Last week I went on vacation. My mom, my sister, my two-year-old, and I took airplane rides and ended up in Colorado, visiting some family, skiing, and enjoying a change of scenery. On the outside, it could easily have looked like God took a vacation. Let's look at it from that point of view for a moment. (Pardon me for ignoring the fact that I was on vacation, definitely a blessing.)
We had been looking forward to this trip for months, but as it was time to leave Jameson was just getting over croup and I was down with some sort of nasty flu bug. The kind that keeps you up all night, has your throat screaming every time you swallow, causes you to sound like you are hacking up a lung every five minutes. There are not enough tissues in the world, your nose is red, dry, and cracked, your head aches, your entire body aches. I could go on, but everyone has been there and gets the general idea. Then, throw in a two hour time difference, that has the two-year-old up at 5:30 every morning so that by the time the ski lifts open you are ready for a nap, then he is ready for bed at 6 pm so dinner is an apple in your room while he sleeps. Childcare so expensive that it cuts into your ski time because you just can't justify the cost. Tired, sick, run down, frustrated...easy to get mad at God, right? Why did this have to happen now? On such a gorgeous day, why am I sitting here while my child sleeps instead of hitting the slopes? Why can't I just get one decent night's sleep? When will the coughing stop?
One afternoon in the middle of our trip (the particularly gorgeous, sunny day, while everyone was skiing except me because I was in the room with the napping child) it hit me. I could continue to look for the negative and question God as to why, or I could embrace the positive. I was in the mountains! The sun was shining! I was enjoying a chance to lay on the couch because there wasn't a house to clean or laundry to fold. I had a beautiful child asleep in the next room, tired out by the wonderful opportunity to ski.
As I stopped the negative and embraced the positive, God showed up even more. My mom called, telling me she was tired and coming in, so I should get dressed to hit the slopes. Really? Just when I had been sad to be missing the best weather forecast of the trip, God provided. She rested, Jameson slept, and I skiied! By the way, the weather the next day (the day Jameson was scheduled to be in childcare so we could all ski) was The Best. Despite what the forecasters told us, God gave us beautiful sun and clear skies.
And what about the pesky illness, the one that confined me to easy slopes that didn't tax my waning lung capacity? For the majority of the trip it worked out well, causing me to ski the same 'easy' slopes that my pregnant sister needed to be on. By halfway through the last day (that gorgeous sunny day?), the pregnant sister went in to rest, I felt the best I had yet, so I hit some black diamonds. Black diamonds, from the top of the mountain, that I hadn't done in years, all by myself, not falling. Thanks God. What a sweet gift to end the trip.
But it didn't stop there. A two-year-old with no nap who was an absolute angel on the plane. God's handiwork? I think so.
It was easy to feel sorry for myself in the tough moments, to question God and wonder where He was in the midst of things not going my way. But once I let go of my way, once I looked for Him, recognized Him, thanked Him, I realized all the big and little ways He had been there all along.
He went on vacation with me, and that made all the difference.