Ordinary Days

Days pass here. It’s just like anywhere in the world. They come with frustrating moments and mundane tasks. I spill nail polish remover on my dresser and burn my clothes with the iron. I teach a two-year-old how not to pick her nose and remind her every day that God made her and that He loves her. It’s nothing out of the ordinary or surprisingly different. We still face the same challenges and responsibilities that we would if we lived in North America.

We also have the oridinary “china” days. The other day I rode my bike passed an old man just as he was putting a finer on one nostril and blowing hard out the other. A large “wad” flew out and onto the ground. He proceeded to wipe his nose with his sleeve and kept on walking. I turned my handle bars just in time to miss the slimy present he left in my path. My first thought was, “winter’s here”. Somehow, the whole scene didn’t even phase me. It was just another ordinary day.

I have crying days too. I caught myself choking up while I was talking to my parents the other day. Dad was talking about his recent trip to Costco and mom went on about all the presents she had to wrap. She showed me her pile. I’m a solid witness… it was huge. They rambled on about their toasty fireplace and early morning coffee. All at once I wanted to be there. I wanted to feel my toes warming up on the warm bricks of the hearth. I wanted to curl ribbons with mom and try peeking in all my boxes. I wanted to walk up every aisle of Costco with dad and just be together. I quickly turned my iPad camera to face Abigail while I wiped tears off of my cheeks. I put my brave face back on and continued talking.

I was asked recently what it was like when Iam with all of my siblings. I replied, “It’s like there’s only one person in the room. We don’t explain anything. We can finish each other’s sentences. We find the same things funny and sometimes laugh when there’s nothing to laugh at.” I was thankful. Thankful and homesick. The ache just comes. My mother-in-law recently told me that when I got engaged to Neal, my sister, who was in China with us at the time, said, “This is the best day of my life.” I smiled, knowing it was just like my sister. All I could think to say was, “I miss her so much.” The words “so much” came out painfully and diluted with tears. I knew I was blessed to have a sister who thought my engagement day was the best day of her life. It truly is a hard time of the year to be so far away.

I recently face-timed with my family as they celebrated my nephews birthday party. Everyone was there. Everyone but us. Lois couldn’t get enough of it. She kept saying, “I go your house?” to every aunt, uncle and grandparent. She couldn’t handle being on the wrong side of the iPad. I watched her little face stare at the presents and food and family and wished I could put her there and let her be a part of it.

These moments are hard and yet, for every hundred of these comes a moment that takes your breath away as you watch God work and move.

One evening we had some friends over at our house and they brought a couple of young ladies with them. They were Christian ladies who wanted to learn and grow. Neal talked with them for a while and I listened quietly. He began talking with them about the Bible and soon retrieved one from his office. They had read the Bible before, but they’d only been in contact with the government-church produced Bible. Neal soon placed his Bible in the hands of one of the young ladies. She took it carefully. Her eyes lit up as she gently slid her hand over the cover. She scooted to the edge of her seat and began to flip through the pages. She couldn’t drink in the words fast enough. Her eyes darted back and forth as she read as fast as her eyes would allow.  I was moved as I watched her cherish the Word of God. It was so precious to her. It was so powerful. It was the essence of the reason we are here. It was a moment worth every tear that ever slid down my cheek.

Another moment came just a few days ago while visiting with a girl whom Lois and I have befriended. She is someone that God just put in my path. We’ve kept in touch and I’ve never been shy or discreet about my Christian life or my belief in God. She has recently been married and she wanted to introduce her husband to me. It was a Sunday evening and the girls and I were exhausted from a long, busy day, but nevertheless, we welcomed them into our home and visited for several hours. Neal was busy at the time and so I spoke (in my very insufficient second language) for close to four hours. My brain was hurting and Abigail was especially cranky and distracting. Neal finally made it home through traffic and the six of us enjoyed a meal together. After we ate they talked with Neal about everything they had just talked with me about. This time, instead of it taking four hours, it took about thirty minutes. Neal’s Chinese is a little lot better than mine. The worth-it-all moment came when they simply and sincerely asked Neal, “What would we have to do to become Christians?” Neal began to answer them and for several minutes neither of them spoke a word. They just stared and intently listened.I watched their countenance change as they were confronted with the reality of God’s love for the very first time. I’ve never seen it before. The Word of God fell on fresh ears and instead of having that look of I’ve heard it before, they sat in astonishment as they were given the greatest news that man has ever heard.

And those are the moments we work for. Moments like these brief happenings are what make those ordinary days so worth it.

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The Eating Thing

Wrinkled. Weathered. Worn.

These were the hands that held out a piece of corn to Lois and I. I smiled and tried to politely refuse. (It never works). I took the corn. Neal has taught me that when the Chinese give you food, you eat it. Simple as that. To not eat it is rude, showing a great disrespect. I shoved all hesitation from my mind and enthusiastically chomped down. I shared with Lois and she ate more vigorously than I.

We were just there to get some pictures printed. I didn’t even know her! She didn’t know me! Why would she do that? It’s so…

I chuckled to myself. This custom is one I would have to learn to love.

Neal was going to be a while at the print shop so I stepped out into the courtyard of the small shopping complex. Little stores lined the square with tiny homes nestled above each one. The occasional dog could be found making a meal of the garbage littering the street. Bikes and scooters crowded the small, uneven road.

I ventured across the street to buy my favorite bread. These warm, round creations are made by my friend with two very brown front teeth whose name I’ve yet to learn. We always share a smile and a nod. At first I wrinkled my nose at his filthy shirt and his dumpy shack. I batted at the flies and whined about the black pit he was baking the bread in. I dared to ask, “Does he wash his hands after touching the money?” Apparently he keeps a damp cloth beside him and taps it between serving customers and patting out his dough. But now… now I don’t see the flies. Now I wake up craving this bread and when I’m in the area I can’t help myself from picking up a few pieces. I grabbed four. Lois and I strolled back across the street.

I stopped to make conversation with a young lady standing outside her little restaurant. She touched Lois’ white skin and asked me a thousand questions. I smiled and nodded. I introduced Lois and used every word I knew. She could see I was trying and we smiled as I repeated the same things over and over. We drew a crowd. Several people peered out of the windows above while others poked their heads out of their shops. Some simply walked right up and tried to join the non-existing conversation. My newfound friend disappeared into her restaurant and came back with a treat for Lois. Go figure. She shared a small pastry and a bottle of juice. We shared a few bites and sipped a few sips. Pure joy flooded across the girl’s face. What is it about this eating thing?

As we enjoyed our snack a familiar face appeared. Mrs. Lee,  a sweet friend of the family owned a little shop and home in that complex. She beamed and excitedly chatted while scooping up Lois. I pointed at Neal (still in the print shop) and tried to figure out where she had come from. She grinned from ear to ear and pulled me to her shop. Out came a peach for Lois and a coke for me. I chugged. Lois chomped. We’ve got this eating thing DOWN!

The courtyard soon became a buzz. I shared my “nang” bread and watched Lois get hugged and fed.

Neal finally finished his business but our afternoon was far from over. We were soon ushered to the little plastic table sitting in the middle of the courtyard. Before I knew what was happening a large bowl of noodles, cucumber and tofu was placed in front of me. (And another coke). Neal and I dug right in. It was delicious. Even more impressive than the noodles, however, was the gesture. It absolutely made their day to be able to share their food with us.

I wrapped my arm around Mrs. Lee and struggled to thank her. I looked around at the sweet faces that had shared with us that day. Their houses were a single room above a tiny store. They gave what they would normally be making a living off of. They showed a desire to be a friend to someone who couldn’t even talk to them. “Thank you” was so small. I wanted to say, “You are just the sweetest to do all of this for us and you absolutely didn’t have to and I’m just so overwhelmed with your kindness and you are just so nice and thank you so much for being my friend when I can’t even talk to you.” I was humbled. I gave a smile and a squeeze in hopes that my meaning would be felt.

Neal and I finally left with bags of yogurt, cokes and gifts. More importantly, we left feeling loved, welcomed and accepted. The food thing had worked. They had expressed their friendship and we had accepted it.

Another day in China down for the records.

he. is. enough.

Two months. My “newborn” is two months. She’s turning into a little person. She holds her head up, smiles at me when I talk to her and adores her bath time. Life is different with this little girl. Traveling is now filled with quick stops to feed, changing diapers on the back seat of the car and finding a place to set up the playpen. Meetings are now filled with getting paged to the nursery, trying to keep track of who’s holding the baby and looking for a seat that is relatively close to the exit. Down time is now filled with scrubbing the lovely yellow stains out of bed sheets, playing baby einstein on the tablet and telling my baby girl how much I love her. Our lives have changed and we love it.

