Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 2 - Counting our Blessings

This was our DON day – a Day of Nothingness. I’m so thankful that we built this day into our schedule, especially considering what happened yesterday. It was so nice to have this day to just relax, let the kids relax and have free time, and swim! My children have especially been looking forward to the swimming! They swam before lunch. They swam after lunch. They swam after dinner, right up to the closing of the pool.

Since nothing much happened today other than swimming, I wanted to share another blessing that God brought our way to take care of a need that we had on Day 1. It did not occur to me that the place where we made reservations for our first two nights would not allow our dogs to stay with us. Because I wasn’t planning to board the dogs anywhere, I didn’t bother to bring shot records along with us. Now, we had a problem. We really needed to find a place for our dogs to stay for a day and two nights. So, I began calling around.
            I called at least 6 different kennels and veterinarians within a 4- mile range of us. No one could take our dogs on such short notice. Finally, one of the vets called back and said she could take our dogs but only if we had shot records faxed over. Quickly, I called our vet back home to ask that the records be faxed over right away. Then, the clinic told me that both of our dogs were due for shots so would not be able to kennel with any other dogs. Oh, my, this situation was getting worse. This, on top of the car problems!
            As we were thinking, I remembered that we have close friends whose family lives near Denver (about 2 hours away). So, on a chance, I texted my friend and asked if her sister was still living there and would they be willing to keep our dogs for a couple of nights. To my surprise, less than a minute later she texted back to tell me that they are camping near there and that they could keep our dogs for us. What a surprise and a wonderful answer to our doggie dilemma. We were able to drive the dogs over to them. The car managed all right, and our problem was solved.
            As I pondered on this whole experience of Day one, I am amazed and humbled that God cares for even little things in our lives. He provided water to keep our car running to reach our destination. He knew we needed a place for our dogs to stay even before we did and managed to have our very close friends camping nearby on the exact day that we would need their help. All of this causes me to feel extremely loved and cared for by an all-mighty, all-powerful God who orchestrates our lives when we don’t even know it. He is at work all around us. We just need to be looking for Him, acknowledge Him, and He is there, working all things out for our good. He is ordering our steps even when we think we have made all the plans. Thank you, God, for your deep love and affection for us!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ahhh, the Unpredictability of Road Trips

Day 1
            So, I had everyone prepped and ready for our 20-hour marathon drive from Washington State to Granby, CO where we had two nights reserved in a 2-bedroom suite.  We were psyched and ready to go. In order to make the 20-hour journey by car more bearable, we left at 9:30 p.m. This we thought, would let everyone except the driver sleep through about half of the drive time. We packed up all six of us and our two canine friends and set out.
            The first 15 hours of the trip went as planned. The kids slept off and on. The dogs behaved themselves. We stopped once in a while for a bathroom break and to fill our water bottles. My husband and I traded off driving every 3-4 hours. We had traveled through some beautiful scenery in Utah and Wyoming. It was great! And then, it happened, the first obstacle on our journey.

Driving up a mountain, the care began to really work hard. By the time we reached the top, the battery light came on and did not shut off. It seemed that the electrical system was shutting down. We pulled over on a roadside pullout. When my husband opened up the hood to check the engine, we saw water gushing out from under the van. Soooo not good! Fortunately, we were in Colorado on the top of a mountain where there happened to be woods for the kids to wander a ways into in order to answer nature’s call. Because, of course, the children need to go to the bathroom right at this moment. All of the kids handed their water bottles over to Daddy which he then emptied into the reservoir of the engine, and we started off again. We prayed together as a family that God would be with us, keep us safe, and help us find a solution to our car needs.

As we now headed down the mountain, we spotted a pond which was fed by a stream being fed into by snow melt.  There was a little bit of a water fall effect happening where we decided to fill up the water bottles again and finish filling up the water reservoir of the engine. The kids and I trudged back through the field until we came to the source of the water, filled up the bottles and returned them to my husband who then poured the crisp fresh water into the reservoir.  God had provided! We found clean water for the van and enough to fill it up. We had fun throwing some snowballs around while we waited, and we were able to make it into our rooms by 9:30 that night by driving slowly and using nothing in the car that needed electricity. We hardly even needed to use the headlights due to the long summer days.

Our 20-hour trip had turned into 24 hours and ended up being an adventure. I’m sure it is a day that my children will never forget.  They also had wonderful attitudes which helped immensely during this unpredictable moment on Day 1 of our road trip.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Crazy Dream of a Harried Homeschooling Mom

 I’m awake at 5:50 this morning because I just woke up in a panic due to One. Crazy. Dream.

It starts with me getting dressed and ready to leave for a weekend retreat with my Bible Study group. I have my special t-shirt on and a special button with the logo/theme for the year. Throughout the day, I find myself pushing my children to get all their school work done – a full day’s work. We’re not cutting any corners on this day. Then, my mom shows up. She’s not the simplest person to work into one’s day, by the way. But on this day, she was actually very helpful as I had to take the dog to the vet before I left for the weekend. This is not even our dog but one we are caring for to help out a friend. So, my mom goes with me to the pediatrician/veterinarian in the late, late afternoon along with the visiting dog and my children who have already pushed every one of my buttons and driven my patience into hiding as I rushed them through a full day’s school work. At about this point, I realize that it’s getting near evening and I still have a 2-hour drive to get to the retreat (which started that morning). At the vet/pediatrician’s office, I decide I should text my spiritual life director and Titus 2 mentor to let them know I will not be there until about 10:00 that night. I’m hoping that they found a ride to the retreat since they had been assigned to my car – and oh, by the way, I’m the speaker at this year’s retreat!  AAAAAHHHHHH!

Just before leaving with my mom, visiting dog, and 4 children to go to the vet/pediatrician’s office, a woman pulls up in a sports car at our house needing to talk to my youth minister husband.  Now I begin to really panic. I’m exhausted.  I am still trying to get everything in order to leave for this weekend retreat. AND, I know in my heart that I should not leave this recently separated, parent of a couple kids in our youth group in my house alone with my husband for any length of time! But, things. Must. Get. Done! So, I press on.

At the vet/pediatrician’s office, the dog gets seen rather quickly, but they don’t have the correct medication. While they are looking for the medication, one of my sons (who is mad at me for making him do an entire day’s school work) breaks his glasses and loses my phone. I have to call someone and tell them that I just cannot make it to the retreat tonight or maybe not at all. While the last vestiges of my sanity slip away, the vet/pediatrician finally brings out the proper medication and someone in the waiting room miraculously works out the phone debacle. The boy’s glasses are still broken. Oh, well. I’ll deal with that later. All this time, I’m actually glad that my mom is there to help me with the chaos which she wonderfully is not adding to today.

Panicked, I rush home to find that all is well with my husband and the needy mother/woman trying to make time with my man, only to figure out that it is Saturday, and yes, I did make my children do an entire day’s worth of school work.

Whew, it’s good to wake up sometimes – and find out it’s only Wednesday.