January 1, 2005

A Christmas Gift

God gave me an incredible gift this Christmas... A vacation! Now I know that Christmas is the time when we remember the ultimate gift that He gave - His Son - come to earth to live and die and rise again. I will never cease to be thankful for that. But this year He gave me a gift that I didn't even dare to hope for.

I have a wonderful friend/mentor whose family lives out west. I really miss living with them and being a part of their daily lives. They teach me so much, challenge me and hold me accountable - I mean when there are lots of little eyes watching everything you do, you want to make sure you are setting the right example. I hadn't gotten to see them in almost 8 months - forever.

I was talking to my boss about the kids one day and she asked if I was going out to see them. I told her a weekend just wasn't quite enough time for a visit, so I would wait until I had some leave saved up. To which she replied - "Oh you need to go and see them now. Take Thursday and Friday before Christmas off and go see them!" I went home excited but sad. I didn't have enough money saved up to purchase a plane ticket. When I got home there was an envelope on my bed - Cingular bought AT&T Wireless and I totally had a check covering the price of the ticket!

What an incredible gift... but it doesn't stop there. Nope, not even close. I was amazed that God had seen my want and provided - not because I don't think God does that kind of thing, but because well, God's just awesome and at times I don't know what the heck He's doing - I feel like a ping-pong ball. So here I am with a vacation all set and a plan to surprise the kids.

December 22nd comes and I head off to the airport, filled with joyous anticipation. And I stay at the airport for 2 days. Yes, I was one of those travelers who got snowed into the airport. I kept praying, asking God to show me why, if he gave me this trip out west was I spending it in the airport?... But if that was where He had me then there must be a reason and to please open my eyes and help me to see what that was. I enjoyed getting to know some wonderful people - who will probably be the topic of future posts - received a more than generous offer for rescue if I was stuck another day at the airport, learned a lot about patience and trusting God to know what he's about.

At 6:30pm we began boarding a plane... Not to my actual destination, but the best I could get was a state that bordered my ultimate goal. Then the waiting began anew. We sat and sat and sat. We sat on that plane for 8 hours prior to actually taking off. And sitting next to me was a girl who was moving out west. We began talking and the conversation turned to God and trusting Him and all the wonderful surprises that He had brought in the course of being trapped in an airport. It was a totally awesome conversation. And finally Friday morning at 7:30am I walked into my friend's home and got to surprise the kids...only about 33 hours after I had originally intended.

My weekend was wonderful, but I was sad that I had missed some time with my friends and kids. So what did God do? He totally cancelled my flight home. That's right. I couldn't get home for two more days... which more than made up for the time I had lost at the beginning of the trip. God is so great and amazing!

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