Merry Christmas everyone! As I was sitting here this morning reflecting on the meaning of Christmas, and what sacrifice it really was for God to send Jesus, and the sacrifice it was for Jesus I had to think back to our day yesterday. If you just indulge me for a moment I have quite the story to tell. Let me start at the beginning…..
Tuesday was a busy exciting day as the kids and I did all the last minute things to prepare for our long drive to Sarasota Florida. We left our house around 6:30pm with a little less enthusiasm as the kids were already fighting and we didn’t even make it 5 miles up the road. Needless to say I was at that point that you get to when in a confined space with 4 fighting kids….”Why didn’t I pack some wine?” Anyway things settled down and we buzzed down the road. We drove in rain the entire way until we hit the Florida line. By noon Wednesday we had made it to our destination. We were exhausted and the last 20 miles talking about who would get the shower first and how a bed would feel so wonderful. I walked to the front door of our rental house looking for the hiding spot of the key but the key was no where to be found. We checked and rechecked and checked the house number again. Yes we were definitely at the right house. Zach walked around back and found that the back door was opened. I was on the phone with the homeowner when Zach opened the front door with a weird look on his face. He said “I think someone is already staying here.” WHAT?! this couldn’t be. I was waiting for a call back from the homeowner hoping he was going to say we were a little early and they were coming to clean up and leave. We all had to use the bathroom so we did only to find water in the tub and toiletries all over the sink. I started at this point getting the feeling these people were here to stay. We got the call that there was a mixup and they thought we were coming next year. Oops! The homeowner felt awful. We were so tired! I tried to tell the kids and mostly myself that we will one day look back on this and laugh but today is NOT that day. Thankfully there was another apartment that my mother in law and sister in laws were staying in close by that we could go to because they hadn’t arrived yet. We had the option to stay there but we then we would’ve displaced them and knowing first hand how that felt didn’t think it would be nice. We went there so Kent could at least sleep awhile. I made some phone calls, talked to some strangers, and got taken into a strangers very stinky scary looking house, all in hopes that a place would miracously show up. But alas every “inn” was full. There was no room for all 7 of us. Room for 4, but I just couldn’t get rid of anyone. (Though 300 miles ago I would’ve gladly thrown a couple of them out because the fighting had started back up). Then Kent’s aunt called and said she found a house that the owner wasn’t coming until Tuesday that we could stay in. YAY!! Praise God!! But, its been empty since April and may be dirty….Oh well at this point I didn’t care. We went and looked at it and it didn’t seem to bad. We went back and woke up Kent. He had been blissfully sleeping for 2 hours. When we got a closer look it was waaay dirtier than I thought. Ok who cares right? I’m not afraid of a little dirt, BUT bugs and especially cockroaches……well that’s a whole other thing. The kids all picked bedrooms and when I walked into ours I discovered why they all passed……there were ants and cockroaches everywhere. On the floor, the walls, the windows, and as I carefully pulled back the covers….gasp…in the bed!!!! We got to work cleaning. Found a sweeper and some cleaning supplies. Each time I came across a cockroach my heart skipped a beat. I stripped the bed and washed all the sheets and bedding. By this time I am so tired because I didn’t sleep much on the ride here and had taken my turn driving as well. Kent decided to take the boys grocery shopping and told me to shower and lay down (on another bed of course). He left and I opened up our Rubbermaid tote. ( We had 4 totes that we put on the back of the Expedition on a platform) All of our clothes were soaked. Not just damp, but dripping wet!!! I quickly checked the kids totes, and thankfully they were all dry. I dug out our soaps and shampoo and went to the bathroom. I thought well I don’t have clean dry clothes but at least I can take a warm shower and I’ll figure out what to do after that. A shower will make it all better. I walked into the bathroom and you guessed it….more cockroaches. At this point I calmly picked them up and flushed them. I am to tired to care. I open the shower curtain uh huh, more bugs. I washed them down the drain. Then tried to turn on the shower. The water worked but the shower head did not. Ok well I’ll just take a bath then. Well the drain plug was broken. So as I stand there in my birthday suit in a cold tub, I actually said out loud…ok very loudly…”Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!” Seriously what more could go wrong? So I awkwardly kneel trying to splash lukewarm water on myself and wash my hair. When I’m about 3/4’s of the way done I notice another drain plug behind a bottle of shampoo that was already in the shower. YESSSS! I plug up the hole and sit back to relax as I let the tub fill. And all of a sudden I’m feeling things bump against me. MORE FREAKING BUGS!!!!! There were some between the shower curtains and when the water filled up they had no where to go but in the water and on me. Believe it or not, I didn’t scream, I didn’t move, I just sat there. First time in my life I’ve ever had a bath with so many bug buddies. I think I may have hallucinated from exhaustion at this point because the rest of my “bath” was a bit of a blur. I got out wrapped a towel around my head and body and sit on the edge of my bed waiting for some clothes to dry so I can get dressed. As I sat there I had a heart to heart with God. I had been praying for weeks that this would be an amazing, memory filled vacation. Why was He letting all this happen? Why was it my room and bed that had the bugs, my clothes that got wet, me that had the first bug laden bath? Then I had to think about how Jesus left all His comforts of heaven to come here. His first hours of life were spend in a barn that I’m sure was much dirtier and smellier than my house. He took on all the pain and shame so I wouldn’t have to. And I’m sure He did it willingly and gladly, not shouting while naked in the shower “Are You KIDDING ME FATHER?” So I was a bit convicted and overwhelmed all at the same time. He gave it all, bore it all, and loved so deeply just for me. I wouldn’t have wanted any of my kids to have to sleep in a bug filled room and bed, have wet clothes or take a bath with bugs. I would be paying for therapy to help them overcome that for years to come. No, I gladly and willingly take on the inconveniences so they can enjoy this vacation. Honestly people, I do not make this stuff up!!! I don’t know why the crazy stuff happens to me but it does and I have a choice…I can get mad or I can look at it as a privilege that I get to experience it, so I can learn something and share with you. And hopefully make you laugh a little along the way. Merry Christmas all from warm, sunny, bug filled Florida!!
PS…we are very thankful for this house!! Its a wonderful blessing.