Ben and I just returned from a mini vacation that tried really really hard to not work out. It started out as a group of 7 sharing a great cabin for a week in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. It changed to 4 people maybe going to TN. But oh wait, $4/gallon of gas and other factors—lets do 4 days in Brown County, IN. Wait wait, Amy made a big mistake…it can only be 3 days, a long weekend, in Brown County. Whoa—lots of rain! LOTS. In fact scary, massive flooding and all of the interstates and highways coming down from Indy are closed, more rain in the forecast, non emergency travel is a big no-no. No more Brown County as of mid-afternoon the day of. Wait, we can go north…it’s drier up there. Despite everything, we had a terrific weekend with wonderful friends and only 5 minutes of rain (talk about a pop up shower) in a virtually deserted campground and a tolerable temperature. I took a personal day on the first day of summer school so that I could go on this camping trip; good thing it was worth it!
I’m reading Tony Dungy’s memoir Quiet Strength (even though I’m only 2/3 of the way through, I highly recommend this!), and the message of this book seemed to really fit with the weekend. Blessings, especially in disguise, are abundant. Two specific examples: friends and Ben’s random knowledge.
I have found that since graduation, it seems like my friends are always doing bigger, better and cooler things than I am. They have awesome jobs & school experiences or else are buying much nicer houses & cars. I greatly dislike the jealousy that I feel at times. However, I really realized lately and this weekend that I gain so much from these people that it far outweighs whatever I am “lacking.” It was so nice to be able to spend a couple of days with a couple with similar beliefs and values, who obviously love each other and better yet love talking with each other. You can tell that they’re not just married but that they are truly friends. What a blessing to have this influence in our lives so that we can learn from them.
I sprayed insect repellent directly into my right eye on accident yesterday when I was trying to spray my shoulder. I thought that I had the nozzle turned but apparently did not. It really hurt, but as anyone should not do, I began freaking out without any idea how to help myself. All I kept thinking of is how I was going to have permanent damage because I was in the middle of a campground. Where & how was I going to wash my eye out? The label on the bottle said to pour water into my eye for 15-20 minutes. How in the world could I do this?? But then Ben came back, and never have I felt so humbly grateful for him…not just oh my gosh, I love him but how do I deserve this individual who takes care of my so patiently gently. Apparently, he had some sort of similar situation years ago at camp and helped me rig an eyewash with a cup full of water. What would I/we have done if he had not been in a situation before where he was around someone who knew what to do and thus taught him? It may have been painful for him earlier and it was certainly painful or me now, but who knows that maybe someday I’ll save someone else’s eyes from damage in the future because now I know what to do. Blessings can be painful too! May we all not only be thankful for unexpected blessings but become aware of them.
"You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it." Albert Camus