It seems to me that when God wants to teach someone something about themselves, he sends them on a journey.  Noah, Moses, Abraham, Ruth and even Mary and Jesus had to pack their bags at some point and set out to learn some lessons.  The themes usually have something to do with “i am God and you are not,” and “I’ve got things covered.  I will take care of you.”

My own recent journey was no exception to this rule.  I was a nervous wreck before heading out . . . Jac is my social crutch (Susan and Angela also hold this position quite nicely at times) and he was staying at home.  How was I going to traverse the country with four kidlets and a nursing babe?  How would we do potty breaks and diaper changes in gas stations, rest areas andor corn fields? (I am happy to report that no roadside grass or crops were harmed in the making of this trip.)  And when I got there could I gracefully handle the stress that is made by being with family?  I began to buckle under the pressure.  But then, the Lord stepped in and made it clear He was in charge and He had it under control. 

Not that our trip was anything of biblical proportions, I’m just sayin’. . .

I learned those lessons about abandonment and trust.  I also learned some other things. Things like: Ellie likes to swim; my cousin Kati likes gummy bears just as much as I do (it’s genetic, I’m sure); Nebraska is nice; I don’t like the Southwest.

Okay, let me clarify.  I guess I like the Southwest alright I just couldn’t live there.  The desolation hurts my soul, sinking into me in a panicky depression.  It’s hot.  Waaaay hot. Hotter than hot most of the time. Now, I’m not a fan of the 6 months of winter we get here, but not ever seeing things shift and change? Boo. They have things like cacti and snakes and giant spiders.  Nothankyou.  I’ll pass.

So I applaud my brother and sister-in-law for not just toughing it out in Texas but flourishing and loving it.  And I appreciated our time spent in the sun, trying things like prickly pears and seeing God’s great creation with them. 

On the last day of our visit Uncle Billy drove us down into Palo Duro Canyon – the second largest canyon in the U.S.  It was immpressive and inspiring even though it was the dessert.  So I soaked up the experience and filed it away so that in February when I am hating winter and living here in the frozen North I can count my blessings and look on these photos tenderly.