Since my last blog, We’ve had Neal’s ordination, Lois’ dedication and my brother’s ordination. In that order. Neal was interrogated on his position on life after death, communion, salvation, Heaven, Hell, baptism, church membership and all kinds of other things. I sat and listened with a proud heart. He answered with confidence and lots of Biblical support. The following morning we brought Lois up before our church and dedicated her to the Lord. She’s His and He is simply letting us take care of her while on earth. It’s a privilege and a huge responsibility! She got a little pink Bible. We’ll keep it forever. That night at church our pastor, Neal’s dad, my dad and several other men laid their hands on Neal and prayed as he was ordained. I had been strong all weekend but when they began to pray for him my heart just overflowed with excitement, emotion and a huge sense of responsibility! The tears flowed. I cried mostly out of a thankful heart. God is going to use Neal. I just know it. He is going to use him in a great way and I am so blessed to be a part of it. I am so blessed to take care of His little girl every day. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to go to China with him. I’m excited about it, emotional about it and yes, I feel the weight of responsibility.

Lately I’ve been pondering our future. China. Small word, big meaning! For me, it means learning a new language. Yeah, I’m scared. I always pray, “Lord, I know I can’t do it, so you’re going to have to do it! Work a miracle!” China also means that I’ll be raising children in a completely different culture. That means more to me now that I have a little baby. I grew up playing baseball in my backyard, having waterfights with neighbourhood friends and ice skating in the winter. I imagine my little girl riding subways, playing with Chinese kids and spending a month listening to fireworks at Chinese New Year. Of course, China means a new home. My home won’t be in Canada anymore. It won’t be in Jackson, Tennessee or on the road. My home will be with my little family. It will be a little “Can-Am” in the middle of Beijing. It will be colourful with fun quotes on the walls. It will be the place that my children will make their memories. It will be the perfect cove when life is getting tough. It will be a banquet hall for the  many friends we will make. It will be a place where God will grow our family and our ministry. Oh I can’t wait! I feel as though my heart is already there. I’m already picturing myself in China and loving it!

I’ve cried often over the last two weeks. Life can be overwhelming at times. I miss people. I miss having a home. I fear the unknown future. Yes, it is too much to bear at times, but thank God, He. is. enough. A wise woman reminded me of that just recently. We are never enough. No one is. Only HE is enough. So when life is crazy busy and there’s so much to worry about…don’t worry. You have a God who is enough.

Blessed

I don’t claim to be an exceptional poet, but every once in a while I get inspired. It is then, and only then, that I exercise my poetic skills, though limited they are! Often writing comes easily and even if I have nothing to write about, I can still sit down and blabber away. Not with my poems. With my poems, I have to have a reason, a purpose, a special inspiration! Today I was motivated by Philippians 4. Paul expresses that he learned to be content in whatever state he found himself. He directs us to make our requests made known to God with thanksgiving. He concludes by reminding us that our God shall supply all our need. So my goal for today was to focus on only the good! To be content. To be thankful. To remember how blessed I am. And friends… I had an exceptional day. A day of peace, laughter and joy!

Blessed

by: Elisabeth Ray

Staring in the closet
Piles of clothes
And yet nothing to wear?

Things for every season
Every day
Enough even to share!

I’m blessed

Stuck in traffic and rain
Frustrating!
Swollen from the long trip

In a paid-for, clean van
Dual air
A gift from our great God

I’m blessed

Finding it hard to sleep
Big belly
Can’t seem to catch my breath

A little hand pokes me
My baby!
Can’t get enough of her

I’m blessed

Never get to see friends
Missing mom
Faces are always new

Always have my best friends
God and Neal
More than most have, I know

I’m blessed

Half-way done with meetings
Discouraged
Still have half-way to go

Half-way done with meetings!
Praise the Lord
Only half-way to go!

I’m blessed

No place to call our own
No nursery
Suitcase for a closet

A mansion in Heaven!
With my King
For all eternity

I’m blessed

Worried for little things
A bit stressed
Focusing on the worst

Serving a God who knows
God who sees
A God who supplies needs

I’m blessed

Friend, don’t be discouraged
Stop blaming
Stop the despair and tears

Seek the Lord and His strength
He loves you
He died to set you free

You’re blessed

The Calm

Growing up with five siblings provided for a bustling home. There was never a moment when I was the only person in the house! I’ve almost always shared a room with one of my sisters. I got accustomed to being around people all the time, and I loved every second of it. If Jess and I weren’t playing dolls in our room, I was out in the backyard playing catch with dad or at the kitchen table getting my craft on with people constantly coming and going. To this day I cannot remember a spending a birthday without a bunch of family and friends around. There was always a cake with lots of candles and never any leftovers. Even last year when Neal and I were first married my birthday landed on the day that we took our annual family and friends trip to Canada’s Wonderland. It was perfect. Being surrounded by the people that I loved was the best gift of all.

