Everything Can Go Wrong. You Can Still be Thankful!

cruise ship against beautiful sunset sky

I suppose the breaking point could have been when the TSA agent pulled Sarah out of line and required additional information to prove she wasn’t taking a child on a plane against their will, which apparently is standard policy whenever they see a “child in distress.” Indeed, Sadie was pitching quite a fit, protesting the stroller straps that kept her from running freely all over the airport. The TSA agent had no idea. It had been a week. Sadie was done, and so were we. But that’s not where things began.

My week “off” started with a 6 a.m. workout prior to going to the airport. Once there, I met a man while waiting in line for food at Frontera. A quick chit-chat led him crying as he informed me his 53-year-old brother was in a coma, and most likely would die by day’s end. I asked if I could pray for him, then staying bold, I put a hand on his shoulder and prayed out loud for him in the middle of Frontera.

I have never done that before. But the experience was something I pondered during the week to come.

San Diego began incredibly. The zoo, some good meals, and before we knew it, we were on the Disney Cruise. “Let the Magic begin,” we were told.

Did it ever!

Ben began puking early Tuesday morning. The nights blend into one, so Sarah will have to verify the chronological order of what I am about to share, but I can assure its accuracy. The puking was followed by stomach issues too vile to describe. So as the ship bounced around the bumpy Pacific – a factor we only thought of too late – Ben became “made new.”

The following night began with Ben getting sick again, this time all over the room. “All over” included his sister Sadie sleeping in the pack-and-play. So, we cycled kids through the shower around 1130 p.m. To up the level of parenting difficulty, the toilet clogged. So, enter the repair man into the dungeon of doom.

It wouldn’t be his last visit…

By morning, Will joined the party. Rinse and repeat. Literally. As the ship bounced through the Pacific, I had that feeling you get when you know the doctor is going to ask you to do something you know is going to be painful. It was only a matter of time until Sadie would get sick.

Needing perspective, I asked the family to pray. So, we did. We thanked God for the problems we had, which in retrospect might be a little selfish to thank God we only have “these problems” and not the ones we really don’t want, but it was perspective we needed. These were #firstworldproblems! We closed by asking God to heal, and keep the rest of us healthy.

Thanks be to God, He did.

Will puked all over the place Wednesday afternoon, and by Thursday Ben was still having stomach issues – as I write these words in the United Club Friday afternoon, he is STILL having stomach issues! –but, we survived. Of course, the cleaning people on the Disney Cruise might think otherwise given the number of sheets they changed, and as I mentioned earlier, there was another repair man visit when the toilet stopped working at 3 a.m. Friday morning.

But we made it.

We made it!

Walking down the ramp I was as happy as I was that morning in Paris when I heard Pat Hughes say that the Chicago Cubs were World Champions. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I was still pretty darn happy to leave the dungeon of doom behind.

“That was SO much fun,” Ben told us as we drove away. Channeling my inner Clark W. Griswold, I looked at him like he was possessed by the devil. Fun?

But you know what? He was right. Interspersed in all the fireworks were moments of fun with my sisters, their husbands, and our nieces. All of these were times to cherish! Plus, our kids never had a frown – seriously, this is something they inherited from Sarah – and I could not be prouder of their attitudes.

As we left, and as I quickly transition back to bald in business – a trip to Vienna is no less than 48 hours away – I leave with new perspective. I often hear people say that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. Gag me. Of course, he does. But when life happens – and it will keep happening until He fixes this broken world forever –dealing with more than you can handle is prime time for looking up to Him. With His help, you can handle anything.

For, He is good all the time.

And thank God for dry ground, an amazing wife, and clean home!