it back right away, it means I'm gonna freeze!

10) We pray at the start of our trip for safety and we praise God at the end when we've arrived. (a Momma Hooks tradition)
Thank you to the Wigleys for letting us borrow their 12-pass van while in MD!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Prepare my heart Lord

"Wherever you are, be all there." Jim Elliot

This quote periodically presents itself in my mind and usually it's in BIG bright letters so I can't miss it.  As Mark and I begin to make decisions about traveling for the next several months, I'm reminded of this simple short phrase.  It helps take away the sad feelings about leaving our house, neighborhood, city, friends, etc.  It reminds me that while I'm in New Orleans, I need to treasure the time I have here (and not mope about the time we'll be gone). 

It reminds me that wherever Mark and I go this fall, that I GET to be in those places because God has made it possible.  So I want to value the time I spend traveling and keep my eyes open for where God is at work and praise Him for it.  I do look forward to seeing friends and family and sharing about the vision God has given Mark and I for ministry.  I'm excited to see how God will shape our hearts and the hearts of those we get to visit.

So I wrote up a list (with photos) of how thankful I am to have spent this last month in Louisiana:
Spending quality time with my ReachGlobal Crisis Response staff (this was taken at our annual ministry planning meetings)
Getting to visit this local Louisiana museum.  We've also got to bike around the city several times (city park is a fav destination)
My friend Haley and I helping out our friend Kim at her school's body walk for the elementary kids.  I got to share about the heart; she was the lungs!

Getting to celebrate birthdays.  This is my friend Cortney who leads our womens' accountability group. Love her

Getting to have a PRD (personal retreat day) at starbucks!

Going on date nights with my hubby!  (Yes we are creative.)

Mark and I babysitting baby Benjamin!! He's adorable!

Getting to spend time on the N. shore!  Mark was kind enough to let me make a video for our newsletter.  (here's the link)
Mark made me a heart pancake to celebrate our EIGHT monthiverisary!  Isn't he the sweetest!

I am thankful to God for the time He has allowed us to be here in Louisiana.  It's been encouraging to see friends often and attend our church Castle Rock on a regular basis.  We'll have one more week here before our travels kick off (look out North Carolina, you first!).  I am praying for God to grow our dependence on Him and that He will provide in ways that only He can.  I am praying for God to prepare my heart for whatever He has in store.

"I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:10-13

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." Matthew 13:44 (bold added)

My heart is steadfast, O God,
    my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody! 

Psalm 57:7