After an interesting two nights of sleep in our hotel room, we were getting ourselves ready to head back home. Pumpkin had the most unpleasant experience in the hotel; we are pretty convinced he will not be sleeping on a down pillow EVER AGAIN! When morning finally was present enough not to be ignored Pumpkin had slept only a couple of hours, Conan had gotten only a few hours himself, and I was motivating them all with a grand head ache and only a couple hours of broken sleep.
We traveled this past weekend to a family reunion for my husband, his four siblings (and their families), their parents and grandparents. The family time was great; my only complaint was how quickly the little amount of time we had together passed.
We were scheduled to leave town around 3:30 pm, and were to be bringing home a second vehicle. Opting to drive rather than tow we planned to leave in good time to get our convoy home right before dark. Unfortunately there were other mischievous forces at work, and we ended up leaving two hours later than planned.
As we were leaving I had to make the first phone call to our convoy leader to tell him he had a flat rear tire. We stopped for air and found it extremely low rather than flat, and continued on. The older, louder, and by far smellier vehicle held Hubby and Pumpkin, while the girls and I enjoyed the luxury of a more comfortable journey. I couldn’t help the tense feeling of stress as we began to leave town so while we were getting back to the serious business of trekking home I made a call to our heavenly Father asking Him for safe passage and the level mind to put my emotions and fears on the back burner long enough to get us home.
The expedition was besieged with uncomfortable situation after uncomfortable situation. Sweet Pea reminded me about every 5 minutes that she was longing to have her turn in that “big black car” with Daddy. Tater Tot does not appreciate dark driving conditions so in an effort to comfort her I pulled to the side of the highway, having no cell service Hubby had no idea what had happened. After Tot was convinced that everything was ok we started again with several miles between us and the pace car. When we finally got within a cell signal we made our game plan to get the convoy together again. When we reached our half way stopping point we were to exchange the older kiddos, but Pumpkins exhaustion got the better of him and he was sound asleep an hour and half after we left. Sweet Pea expressed her frustration but assured me she wouldn’t complain about riding with mom the rest of the way, of course a cup of Oreo cookies smoothed things over a bit more.
No evening trip on the plains would be complete without deer desirous to leap into a moving vehicle, coyotes scanning the highway, and other strange animals peering at you from the sidelines. However my personal horror came in the shape of an old stinky SUV containing part of my beloved family slightly fish-tailing for no apparent reason on dry pavement. I am greatly relieved to say that things straightened out and Hubby was able to keep all four wheels on the highway. The split second anomaly was certainly enough time for my imagination to play out one of my worst fears. A quick call informed me there must be a problem with the SUV as there was no error in Hubby’s way (“and no hunny I wasn’t drifting to sleep”). Of course this did not lighten the load of my worry the rest of the trip; however we got to the finish line with three sleeping babies and two relieved parents.
Traveling through town I expressed my appreciation for the safe trip we were blessed with. Upon getting everyone in the house, we put in a call to Hubby’s mom to let her know we had made it. She informed us of the loss of one of our young men in our church family who had been fighting cancer for some time. Of course my heart was grieved for his family and the many people who knew and loved him. Remembering the pain I had felt at the loss of a very close family member my heart ached to think of the pain his parents were feeling at the very moment. At the same time I couldn’t also help but feeling a small sense of relief that he no longer needs to feel the pain of cancer.
Then with what seemed like a sharp pain I realized the lesson I had been presented with. Normally those ah-hah light bulb moments I dwell on for awhile and then put them in my personal memory library, but I felt the overwhelming need to write this one down.
Something I have been working on for many years is to contain my worry, give it to God, and try the best that I can to let it go. Needless to say I am not that good at it! However, I know that conquering this bad habit of mine is necessary for me to grow.
We all are on our own journey. There are points of bad decision, great stress, pain that may not be controllable, loss, and of course an end. We may choose to dwell and worry on these things, and in the end allow them to be our limited experience with life. Or we can bask in the amazement and glory of love, joy, our children, our families, and every blessing we have during our short journey. We have the opportunity to share with others our pain and misfortunes, or share joy we are blessed to experience. The times of heightened stress bring a better appreciation for those times we feel safe and stable. The times of life loss bring us to appreciate the shortness of time we have with those we love.
How will you choose to live your journey?