This year was my quarter century birthday. We spent it in Tennessee! Dad and Mom Ray have gone back to China along with Ben and Zach. Neal and I have had the house to ourselves since we’ve been back. It was almost eerie the first day we were here. There were no doors opening and closing, no cars coming and going, no basketball games playing on the tv and no bustling in the kitchen. We soon adjusted to the quiet by running errands and getting together with friends. The most unusual feeling, however, came on my birthday. I woke up to a quiet house with Neal still sleeping soundly. Where was everyone? He fluttered his eyes and whispered a sweet “Happy Birthday” to me. Before long my Facebook page came alive with birthday wishes and ecards were sent to my email. My sister even posted a video of my niece and nephew singing to me! Neal made me breakfast and he even whipped up a cake! I was impressed. At one point he ran out and came back with a perfect purple orchid. He knows I love purple. It was special. I basically relaxed in the sun all day and checked my phone every time it buzzed with a new notification of a birthday wish. It was quiet and peaceful and completely out of the norm for me! It wasn’t bad in any way, just different… special. Next year I will have a little baby to keep things lively and loud and for the rest of my life things will continue to be loud and busy. This year was just a special treat. I spent my birthday entirely with Neal. I smiled and thought, This IS my family. My whole family is right here with me. My husband and my baby are making this day as perfect as all the rest! It was unforgettable.

I learned that although I wasn’t surrounded by six or eight family members, I was a blessed girl. Blessed to HAVE that many family members who loved me. Blessed to be sent so many hugs and notes. Blessed to have a husband who spoils me rotten! Blessed to have my own little family of three. Blessed to start new traditions. Blessed to look forward to many more bustling birthdays with my own children.

This year was simply the transition year. It was the calm that made me reflect on the blessed life I’ve had and to anticipate the blessed life I will have. It was the perfect birthday and probably the only one I will ever have with just Neal. That makes it invaluable! So this one’s going in the books as record-breaking!

And don’t worry… after Prayer meeting we had some friends from church come over to the house and help us polish off some cake and ice cream. (That was after I’d had time to conclude that this quiet birthday was one I will remember forever as one of the sweetest, most perfect birthdays ever.)

Dedicated to my handsome, loving husband who I will forever cherish.

