I love going on vacation. But planning vacation? Not so much.
This year I planned not one, but three vacations – and only went on one. The unfortunate events unfolded like this:
Hubby and I deliberated at length and decided to vacation in Colorado. Hours of internet research (ughh!) resulted with a six day Colorado vacation plan. We would ride the Durango-Silverton train, and do all things Colorado (except snow skiing – which I gave up permanently after one ski trip that just seemed like an incredible amount of work).
Two days before we were to leave, we were notified of a family emergency. We would have to travel east for this family emergency (and Colorado is west of us).
Not to worry, though. Just ditch Vacation – Plan A and make new plans in an eastward direction. After more deliberation and internet research (ughh!), Niagara Falls became our eastward Vacation – Plan B. We would not be able to visit the Canadian side of the Falls because our passports had expired in 2014. But we decided to visit the American side.
At midnight before the day we were to head east, I reviewed our lodging arrangements. That’s when I saw it – I had booked us for lodging in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Did I mention our passports had expired in 2014?
Not many things make me wake up hubby at midnight. However, this was a qualifying event.
“Honey,” I frantically shook him awake. “I booked us in Ontario. I didn’t even know there was a Niagara Falls, Ontario! What are we going to go?”
“Hmmm…..guess we’ll have to make different plans,” he said as nonchalantly as Turn right at the next stop light.
I calmed down enough to get some sleep. Morning deliberations began (again) and concluded with nixing Niagara Falls until we had up-to-date passports. So vacation planning commenced again (ughh!) for Vacation – Plan C. I scoured the internet on my laptop (ughh!) in the car as we headed eastward.
Vacation – Plan C turned out fun and fascinating. Visited four Great Lakes and upper Michigan including Mackinac Island.
Quaint small town upper peninsula of Michigan
Point Iroquis Lighthouse on Lake Michigan
At the butterfly house on Mackinac Island
Rock used in Lake Michigan to help gauge water levels. If it’s covered – I think they’re in trouble!
Mackinac Island harbor. Don’t look too bad after eight hours on the island.
Bike traffic craziness on Mackinac Island. No cars allowed.
Soo Locks amazing! A must see if you go to Sault Ste Marie.
Canada in background from Sault Ste Marie. One can only LOOK OVER TO Canada when passports are expired.
Seashore along Lake Erie
Lake Erie – Luna Pier
While on Vacation – Plan C, this kept coming to mind:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-16
In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
I was reminded, once again, that God is in control. Do we still need to make plans? Of course. But God knows around the next corner. He knew the impending family emergency. And He knew (and might have laughed) as I planned lodging in a country I couldn’t even enter.
Plenty other things in life are way more significant and sorrowful than having to plan three different vacations. More than once in my life I’ve thought, “This isn’t the life I thought I’d signed up for.” Life hurts. Life can stink. But, I know I can’t stay there. So, the bigger questions to me are:
Am I OK with God being in control of my life – even if my entire life seems like Plan C?
Can I joyfully (or at least obediently) trust His plans?
Do I realize I’m just here for a little while (a mist) – and God has eternity in mind as He oversees His creation?
We can get frustrated, mad, or even bitter when life doesn’t go the way we wanted, intended, or thought it would go. But none of those responses are beneficial.
I am challenged to trust God, who gives grace to follow where He leads, and the grace and strength to deal with whatever life throws my way.
And I’m thinking that hanging out in God’s plan is the safest place to be!
PS – And if we hadn’t gone east, we might have missed our first-time-ever photo booth experience: