Friday, April 2, 2010

It May be Dreary and Rainy, But We'll Make the Most of it

Recently my husband and I took the kids on an afternoon excursion. It was somewhat spontaneous and we waited until leaving to tell the kids just in case our plans changed. With 4 small children sometimes plans simply have to change. We had planned to head to one of our favorite one-day destination spots, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ron and I often visited Ann Arbor when we were dating. There is an endless array of restaurant choices, quaint stores, lots of coffee shops, and of course, plenty of culture to take in; it is the home of the University of Michigan after all. We just love it!

As we were preparing to leave church and head up the road we realized the rain was really coming down. Gray skies were all around and there seemed no hope for sunshine. What to do? We didn't consider for long. We decided to go anyway. Rain, sun, snow, or sleet, we really enjoy taking in that city. Our children, as most children do, take their cues from us so they were excited to go do something new and not one of them whined, "but it's raining." Needless to say, we had a marvelous time. We enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite pizza joints. We spent over an hour browsing at a 2-story Borders bookstore helping each of the kids pick out a new book. And, of course, we winded down our day with a visit to Starbucks for coffee and a snack. Was it a bit chilly? Yes. Was it windy and rainy? Yes. Did we have to push a stroller extra fast and run with our children into stores? Sometimes. Was it all worth it? Absolutely! All of the kids had fun and behaved like angels. Even our baby was content throughout the afternoon. We had a fabulous day and created some fond family memories.

You know, life can be a lot like our trip to Ann Arbor. We have all kinds of plans, dreams, and goals. They are focused on the good, the positive, and the least in our minds. Some plans are ours, some plans are truly God's. Either way, most of us do not spend time envisioning our downfalls, pitfalls, setbacks, or failures. We were created in the image of God and we want the best for ourselves and our family, just as God does. However, life happens. There are downfalls and setbacks; we experience failure and defeat, confusion and frustration. The question becomes, "Should we move forward anyway or allow circumstances to hinder our plans?"

Recently my husband informed me that the company he works for has a slow month ahead. This isn't altogether surprising. The economy is struggling and almost everyone has felt the effects of it. My husband is in a trade that has ebbs and flows. He has been laid off for short periods of time over the last few years. The most recent layoff occurred prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. When he told me, my first thought was do not waste time worrying about this. You see, he was laid off a few years prior. During that time, miraculously, we were able to pay off a good deal of debt. I still don't really know how but by the grace of God. So, during this last layoff I had to choose daily not to worry. Not always easy. We are a single income family with 4 children. However, we made it through. During that time, we were able to do some face lift work on our kitchen. We had paint given to us. We painted the walls and the cabinets and my husband installed a new counter top. I love the new look. Also during this time, my husband's passion for drawing was reignited. He has amazing talent and potential. We were able to take extra time during the holidays to visit with family and were even able to make a trip to Tennessee to visit my Grandparents. By the grace of God, we made it through.

So, as my husband told me he may have a slow month I had to make a choice. Fret, cry, and worry? Or trust in the Lord's provision for our lives? After taking some time to consider....I am human after all....I chose the latter. I know we will be fine. God has never let us down. His ways definitely are not my ways. I do not know how it will all work out but I choose to trust in God. And, I am reminded of our recent excursion to Ann Arbor. How could a gray, rainy, dreary day provide so many fun moments and positive memories for my family? Well, we chose to move forward. We made the decision to have fun and enjoy one another's company despite the circumstances.

My prayer is that I will view every contrary situation and adverse circumstance in my life like that rainy afternoon in Ann Arbor. Will it be cold and messy? Likely. Will I have to be uncomfortable? Possible. Will I have to shield my children from the big, fat raindrops of life? I'll do my best. Will anything good come from it? I imagine so. Will it all even be worth it? With God, I'm certain it will be.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Stephanie! Thanks for the inspiration.