Meeting Sharon

I shuffled through my purse. My fingers felt around as I hoped and prayed that they would find what they were looking for. Nothing. I searched through every little drawer in my jewelry box. Still nothing. My frustration began to slowly build up inside of me. I marched to my room and looked through my dresser and then through Neal’s. Hmph. I started to get frantic. I reached into every pocket of every coat and jacket in the house. Where could they be? My eyes started to sting as my frustration turned to tears.
I hate to lose things. It is one of my least favourite feelings in the world. I especially hate to lose special things. When it happens, it generally spoils my day. Last year at Christmas time, however, it spoiled my entire week when I lost my diamond earrings that Neal had given me the Christmas before. We spent only one Christmas engaged and Neal had given me the earrings to match my engagement ring as my gift. How perfect. How romantic. How sweet. How Thoughtful. How sentimental. How retarded of me to lose them! I was so mad at myself. I can remember getting home from work every day with a new place to look. I was always disappointed to discover that they weren’t there. I tried all the tricks. I thought about the last time I’d had them on, I thought about it before I fell asleep so that I would dream about it and wake up remembering! I quizzed Neal for ideas about where they could be. I PRAYED my heart out! They never showed up. I was becoming quite perplexed about it all. Neal finally told me to let it go and to stop worrying about it. It wasn’t helping anything. Eventually I stopped searching and obsessing. I dealt with it and remorsefully moved on. Sort of.
We continued with our Christmas bliss as newlyweds. We filled stockings, bought and decorated our first tree and made sugar cookies with our Chinese family. All the while those earrings were still in the back of my mind. I was still holding on.
One night our church family in Richmond Hill got together to go Christmas caroling. Neal and I had just started working at the church a few months earlier and the lady we were going to visit was someone whose health had kept her shut in to her home. Everyone else already knew her, but she was only someone we had heard about. She was someone we had prayed for. We walked up to the glass door leading into the lobby and waited for “Sharon” to let us in. Before long a crouched up little lady with matted hair and wilted skin reached up from her wheelchair to push the door open. Something jerked my heart. I didn’t know what I had been expecting, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see a soul so disease-stricken and frail. It took every bit of her energy to reach up to the handle of the door and open it for us. Her stooped back proved to be quite a detriment. We all piled our way into the lobby with songbooks in hand. The others began to offer their hugs and words of encouragement. I couldn’t find a thing to say. What could I say? I didn’t even know this lady. She didn’t know me. I watched for a moment as she reached up and hugged another lady from the church. It was then that I noticed her eyes. They were glassy and distant. Her eyelids were drooping down, but it didn’t seem to bother her. My heart was tugged again. She was blind. The cancer had literally taken it’s hold on every part of her body. Many realizations took hold of me at that moment. I started to understand the need for our visit. I knew why she had been a prisoner to her little apartment room. Her neck, barely able to hold up her head, was only the beginning of her many handicaps. I realized what a strong woman she truly was and I shuffled my way over to her and squeezed her little shoulders. “Merry Christmas” I told her. “My name is Beth and we have been praying for you.” The Christmas carols began and we all gave it our very best. Sharon sat in her wheelchair and we were there just for her. That little lobby could barely contain “Joy to the World” or “O Come all Ye Faithful.” Before long people began to make their way down the hall to find out what was going on. As soon as they saw Sharon there they knew. All alone, she sat crying and listening. Inside that worn out little body was a beautiful lady who needed to be loved and blessed. She was radiant really. It was only moments before her strength decreased and her afgan was no longer keeping her warm enough. We all prayed with her and headed back to our homes, changed.
I sat myself down in our car and silently re-lived our evening as Neal pulled out of the parking lot. I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Just having Neal there was more than Sharon had. Having that car was a bonus. Tears mazed their way down my face. Neal asked what was wrong. I told him I had learned a valuable lesson. We had given a Christmas gift greater than anything we could ever buy. Humbled and renewed I said, “That sweet little old lady has nothing. No one. She can’t see or walk or do anything. She doesn’t have a single person spending Christmas with her… and I have the nerve to spend a week moping over some earrings…”
It was the truth and I knew it. I spent the rest of the drive drying my eyes and by the time we made it home the earrings were forgotten. For real.
Weeks later I reached into my purse and my fingers touched something small. What could that be? In complete and utter shock I pulled out a diamond earring! I reached in and found another one. Stunned, I sat on the floor and allowed myself to be amazed. The first place I had checked, and re-checked and triple-checked! Smiling, I thanked God. He gave me my earrings back… after I met Sharon.

More than Enough

Salvation first and foremost
Laughing til it hurts
Hugs “they’re my favourite”
Maple lattes
Extra foam, but only the good, frothy, smooth micro foam!
The feeling I get when stepping off a plane. No more cramped legs. Fresh air!
Memories- good and bad for they both build a person
Zebra ANYTHING
My husband
Orange roses
Tim Hortons – Always Fresh
My “Canada” mug that I drink coffee from every morning
Deer jerky (clearly)
Making new friends
Neal
Hearing from old friends
Time with family
Support!
My silver crochet hook… I’m lost without it
VCA 5th and 6th grade class
Edward Neal Ray III
Packages in the mail *hint/cough*
My Birthday MONTH
Sleeping in
Slippers!
Good ol’ Southern fish fry’s
Lipstick pink Louis Vuitton wallet
Mac and Cheese-gotta be KRAFT!
Surprises

A LOVING GOD WHO KNOWS ME AND MEETS MY NEEDS! I couldn’t ask for anything more. If I had to describe all that I have and what’s it worth, I could sum it up by saying I have “more than enough” and it’s worth everlasting thankfulness!

Out of Control

Neal and I made it to Tennessee! We had the perfect plan to get here in great time with no glitches. It was all under control. Then, things started to spin out of control. Then God slipped in and… you guessed it… took control.

It all started when we were on our way to the Windsor/Detroit border. We drove for a couple of hours then stopped to get gas. We figured it would be a  peaceful night. It was already getting late and we were planning to drive through the night to avoid holiday traffic. Little did we know, the Lord had other plans. Many other plans.

