When my cell phone chimed at 7 a.m., I knew the news wouldn't be good.
"I'm sorry, Rox, but we're going to have the cancel the trip again."
It was my mother, bearing news of health issues on the home front; concerns that would cause her long-laid plans to take our 9-year-old on a trip to Kansas to a screeching halt - for the second summer in a row.
Last time, a lot of money was lost. But more than that, it was a huge disappointment to my son, who had been waiting for his first plane ride, and to the hosts who'd waited two summers with filled-out itineraries in anticipation of his visit.
I shared some of the details on Peace Garden Mama earlier this week, but in blogging, there are always more things to be said. And today, I can't help but trace back the hours that followed that phone call. Because I might need a reminder a few months from now.
At first, my mind went to logistics. If I were to go in my mom's stead, as she'd suggested last and now this summer, would it even be possible? Could I pull off changing work and home plans to make the trip happen? I had a lot of factors to consider.
I knew a reversal would cause some complications, so I paused. I decided not to move in any direction right off. Instead, after turning off the phone, I laid back down and prayed.
"What is your will God? What are the more important factors here? I don't want to do anything that is against what You would want."
I prayed these and other words, and then I turned to Mary, reciting some Hail Marys to be assured of her guidance as a fellow mother agonizing over something involving her son.
But I couldn't pray all day. We were on a timeline. My mom had requested a decision in four hours; after all, the plane would be leaving in 16. So I got up and began making phone calls to see if the lights would be green or red. "If they're all red, Lord, I'll surrender and turn back. If they're green, I'll make it work somehow."
I knew, at that point of jumping off, that I had to trust God with the details. If He wanted this trip to happen, He'd have to help me find a way. "What do you want me to do, God? Show me what steps to take."
God often works through others to reach us. It took a handful of people to say, "Yes, I can help out," but in the end, I was blessed by a week of precious time with my son -- my fourth child who rarely has had me all to himself for more than a few minutes at a time.
Our adventures included time at Wonderscope children's museum:
Deanna Rose Farmstead:
The Golden Corral for a birthday celebration:
Moon Marble Company:
Some time in the pool, both outdoor and indoor, with a new friend:
And gathering with a dear childhood friend:
We also did a little flower-gazing:
As well as a whole lot of Olympics-watching, card-playing and eating some of our favorite foods.
And we were able to attend Mass, despite the fact that our hosts are not Catholic. They wanted us to see the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and I was thrilled to follow their lead and be, again, blessed.
Before the trip, I had no idea what I was in for. I hadn't paid attention to the plans that had been unfolding for months leading up to takeoff; it was my son's trip, not mine. So every day was a surprise.
And as it turns out, I was in desperate need of some pulling-away time.
We returned Wednesday night, our hearts filled to the brim. Now that the trip is over, I can see God's fingerprints all over this adventure in ways I could not have anticipated a week ago.
It's not easy -- this surrendering to God's will. Our natural inclination is to take control of the reigns. But I learned, as I have before, that giving Him a chance to respond before taking action generally leads to beautiful things.
(P.S. Prayers have been answered in a positive way regarding the health concerns; we are very grateful!)
Q4U: Share of a time you let God plan an adventure in your life.