Alphabet soup. It’s what is filling my head right now. Lists and more lists. Letters upon letters across a page, running together like a fine stew; the more I think, the more I stir the pot. My favorite part of the trip preparation process is when I get settled on the plane and exhale, long and deep. My mind shakes out the last drops of that soup because there’s nothing more to be done about it, and I’m officially free.

But until then…

There’s actually great joy in preparing for something long-awaited and long-anticipated. It’s a countdown of sorts, doing all the many little things that must be done before the big event. It allows you to fully focus on the event itself with the satisfaction that you’ve left nothing important undone…a spring in your step as your walk down the aisle, or the halls of the maternity ward, or the Champs-Élysées.

Sometimes I forget that every day of my life is a preparation for a big event. Yours, too. All the lists and lists of challenges we face in this lifetime are a countdown to a new beginning, and how we address them will determine the type of legacy we leave. They will dictate what the sum of our lives looks like on that day we stand before our God and present them back to Him as a gift. I’d so much rather that presentation be with satisfaction that nothing important was left undone, than with any modicum of regret. I so relish the thought of walking down the streets of gold with that spring in my step.

I’m heading out today to knock some more of that soup from my mind, but I have a bit of fresh perspective. Even when I get back from Europe, I know there will always be alphabet soup, and that’s okay. It’s just a reminder that I have the most anticipated event of my life still ahead. Somehow, that makes the soup – no matter how vast the pot may seem – good to the last drop.


“Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16 NIV

“So do not judge before the right time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness, and will make known the secret purposes of people’s hearts. Then God will praise each one of them.” 1 Corinthians 4:5 NCV

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4:8-9 MSG