Did I Mention that He Likes to Drive?

We heard the word “crazy” a few times and “Why?” was asked more than once. Yeah, we can be a bit unconventional at times. We do things differently. Like this week, we took off for a cross-country trek in the dead of winter. Have I mentioned that LeRoy enjoys driving?

He’d rather drive any time than fly. (He still has that truck driver blood running through his veins.) And I think most men love a challenge. We headed 900 miles west for a trip to record some interviews at Focus on the Family in the middle of January. Crazy?

The weather was perfect! So grateful that we had clear skies and smooth terrain. We love long drives, just taking time to get out and see a wider horizon, explore new terrain, and soak up the little surprises: elk in the fields, the largest road runner I’ve ever seen, a bunny who wanted to get in our car! We’re always up for experiencing something new on the road.

He finds the best places to eat on road trips!

Yes, I confess, the milkshake was mine, the first time I ever had a Nutella shake and it was as good as it looks! He spotted this place years ago, when he was traveling through Oklahoma but didn’t take time to stop, so we got to experience this for the first time together.

We made it to Colorado Springs with no problems at all, the biggest driving challenge was the twenty-miles-per-hour winds that pushed against us most of the last few hundred miles. When we checked into our hotel, they told us that they’d had a “dry hurricane” come through a few days before, with winds over 100 miles-per-hour. Never heard of anything like that!

See what I mean, about experiencing new things? Grateful we missed that one.

Maybe you don’t think driving 900 miles in January is a crazy idea, but that’s not the end of the story. Have I mentioned that LeRoy enjoys driving? When we left Colorado Springs, we headed due east, making our way to the other side of the U.S., loaded down with Christmas gifts, to see our kiddos who live almost a thousand miles away from us. And about 1500 miles from Colorado Springs.

Yes, people think we’re crazy.

We’re traveling cross country as I type this little post for you.

The trip east started well, with overcast skies and temperatures in the teens, but thankfully, dry weather through Colorado. As we headed toward the Midwest, we started hearing ominous reports of a massive winter storm, they even tagged it with a name: Jupiter. (And why is a winter storm named after a planet? I didn’t even know winter storms were named.)

Routing Around Jupiter

LeRoy is adding a few extra miles to our trip to route around the storm (we may be crazy, but we’re not foolish) and miss the ice. We started out this morning on a sheet of ice, but soon got north of the mess. Hopefully, we’ll reach our little ones before their bed time tonight.

While I type, and while I think about the many good things we’ve experienced this week, I keep mulling over this truth: God stores up an abundance of good things and it delights Him when we enjoy His gifts.

[box]“Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” (Psalm 31:19)[/box]

I confess, it is easier for me to list what I’m thankful for when I’m experiencing a flood of good gifts. But as I think about the gifts, I’m asking for this: “Father, please root me so deeply in the awareness of Your goodness, that I will receive affliction as well as good. And when, in Your wisdom, You see that it is best to send me affliction, remind me that You are the same good, good Father in affliction as you are in this season of blessing and adventure.

And, Father remind me of what You’ve impressed on me:

If I am truly committed to God’s glory—no matter what—then I will fully embrace every affliction He appoints for me. 

And dear readers, you can remind me of that as well. If you hear me whining, complaining, or sounding off with ingratitude, please remind me that His goodness is abundant and He deserves praise—no matter what.

Today, I’m deeply grateful for the good gifts we’re enjoying right now: a long ride with the man I love, experiencing new things with him (like Nutella shakes), an opportunity to see dear friends in Colorado, an expert navigator who is routing us around Winter Storm Jupiter, and a precious family we’re heading to see soon!

Can you list a few things you’re thankful for today?