life as a "choose your own adventure" (seeing a blessing or a curse)
We swam at the pool and played at playgrounds and did all the things that little kids love doing. I was a little disappointed about not being able to see the ocean but it was mostly fine. Then July finds us in mid-summer. Everyone I know is going to or at the beach and it bummed me out, just a smidge. God paved the way for all of our monster bills to be paid and I asked Doug about a quick trip to the beach, even one night, just to see the ocean and fill up my soul before Fall came.
We started searching for a good deal, something within our teensy beach budget and nothing was coming up. Everything was going to be a few hundred dollars because most places required a three or four night minimum. But I kept looking, I figured, at the very least, I would stumble on a desperate beach home owner who would rather have someone in the house paying something then no one in the house paying nothing.
Being grumpy is a contagious sort of thing, you know. Once you head down that path, it's like descending down a mud covered hill, very hard to stop yourself. From the moment we stepped into that little beach condo, we choose the non-muddy hill. As a result, the blessings were easy to spot.
For example, when we got to the condo it was extremely HOT inside since no one had been in it. Doug had to climb up several flights of stairs to bring all of our luggage in, it was hours past the boys bedtime. Sound like a good place to start complaining? It sure does. But you know what? We cranked up that AC, opened up the door to the balcony and showed the boys how close we were to the ocean. Doug hauled all the luggage with no complaints. We set the course towards a happy thankful weekend.
Another example, here we are in a wonderful beach area, surrounded by a million things to see and do. Most of which cost a pretty penny. It would have been very easy to complain about not having the extra cash to run and just do all of those things, right? Instead we reveled in the fact that the ocean front was a stones throw away. We chose to show our kids the beauty in God's creation.
These two are just a couple of examples we bumped into. Daily we were presented with forks in the road and daily we CHOSE thankfulness. It's a choice we have to make constantly, whether at the beach or back in the real world.
Another amazing occurrence while we where there...we spent the mornings into early afternoon playing in the waves and sand and just enjoying things that didn't need a plug. One of these days a complete stranger approached me on the sand. She basically said "I've been watching you play with your kids. I feel like God wants to bless you so I want you to have these" and handed me $200 worth of tickets to a local amusement park. Now even in this HUGE blessing, there was a test. When we got to the park, the person tried to tell us that since we didn't BUY the tickets, we couldn't use them. While I mildly freaked out, my husband (who has an amazing ability to stay calm) talked to the manager and got them to take our tickets (they were unused, no reason for them not to) but even then, we could feel God saying "Choose the blessing".
I sincerely hope that if you are reading this, you have a blessed week, though not necessarily challenge free, but that you take the time to choose the blessing over the curse.