God works in crazy and unexpected ways. My last blog was about the unofficial start to summer with Owen’s last day of a preschool behind us. It was about my hopes and fears for this summer, this new season that is upon us now. And in the midst of wondering how this summer will turn out, God decided to kick start our first week of summer with a bang, a total shock, a surprise. I’ll get to that more in a second, but let’s build up to it.
Memorial Day weekend was blast. We enjoyed dinner with Nana & Papa on Friday night. The boys played in their grassy yard (oh, how I miss grass). It was nice to visit with them and enjoy a meal together. Saturday, we hosted a MOPS & MOMSnext BBQ at our house. Including adults, kids and babies, we had 34 people at our house. Most of the fun was spent outside in the yard. No one seemed to mind the dirt. We just enjoyed our time together and we had plenty of good food. I’m learning and growing through hospitality. At one time I would have said having people over was my least favorite thing ever. But I’ve changed. God has changed my heart. I now truly love opening the doors of my home and Saturday left me tired, but also really happy. Sunday, I decided to have a quieter morning. I skipped the first gathering at our church and opted to tidy up the house after the BBQ and watch Pioneer Woman, do a little laundry. Owen has taken to going to church with Jeremy early, so that leaves just Graham and I to quietly get ready. Getting one kid out the door is delightfully simple. I love it. Graham and I made it to church and then everyone came home for naps. I napped as well and then settled in to read a good book on the couch. I was feeling all the holiday weekend vibes. And then the phone call came. The unexpected surprise…
My parents had left Sunday morning for week at the Sunriver Resort (south of Bend in Oregon). They were attending a conference there for my dad’s work. When they got their keys, they realized that they were given a 1300 sq. ft. 2 bedroom, 3 bath condo to stay in for the week. Since they had so much extra space, they asked if we could work it out to come down and join them. I have never gone away on a trip with less than 24 hours notice before. I spent the rest of Sunday in a scramble to prepare for being gone. I had MOPS to get covered and I had a bunch of play dates and summer plans to reschedule. Really awesome timing though – I had no book parties scheduled last week, I had just cleaned the house, the laundry done. I was totally set to be gone. I moved all my plans for last week into this coming week and I was ready.
On Monday morning, Jeremy (who was able to take vacation time) and I loaded up the boys and made the drive down to Sunriver. Since the condo came fully equipped with a kitchen, we met my parents at Walmart in Bend to do some grocery shopping before heading back to check out the pool and then go to dinner. We spent the rest of our week having lunch out and then making dinner ourselves. We had many adventures in Sunriver and Bend. We went to the High Desert Museum, Lava Butte and the Lava River Cave. We swam in the pool and hot tub every day, Jeremy took the boys golfing on the putting course, we went to the playground every day, walked all over the resort, threw sticks and rocks in the river, I finished my book and thanks to the full size washer/dryer came home with suitcases full of clean clothes ready to unpack. Simply put, we had an amazing time. A total surprise, out of the blue blessing. It’s been a long time since we took a week off to be together as family. It was the first trip we’ve really been on with no agenda or expectations. Each day was a gift. God gave us a vacation. The boys got t-shirts from the resort. Jeremy got a mug. I brought home three pine cones from resort. A totally free souvenir, but a powerful visual reminder that God is the giver of good gifts, that he shows up unexpectedly and blesses our socks off sometimes. I placed my pine cones on the window by my sink. I will see them every day and they will stand as an alter to God’s goodness.
I’m pretty much beaming, glowing with gratitude for our fantastic week away. I had the chance to go out of town at the end of April to two different conferences. My kids were home sick which made it hard to be away from them and anything with a “schedule” isn’t a vacation. I was just telling Jeremy two weeks ago that I’ve been day dreaming about travel. And then bam, a vacation was just handed to us. God is so good. I don’t expect to kick start every summer with a surprise vacation from God, but I will be thankful for this one. I will remember this blessing.
While I had reservations about our summer, this trip did wonders for my attitude. I am now filled up and ready for more fun. I ready to make more awesome summer memories. And this week will be packed full of good things as well. We have play dates, family birthday parties and I have dinner plans to reconnect with an old friend. These are good days. I love getting to invest in my family, into my friends, into my community. I am thankful for our Sunriver surprise and I am ready to share the love this summer.