Thankful for twists, turns, and rocky roads

I think our GPS has a hidden setting for “take every little known back road imaginable.” Like it was a viable option in place of “avoid toll roads” and “fastest route.” It seemed our GPS found a route that used roads I didn’t know existed between I-86 and our house. Even if I did know they existed they sure weren’t in 12.passenger.rear.wheel.drive.van.winter.driving.condition. AND, since we were on little known back roads, we were at the mercy of the GPS we just kept driving. Josh just kept driving. I was internally (and a little bit externally) frustrated.

Our family devotion from a few nights ago compared/contrasted following God and following a GPS.

God’s leading may not always make sense to us. For one thing, his choice of route may not be a straight line. He may lead us off the highway, against traffic or through a random desert. He may take us in a complete circle and bring us right back where we started. He may lead us out into the middle of an ocean and then tell us to make a U-turn.

The GPS only considers where want to go and the shortest way to get there. God considers an infinite eternity that includes where we begin, where he wants us to go and what we need to learn along the way.

If we trust God to guide us, one day we’ll look back on our life and see just what an incredible journey it was.

As frustrated as I was with our GPS directions on a trip down unknown, insufficiently plowed backroads… my journey through the last few weeks has been trying even more-so.  I mentioned on Wednesday night that our last week and a half had been “interesting.” My strep throat kinda capped off the whole craziness (or so I thought on Wednesday night before it all got worse on Thursday!). What I didn’t mention is that Monday the week before I got one of those dreaded calls from the school nurse. And I totally wasn’t expecting it.

‘Cause see I (mostly) jokingly called our Elementary school nurse my “bestie” and told her I missed her when a few days had passed without her needing to call and update me on which child bonked their head, tripped and skinned a knee, got hit in the face (again), or needed a bandaid for a small (yet world ending) cut. I may have 3 kids in Elementary school but I’m starting to think our number of calls from the nurse exceed what is to be expected… they are accident prone.

So, having just volunteered at school that morning, seeing the nurse’s number on my phone I was expecting the typical, “Hi Jill. How are you? Just need to tell you that (Joel, it is mostly Joel) was bumped in the face again…” But instead it was a substitute nurse and she said one of those things that put fear in most moms.

lice

Someone else’s mom had discovered lice, so everyone in the class was checked and one of mine had lice.

I’ve had my fair share of experience with lice. At camp about a decade or more ago there was a HUGE outbreak in our state and there was more lice checks and treatment than I care to recollect. We’d also had it in our house about 7 or 8 years ago.

But we had less kids then.

There are a lot of girls in our house. Who have a lot of hair. Who have a lot of pillows/stuffed animals/blankets etc.

So we spent the other week cleaning, washing, drying, spraying, and quarantining e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g…

and then there was the hair.

The girls often share a few hair brushes so…

treating, combing, nit picking, blow drying… ad nauseam.

(I’ve decided I will never again say nitpicking to describe a tedious, detail oriented task. Nothing… nothing compares to nit picking. nothing.)

My girlies had to endure the hours of “not fun” with me.

And then Avari says this to me. See we were in the car and I asked her (like I do sometimes), “What are you thankful for?”

She answers, right away, no pause, no hesitation, no sarcasm, just full on 5 year old honesty and perspective I wish I had as an adult, “Oh mama, I’m so thankful for you taking all this time and being so careful to take care of all the bugs. Because if you didn’t they wouldn’t go away and they’d lay more eggs and there would be more bugs and they’d never be gone. So I’m so thankful for you taking all the time to take good care of us.”

img_5536It isn’t easy to sit to get your hair combed through 2 (or more) times a day wimg_5542hen you are 5. It isn’t nice to have your favorite dolls taken away to quarantine. It wasn’t fun to miss school.

But in the midst of a twisty, curvy, bump in the road of her life Avari found thankfulness. Thankfulness in the middle of hardship. She learned about a mama’s care through the hours sitting in a chair while I combed her hair.

Having faith like a child you know? How many times has the route God has for my life taken me anywhere but on the straightest, fastest path. What if I step back for a minute to see what God is doing through the journey?

Thanks Avari for reminding me to find thankfulness in the middle of the struggle.

The GPS only considers where want to go and the shortest way to get there. God considers an infinite eternity that includes where we begin, where he wants us to go and what we need to learn along the way.

If we trust God to guide us, one day we’ll look back on our life and see just what an incredible journey it was.

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