I don’t really know how to describe the past 24 hours. It has been a whirlwind as the unexpected was dropped in our laps. We don’t go on extravagant vacations, but we do make the most of our trips that have been related to work travel, short weekend stays, and occasionally a trip in an RV. Joshua had a short break between jobs and we wanted to capitalize it and take a little vacation. Only three nights at a hotel in San Antonio, but we have been looking forward to those three nights immensely. It isn’t a bad drive to San Antonio from the DFW area, but it is about as far as we are willing to try with the two littles ones right now. We tried to do everything right. We got the oil changed. We put a brand new set of premium tires on my car. Cha-ching!. It was time for a new set, but I have been putting it off. We woke up early and managed to get packed, animals fed, kids loaded, and on the road by our goal of 10:30 AM. How we actually achieved that goal I’m still not sure. We were proud of ourselves and were counting down the hours until we would be floating carelessly in the lazy river.
And then life happened. Joshua was driving and I could tell something wasn’t right. Just 45 minutes into our journey the car dies. Yup. Dead on I-35. All of a sudden an engine light came on and the gas pedal just quit working. We were in an express lane and construction zone. The shoulder was running out and we were going to be dead in a single lane blocking traffic. I told him to hit the brakes and get over as fast as he could. We were able to stop about 40 feet before the shoulder disappeared completely. Uhhhggggg. This is not how we wanted to start our vacation! In these situations I immediately go into action mode. We were both on the phone trying to figure out which roadside assistance could get to us. (Without going into to much detail, I think we are done with AAA)
This was stressful. But this is also where I started being so thankful for the people God has in my life. Joshua’s parents were at church, but were able to get some of the issues with AAA straightened out. We were broken down literally about 5 minutes from my best friend’s house. I sent here an SOS text message since she was at church. (OK, everyone was at church except us.) I got a call about 5 minutes later that she was on her way to get us. Being a sitting duck on the side of I-35 with two small children is a situation you want to get out of FAST! I had also gotten ahold of my mom, who dropped everything and was on her way. Thankfully she has a vehicle large enough to hold all of us, and all the vacation gear we had in our car.
It took hours for the tow truck to arrive. A very nice Ft Worth Police Department cop stayed parked the car for most of this time to signal traffic to slow down. Thank you Fort Worth PD!!
We have no idea how much it is going to cost to repair our car. After it was all over and we were back on the road Joshua asked me how I could stay calm not knowing how much things were going to cost or how we would pay for them. I honestly didn’t know how to answer at first, but as we discussed it I realized that the only reason I wasn’t a basket case over the day’s events was because I had instantly started thanking God for the blessings. We broke down only 45 minutes from home. If you are going to break down, it is much better to do so close to home where you have a support system to step in. My best friend picked up the girls and I so we didn’t have to wait in the heat in the car. My mom waited with Josh until the tow truck came, then picked up the girls and I and took us all home. Then, Mom let us borrow her car for the trip because all of our stuff would not fit into Joshua’s Prius. So after all the delay we cruised down to San Antonio in an Escalade. Not bad, right? So much to be thankful for. Now, I don’t know how much it is going to cost to repair my car. Yes, it is probably going to throw a kink in our budget, especially after just purchasing new tires. But as my bible study leader, Lacy Watson, said a few weeks ago, “It’s very hard to be thankful for today’s blessing when you are worried about next month’s bill.”
1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” This is so hard to do. Or maybe it isn’t the casting that is difficult, it is that we like to real our issues back in and take back control. There are many issues that I have not figured out how to turn over to God, and I need to. However, I do know that when I can recognize the blessings he has given me and praise him for those blessings my anxieties are eased. I am not focusing on the challenges (and we are guaranteed that there will be challenges) but instead focusing on the amazing grace of the creator. It can completely transform a response to life struggles.
Now, we are enjoying our vacation. We have had some relaxing time on the lazy river and the rest of my crew is enjoying an afternoon nap. Both kids and the husband are quietly napping! Now if only I was able to nap. I will just be thankful for the blessing of peace and quiet.