Have you heard that Owl City song? The one that talks about laughing while the smoke from their burning car billows higher? I thought about that this morning and laughed as I reflected on our vacation. As we drove home over the weekend, Greg and I were chatting about how absolutely AWESOME it was. We felt tired, happy, and deeply satisfied as we reviewed the last 4 weeks. And then we started to wonder HOW that was even possible.
Because you see - right before we left, I had done this to myself:
(If you missed that, and are wondering what kind of animal gnawed the back of my leg, click here.) I was still hugely bruised and swollen, could barely walk, and wasn't sure how I was going to endure all that time in the car, let alone DO anything on vacation.
A week later, a stomach virus wiped out the whole family. It hit Ashley and Cameron while they were at camp, and me a few hours before we were due to pose for family pictures. A few days after that, we found out that we needed to replace the transmission in our van... for the 3rd time in a year. We got the van back the day before we traveled from Utah to California, and then discovered that the repair had left us with a significant oil leak that dripped and burned and smoked the whole way there (which is being repaired today.) Not dangerous, but fairly unpleasant.
We also discovered that this sweet little lady doesn't sleep in the car - too much going on that she didn't want to miss. 4,779 miles. Then, we all came down with a cold. Finally, when all was said and done, we packed up our tired, sick baby (and the rest of the kiddos) and drove home in our smokemobile.
So, in the midst of disasters, how did this become one of our favorite vacations ever?
Moments like this:
|Me and my beloved brother|
|My whole family at Doug and Kelly's wedding|
|Recreating a photo from 16 years ago|
|Ashley and her fairy princess warrior cousins|
|Date night with Greg's parents and sibs|
Don't forget this...
|Ash and Greg|
|Greg's entire family|
Kind of makes it all worth it, don't you think? We realized that our main objective had been to spend time with family - our own, and our extended families that we see too rarely. We got to do that!
Then there were the miracles. I was told that it would take 6-12 weeks for the pain in my leg to subside, and it was completely gone in 2. I was blessed with frequent, small bits of inspiration that guided me through taking care of it and enabled me to heal quickly. I was still careful with it, but was able to walk around Philmont, participate in the family dance party, enjoy the beach and Disneyland, and dance like crazy at my brother's reception.
My in-laws had an extra car they rarely use. It hadn't been working, so they had taken it into the shop before we arrived. It was ready the day our van went in. We didn't all fit in it, but boy was that thing a blessing! We were able to limp along and still do some things we wanted and needed to do.
And the stomach bug before family pictures? After some very sincere prayers (I couldn't NOT show up to family pictures, and I couldn't very well go if I was throwing up!), I was reminded of some anti-nausea medication I was prescribed during my last pregnancy that I had felt inspired to throw in my bag before we left home - one of those subtle thoughts that pass almost without notice, but I had listened. I was tired, but gastrically stable for the pics.
So, let me tell you - God cares... about everything! I know that with all my heart.
For more on this subject, check out my friend CaMarie's post here. I love her perspective on a recent miracle her family experienced.
Keep your eyes peeled for those blessings! They're out there!