For the month of November, I participated in a daily Gratitude Challenge offered by the Revive Our Hearts radio ministry. Yesterday was the last day of the challenge and it was definitely worth the extra few minutes it took each day.
I knew when I signed up for this challenge, to expect some curve balls thrown by that sneaky little devil who would try to convince me of all the areas in my life that I should whine, grumble, and complain.
In mid-November we traveled to West Palm Beach for Joel’s work. These were our views for three days, along with the balmy 72 degree weather. Sounds like something to be grateful for, right?
What you can’t see in these photos, is that four out of five of us were sick!
In fact, we spent the majoirty of our West Palm trip in the hotel room aching, coughing, sneezing, and blowing our noses. The kids and I actually only got out for a total of a couple hours the entire time, and the farthest we walked was to find a grocery store for more cold medicine, cough drops, and boxes of tissue. Poor Joel had to continue in meetings and sessions all day, every day.
The Gratitude Challenge really became a challenge at that point. BUT, because we spent so much time in the room, I was able to complete each day’s Bible reading, plus I finished reading a book I’d started earlier in the month about, you guessed it, GRATITUDE!
SO here’s how I ended up looking at this thing. God gifted me a few days away in a hotel room with great views and the people I love, to read, watch episodes of I Love Lucy, and take daily naps.
And I still got to attend a fancy-schmancy banquet dinner downstairs with my Honey for the company he works for (armed with a purse full of tissues, ibuprofen, and cough drops).
The little bit of time that the kids and I did get out and walk around, we discovered the cutest little French Patisserie! Madeline and I love all things French so this was a delightful treat!
They offered an exciting array of macarons. We picked out several to take back to our hotel, and they packaged them in a pretty pastry box, tied with a pink ribbon, and placed in a chic striped bag. It doesn’t take much to amuse me.
The architecture around our hotel was like something out of old Hollywood. Heading back from our medicine run, we passed through this covered walkway that displayed wonderful art deco features.
And these kiddos didn’t let even the yuckiest days get them down. You know, even as we were driving home for ten hours with all of us sneezing and coughing like a pack of barking dogs and just wanting to be in our own beds, they were laughing, singing, and having a blast. Now, we all had our cranky moments but there were too many positives to allow us to linger in the negative.
At one point coming home, we took a break at a rest stop for restroom breaks and stretching our legs. We let Wilton run around on the grass for a while (he was the one who didn’t get sick, therefore he had energy to burn). Joel and I stood there watching him, leaning on each other, kind of propping each other up in our pathetic ill states. We both just started laughing and simultaneously acknowledged that the whole ordeal had finally reached a comical level.
We were soooo thankful to arrive at home late that night, dump our stuff, and crawl into our beds. The next morning I woke, threw my back out, and discovered the battery in my van had died. As they say, never a dull moment! So let the crazy life adventures AND the gratitude continue because God’s grace is sufficient for me!