we've just returned from being out of town.
not to be confused with vacation. this was far from that.
and not just because patrick was working, but because it was mostly difficult.
the little trip west was beautiful! the drive was calculated at just under four hours. elijah and i made it in six.
which was two less than i figured it would actually be. so i was pleased. i think.
driving alone across the north dakota prairie land is not something i'd recommend to anyone.
and i am not sure i'll do it again. i braved it because i missed my husband,
and it's hard at home without him around to help and encourage, you know?
so, i packed up everything that elijah and i needed, and got on the road.
at first i was energized, and looking forward to joining patrick.
he was working to help a new verizon store get going in another town.
i was working to keep my sanity.
we stopped often. to retrieve toys from the floorboards or for rest stops.
this little trip, the driving and the hotel stay,
showed me that i am a long way from knowing what the heck i'm doing.
i felt inadequate.
and a little bit angry.
i think i was angry at myself.
my secret hope had been that this little trip would be fun and maybe even restful for me in some way.
it did turn out to be fun. but not in the ways i expected. but isn't that the story of life?
one thing i'd planned to do while exploring the great western prairie, was visit a friend.
kaylee was so sweet to invite me and elijah to her home for the afternoon.
we had a blast! it blessed my heart so deeply, chatting with kaylee and seeing her sweet, funny girls.
and i was super looking forward to seeing her and hanging out a bit. there was a tiny part of me that was terrified.
you see, i am not that comfortable in social situations yet, parenting with autism.
i don't know any less embarrassing way to tell you that. and you need to know, it isn't elijah. it's all me.
i am the one who is lacking confidence. i am the one who is fearful of how we are perceived.
this little visit with these special friends? it revealed a few things to me.
examples being, i have extreme anxiety and expect the worst. in others and myself.
not the prettiest things to see in yourself, i assure you.
but do you know what the lord did after i recognized this in me?
he calmed my spirit. he drew me close to himself. he helped me to relax.
he helped me to let go.
he made me enjoy that visit with my friends.
he allowed me to accept their love and hospitality, and not worry about anything.
i felt at home. well, i felt even more than at home.
at home, i don't sit down to eat. that afternoon?
i sat in a chair and let elijah wander all over the place, exploring new people and surroundings.
he tried on boots and hats, and we joined him. he unloaded shelves of cute toys. he didn't eat his lunch.
and it was all perfectly wonderful.
at the park i chased after my little runaway, and i didn't cry when we returned.
because i felt loved and supported. not judged and helpless.
the lord is working on me here, friends. in this crazy area of my life.
he used kaylee and her sweet girls on friday to show me...i am not alone.
i can have friends. i can stop judging myself, and ask for help when i need it and not feel ashamed.
i'm grateful for the precious parts of our little trip.
i'm even grateful for the wild, scary and not so precious parts.
one thing's for certain, elijah had a terrific time!
and every minute was growth for me. each moment was good for me.
praise the lord!
i will thank the lord with all my heart
as i meet with his godly people.
how amazing are the deeds of the lord!
all who delight in him should ponder them.
everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
his righteousness never fails.
he causes us to remember his wonderful works.
how gracious and merciful is our lord.