Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'll take door #1, Bob

Except that it isn't our decision.  My family & I had expectations to bring in the New Year with a bang - yes, balloons dropping from the ceiling and fireworks outside - with our friends and family at our church.  We had a conference beginning New Year's Eve and going all through the weekend.

Thursday morning we left Kansas City so we could travel the majority of the day, get to North Dakota, spend the night and be off again bright and early Friday morning, pulling into town just in time to grab a bite to eat and attend the New Year's Eve festivities.

That was OUR plan.

Let me tell you what really happened.

Thursday morning we started off for home, leaving a bright, sunny and warm Kansas City. The further north we got, the more the weather began turning ugly - not just cold but ugly.  At Sioux Falls we hit some rain; just after Sioux Falls it became freezing rain with a nice Interstate full of glare ice and in a 1/4 mile section there were 5 cars in the ditch.  We decided that it might be a good idea to stop in at Brookings, SD and find out what was going on.

It was there that we discovered the Interstate was being closed. Talk around town by the locals was that it would probably be opened up the next day.  We booked a hotel room; the hotel had a pool.  Bonus, here is our last night's hoorah of vacation.  Friday rolled around and we were going no where.  Our budget had reached its highest potential. We were at the last of the holiday monies booking the hotel for the one night.

We were not making it to our conference. We made arrangements for streaming video.  We bought ourselves some sparkling grape juice and a meat, cheese and cracker tray (Love me a Super Walmart!) and nestled in our room for the night, bringing in the New Year completly differently than we had "planned".  Saturday came. Still not moving. Streaming arrangements were made again.  We were getting restless.  Money was not in our account for these nights in a hotel nor these extra meals in restaurants (again, I love me a Super Walmart which was the only store we new of in Brookings at that time). We met people from all over USA and Canada who were stranded with us; we visited and laughed with them.  We swam with our children. We bonded in the hotel room.  We wrestled and laughed and snuggled and enjoyed each other in uninterrupted family time.

Sunday morning we left with a convoy of new friends going our way who new back roads to get us home. Interstate was still closed.  There was a small matter of a 100 car pile up in Fargo, ND. We "back roaded" it and got to Minot, ND where we stopped to buy me a new purse and wallet (oh did I not mention mine were stolen, along with my Ipod Touch and camera battery charger?) and to eat.  We then realized that we were way too exhausted to carry on.  Safety played an issue and yet another hotel stay ensued. (Cha ching cha ching cha ching! Do you hear the money floating away? {grin})

4 unexpected nights in a hotel, not getting to be where we needed to be when we were supposed to be there... Things were not going as they planned.  I mean as WE had planned! It was then that we realized that this was the beginnings of an amazing year! Why? Nothing was going right, right? Wrong!  Those 4 days brought our family closer together than ever! Those 4 days we had God encounters that changed our family! Those 4 days showed us that we need to put our complete dependency on God! Those 4 days showed us that when we are faithful to Him He will be faithful to us.

We came home after paying for all those "extras" thinking we would be looking at a negative bank balance. We even sent a text to our landlords asking them not to put our rent check in until we knew how long we would be needing extra lodging.  So, when we got home, looked at our account what do you think we saw?

We saw an account balance that had enough rent check money (in completion) and our children's school fee monies for January! Plus we were handed $100 by a friend which got us enough groceries until payday!!!  Now, if only I would find an Ipod Touch and a new battery charger on my pillow or in my mailbox or something {wink}...

We learned that 2011 will be the year that we rely on God fully, trust Him fully, put our dependency on Him fully.  We will not murmur or complain about our situations in life for we will instead look to the solution and not at the problem!  2011 has been a GREAT year so far and I truly mean that!

Not our plan, God, but Yours.

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