Sunday, July 1, 2012

On the Road

Well, over 3 weeks ago we set out for a short trip. And we still aren’t back yet. Our little one asked as we strapped him in his car seat one day “Where are we going to live today, Mom?”

Half the time I don’t know. But that’s ok because we’re having a blast! I mean, nothing at all is going as we planned, but we’re trying to just remember that God knows the plan and is in control. I think I posted once about Navigating the Interruptions in Life. There have been some interruptions lately but we’re making the most of the tough ones and loving the people we get to see in between. Loving that part so so much!

We headed first to North Carolina to see loved ones at Spout Springs Church and in the area we lived in just before leaving for Cambodia. One of our biggest priorities was to get the house cleaned up after the renters moved out and find new renters.

That brought interruption #1 :  The renters weren’t quite out as we thought they were, so we just hung out with friends for a week while listing the home ourselves for rent. After a week of no potential renters, we were able to get in and do some work on it. During the second week we got a couple views but some leading from the Holy Spirit – including a call from a realtor who sought us out and set up an appointment – prompted us to list the home for sale instead of rent. My home!  It was hard leaving the home I’d loved so soon after leaving the Cambodia that I’d loved. But we did. We pulled away with nothing left inside but a “for sale” sign. Pray with us that the sale happens quickly.

We planned to leave from there to drive to Washington DC and meet Stephen’s sister and family from further up north, since it was a good meeting point. On the way we wanted to stop and see a friend in Richmond. If my husband hadn’t decided to power wash the deck an hour before our scheduled departure time, we might have made that trip on time (interruption #2 – the neighbor informed us rightthatminute she had a power washer). We did make it, though, ending up in Richmond area at dinner time and able to see our friends at a Cracker Barrel and play for a few minutes before continuing the drive.

We had lots of fun in DC with my niece and nephews, visiting the Smithsonian National Zoo and Smithsonian Natural History Museum. The next day we went to the National Arboretum before leaving town and saw some beautiful gardens. Do I count the major 3 year old meltdown we witnessed here as interruption #3 or is that just normal life?

We left DC that day to head to the Lexington, Kentucky area to see another sister and her family. Did I mention that we drove all these roads with no GPS? Just an old fashioned atlas and me as navigator. That led to a few interruptions too. We’ll just pretend those didn’t happen and not give them numbers.

We stopped for the night at New River Gorge. Also known as “the Grand Canyon of the East,” by some brochures, anyway. It was so gorgeous!  We got up the next day and did a little hiking, driving, and exploring. After lunch we set off for the short 4 hour drive to see my niece and nephew in KY!

Interruption #4 – the MAJOR one (so far!). See, we bought an old car for this cross country trip because we wanted something reliable and big enough for all our stuff, but we also didn’t want to go buy something expensive because we don’t know what we are doing next. If we are moving overseas again, we certainly don’t need an expensive car to get rid of. If we aren’t, well, we can buy a nice car later, when we have an income again! So, we are driving in a 95 Ford Explorer that rocks a bit after 60mph. Well, it did anyway. Sometime that day it started shaking too, and it started at 30 instead of 60. At the border of WV and KY we stopped to have a mechanic look at it. He told us that something or other was wrong and that we learned that we could make it to my sister in law’s house but should keep the speed down, at 30mph or so. Great.  150 miles to go. At 30mph.  That’s what, 5 hours? And doesn’t count all the red lights on the little roads we had to take. Or the navigation errors caused by whoever was reading the map (ahem, me). We realized it was going to be a long trip, and it was already 5pm. 

Then the interruption was interrupted.

Interruption #5.  Just as we came off a winding road in Eastern KY with not much civilization around, we heard a pop and stopped to see that the tire had blown. We were thankful that we were only going 30mph when it happened, and thankful that it happened where it did, because just a few miles earlier we would have been in the middle of nowhere. Here we pulled into someone’s driveway to change it. Good thing, because we had to unload everything, car seats included, to get to the parts of the jack. Very poor design, but we were just thankful it was all there in such an old car! An hour later we were back on the road.

We made it to the house late that night and have been enjoying our time ever since. Except for the sore muscles I have from going to a jazzercise class my sister in law taught a couple days ago. She’s a great teacher.  Whether you judge that by how fun the class is or how sore you are afterward, she wins both ways. I think even my fingers are sore as I type!  And I just yawned and it hurt everything in my body.  Gosh, I need to get back into working out!

As we prepare to depart KY and drive back to TX, with the car repaired and perhaps with a stop on the way at a dear friend’s house, please pray for our family. Here are some specific requests:

Pray for safe travel in this old car (it has the same mileage as when we left TX!)
Pray for the kids who seem to be adjusting well but may be dealing with stuff we don’t realize
Pray for each visit we have with friends or strangers to bring glory to God
Pray for the job search and for God to reveal His plan for our family soon
Pray always for the victims of trafficking.  And for Cambodia.  I miss it like crazy today.