Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest. ~Matt 11:28
Do you ever just sit back in amazement at how God worked out a situation or how he provided for a need or even how he cares about our wants too? It is so easy to take things for granted, especially the little, everyday things. It's usually in the big stuff that we step back and say, "wow, I can't believe God did that". I know I'm guilty of taking things for granted everyday, even though I try hard not to. One thing that I am so thankful for right now is how God opened so many doors and made provision in so many ways for Ben and I to have a vacation, just the two of us.
We love our kids and we love to spend time with our kids but, we are always with our kids. Any time we get alone is precious because it does not happen often. There are not a whole lot of people lining up to watch 6 kids so even finding a few hours alone out of the house is rare! When the opportunity for this trip came up and we first started talking about it I honestly did not let myself get excited because I just thought there is no way this can all work out. It was before Tess was even born that Ben came home and said that sometime this winter he would have to head out to San Diego to....do something work related. I swear I listen when he talks about work but I retain so little, haha! I was very overwhelmed at the thought of being alone for a week after just having had a baby, in the winter, for him to take this trip. Then I asked if this was a trip where it made sense for me to come with him. He really loved that idea so the wheels started turning on how we could make it work. One great thing about this particular trip is Ben could pretty much choose any week he wanted (another blessing!) so we had some flexibility with dates.
We had our doubts that any one person would feel capable of taking all 5 kids. At the time we planned to take Tess with us. And we were right. So the daunting task before us was finding enough willing people to take a few each. I prayed so hard that if this was God's will he would make it clear and show us who to ask for child care. And he provided in an amazing way. It was settled that Will & Jena would be with Ben's parents and Alex & Lianne would take Noah, Owen, and Gabe. All 5 would be up in the county so we had to make plans to take extra time off to get them all there and back. An 8hr car ride one way isn't exactly something you can do in a day with kids. Then our beautiful and lovely Tess was born and it was made clear early on that she was not the traveling sort of baby. Like Gabe, Tess hates her car seat, therefore hates the car for any extended period of time. Our trip would require a lot of traveling. Not only do we drive 8hrs to drop the kids off but we have that 8hr drive back, a 2hr bus ride to Boston and a flight to California...and then do it all in reverse not to mention any traveling and sightseeing we'll do once in California. So I prayed and prayed about what to do. I Even told Ben we should cancel the trip because I just didn't think this would work out well with having Tess. Then a good friend of mine in passing mentioned she'd take Tess if I needed. I didn't take it seriously at first but prayed about it for a week. After having a peace that I should ask her again about it I did. She told me that she had been praying that I would ask her to watch Tess because she really wanted to do this for me. So with tears running down my face I accepted her offer and began getting really excited! So Tess will be staying with my friend Anita and I can't even tell you how at peace with that I am. She told me yesterday she won't be taking her eyes off of Tess and I know she won't and that Tess will be in great hands...what a blessing!
Not only has God provided for childcare but he has also provided financially. This trip is basically at no cost to us...how amazing is that! The only expense we have is my plane ticket, which we got an amazing deal on and any shopping/sightseeing we want to do. Ben's flight, our meals, hotel and rental car are all paid for by his work. With the cutbacks they have been making at the Shipyard recently we were not sure this trip would happen because they have cancelled some travel. Any trainings, conferences or travel that is not specific to a project is cancelled...if I am understanding it all right. Ben's travel is project oversight....he manages a few people at the detachment out there and is checking in on what they're doing and getting familiar first hand with what they are working on. Again, Praise God!
So it is safe to say that the whole family is very excited about the coming two weeks. The older boys are thrilled to be staying with "Aunt" Lianne & "Uncle" Alex. They have some big plans like ice fishing and winter blitz. They cannot wait!! Keep them in your prayers that everyone would be safe and pray for Lianne, she is pregnant and they have 2 boys of their own. I had no idea she was pregnant when I asked them to watch the kids but she knew she was and said yes anyway. Will & Jena will be with Oma & Pepere and they talk about it everyday. They both ask me every morning if today is the day we are going. They love spending time with Oma & Pepere and I know they are in great hands & will be spoiled rotten! Pray for Dan & Shelley. And pray for Anita and Tess. Tess is doing well at night but I am praying she will sleep well being at a new place. She is generally a very easy baby so I pray she continues that way for Anita. Anita also has 3 children of her own so it was very kind of her to offer this! And pray for Ben and I that it would be a relaxing time and that we'd have great weather and that I would feel well. Morning sickness isn't fun but thankfully it's subsided for the most part. I only have days here and there now so I am praying that remains the case while we are out there. We are so, so thankful for this opportunity to actually do something just the two of us...especially with a new baby coming in the fall. God knew we were going to need this time of rest and refreshment and I cannot express just how thankful I feel to be able to do this. This is one thing I am NOT taking for granted!