Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's Not Really About the Facts

We have arrived in Virginia. I am sitting at the dining room table that I'm borrowing in the townhouse that I'm borrowing for the next several months. I arrived and was overwhelmed with a great welcome! The townhouse is beautiful -- way more space than Dominyk and I need (which is SO weird). I haven't had too much space in .... well.... since a few months after we were married.

If you don't know the whole story, Bart and I were married in June of 1996. By January of 1997 we had two toddlers and by December of 97 eight and eleven year olds had joined us. By the following Christmas we had added four more kids and ... well, you get the picture.

So extra space is weird. But I digress....

Let me tell you about our welcome. I was greeted with friendly people who were happy to help Dominyk unload. Dinner was delivered. There were flowers and muffins on the table. There was even a surprise from God -- a beautiful sunset.

Our drive today was nearly perfect. If you have not driven through the mountains of Virginia you really need to -- and then keep going for another 90 minutes and visit us! The roads were dry and the weather was perfect. When we finished unloading Dominyk was incredible! He put everything in the room it belonged it. He offered to make my bed and hang the shower curtain. He even fed me dinner. I'm loving the honeymoon!

But if you asked me about yesterday, I would have told you that it felt like it was straight out of Lemony Snicket... a series of unfortunate events ... or Alexander with his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Here's how it went.

First four hours were awesome. I was alone, it was quiet (well, after the first 15 minutes where Dom had a very loud, explosive anxious meltdown, but after that it was great!). The dogs and Dom slept. I prayed. The roads were dry and clear and there was little traffic.

And then we hit Madison, Wisconsin and it all went down hill from there. The roads started to get icy. And they stayed either, snowy, icy or wet for the next 13 hours. There was road construction. There were multiple accidents. It took 6 hours to get around Chicago and I never went over 40. The trip, which should have taken 12 hours, took 16 and a half. I got a donut caught in my throat and threw up all over my only shirt (my extras were packed way underneath a bunch of stuff). The dogs got into a fight in the backseat. Dominyk thought he lost his wallet and obsessed about that for 30 minutes. The Steak and Shake we stopped at had horribly slow service, so we took it to go which was not good for the dogs who hadn't eaten all day. My mediocre milkshake ended up getting spilled on the shirt I had purchased to change into after I puked on shirt number one. And then, once we got to the hotel at 11:00 pm, I ended up slamming my finger in the bathroom door. AND I got a bloody nose and bled all over the new shirt that was already covered in milkshake.

THOSE are the facts.

But you know what? I went to bed happy. I went to bed grateful that I wasn't in one of the accidents. I went to bed thanking God for giving me stamina (I hadn't driven 16 hours straight without help since I was 30!)

And I realized that life is never really about the facts. It's about our response to the facts. I reported the negative things that happened because I thought the whole thing was getting more entertaining by the moment. But all those things that happened didn't steal my joy.

This is true of so many things. Life hands us lemons -- God makes lemonade. I wrote a blog entry five years ago called "My Blog is a Lemonade Stand"

So I guess you could say that I spent yesterday drinking lemonade that God made out of lemons. I pray that God will help you face your next set of negative facts the same way!

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