#1. About a half hour after we left that first gas station we were gliding down the highway at about 90 k’s (because that’s how fast the trailer would allow us to go) and minding our own business when outta nowhere we catch a glimpse of red and blue lights. They couldn’t be coming for us! We were going 90! Wrong. He WAS coming for us. Neal actually. I waited in my car. Praying. Neal called me from his car. “Babe, apparently the gas we just got never got paid for.” What! Impossible. In my mind I saw Neal getting cuffed and dragged away. Apparently something was up with their pay-at-the-pump so they called the troops in on us. Neal had to drive all the way back to pay and then all the way back to meet up with me. Sigh.

#2. After that whole ordeal it wasn’t long before we got to the border. I was going across first. Alone. To ensure we didn’t have any problems. No big deal. Just going to Tennessee for a couple weeks then back to Vancouver. Well, can I just say that the man in the booth did not agree. In fact the words, “You’re a liar” and “How would you like me to keep you out of the states for five years!” came out of his mouth.  Yikes. After a ten-minute interrogation of the most degrading sort, he sent me inside. Why the harsh words if you’re just going to send me inside? After answering the same questions from five, not exaggerating, five people, I was told to take a seat. They dragged me out of my car and I had nothing. I made myself act like an adult. No crying allowed. One of the men was Mexican and one of the men was actually a girl! Intimidating. I just sat, praying again. It was all out of my control. After several minutes of begging God Almighty for help, I looked up and the man behind the counter slapped my passport on the counter. Oh no. Then he said, “You have a good night miss.” I couldn’t believe my ears! Home free. Off I went.

#3. The whole border crossing had my stomach in knots and every muscle tensed. I was wide awake and full of adrenaline. Ready to drive through the night! Neal was in front with the trailer and I tailed him the whole way with my four-ways on. Completely ridiculous but entirely necessary. Four o’clock rolled around and we were still going strong. Then, unbelievably we had another “incident”. I saw some sparks fly out from under the trailer. What in the world? Maybe it was just something small. Then more sparks. Finally smoke started to curl out from the right tire. My heart sank. I called Neal and told him to pull over. He peaked in and immediately recognized the problem. The bearings had blown out. Alright, we’d already come through two problems, certainly the Lord would bring us through this. We hit the phones and called around to find some roadside assistance. After waking up three poor souls, Neal gave up and decided we were going to have to wait til morning. We crawled to the next exit which was conveniently close (thank you Lord) and pulled our cars into a truck stop. There was a nice man who was ready to fix the trailer… just as soon as he could get the parts. That meant we had to wait until eight. Oh well, it was only four hours away! We joined the truckers and slept in the car for two hours. Two blessed hours. We both woke up with the sun and decided to hit the trucker breakfast joint. Free coffee refills, greasy eggs and thirty minutes of depressing news had us ready to hit the road again. We gathered the parts we needed and the very nice man put them all on the trailer. We kissed exit 99 goodbye and drove into the sunrise!

#4. It wasn’t long until the cool sunrise became blistering heat and humidity. It was the perfect situation for a traffic jam. But no, after all that we definitely weren’t going to have any more problems! But we did. And yes, there was a traffic jam a nasty one. There goes another 1.5 hours! I prayed that nothing else would go wrong.

#5. Not long into the traffic jam, the old camry started to chug. I felt it starting to jerk a little. And it was really hot! The air wasn’t really coming out cold anymore. It got so bad that I decided to just turn it off since we were at a dead stop. Off she went… and when the line started to move a little, she didn’t turn back on. How is this even possible. Lucky for me the guy behind me was in a terrible mood and he threw up his hands at me like I was causing him a huge inconvenience to have to go around me. Please. We’re sitting dead still and you’re annoyed about driving around? Worse than him was the woman who decided she’d stick her head out of her air-conditioned, fuel-guzzling suv and say, “Can’t you get that thing off the road?” Well, excuse us for having a car that won’t move as you drive away in your 2011 Yukon. I just kept my thoughts to myself and by that time Neal had come to rescue me. He was gracious with the lady. Lucky for her. In the end we finally had a God-send. Someone actually pulled over to help! Imagine that! He and Neal got the car re-started and once again, we were on our way. The Lord had taken care of everything.

So maybe things didn’t go how I had planned. Maybe a 16 hour drive turned into 28 hours. Maybe we smelled a little when we finally arrived in Jackson. One thing is for sure though, God was in control and He met all of our needs! Our prayer lives were certainly put to the test too! Now, we’re safe and sounds and looking forward to some shut-eye!