just what the doctor ordered

And by doctor, I actually mean God, the Great Physician, the one who knows just what we need when we need it–and provides a way for us to get it. Brimming over with thankfulness this muggy Monday afternoon.

Let me back up a bit.

A few weeks ago, Gabe told me that his mom & dad and his brother & his fam would be heading down to Orlando, FL for the 2nd annual Bubba’s Bash. If you follow golf, you know Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters Champion. Long story short, he and Gabe’s brother Tug (a concert promoter) met at a concert awhile back and hooked up to create Bubba’s Bash, a crazy mix of musicians and fun people singing their heads off to raise $ for a hospital in Kenya (Gabe’s mom started a ministry there a few years ago).

Anyway. They wanted Gabe to come down too. He said he wasn’t going to go. Then he changed his mind. An all-expenses-paid trip to FL? With seafood buffets? (Gabe’s love language) And hanging out with Bubba Watson and Duck Dynasty and rappers and country music stars and whathaveyou, taking pictures (one of Gabe’s big loves)?

Sounds a leeeetle too good to pass up. So he decided to go.

And I’ll be honest. It was a hard pill for me to swallow. Because here’s the deal. I like to be on the go. Remember that time our family went to 52 Zoos in 52 Weeks? And then Cambodia for 5 weeks? Remember that we came back from Cambodia thinking we were going to move there? Remember that we decided to homeschool our girls so we’d be free to leave town (or the country) at a moment’s notice?

Then remember that Gabe started having panic attacks and everything came to a screeching halt?

Since we got back from Cambodia in January 2012, we’ve taken 3 trips. One to a camp in NY for the weekend four hours away (where Gabe experienced a fair amount of anxiety), one to SC with my fam (where Gabe ended up in the ER) and another one to camp (where I spoke at Family Camp Week, Gabe had anxiety, and God also gave us a few days of miraculous peace).

And then we decided to host a foreign exchange student back in October which has canceled out the homeschooling freedom thing, since we take her to school every day and pick her up and can’t just have her skipping school on a whim.

So. No traveling in almost a year. The girls homeschooling themselves (or not) while I take over as breadwinner for big chunks of time when Gabe is having a rough patch. No visits to my sister’s in SC anymore, because the trip is too much for Gabe.

Now he’s going to Florida to party while I stay in Ohio, try to make ends meet, take Cherry to school, and try not to wallow in bitterness.

Help me, Jesus.

And then I got an idea. The girls and I would go to SC to visit my sister. I called her. She was going to be out of town that weekend. I hung up the phone and cried. She called back. They rearranged their schedule for us. Glory.

Then a bit of a fiasco with the arrangements for Cherry. Glory to God for working out a plan for her to stay with some wonderful people and not have to miss 3 days of school and sit for 18 hours in a mini-van.

The girls and I left Wednesday morning at 5:39, stopped 2 quick times, and pulled in to Daniel and Steph’s driveway at 2:30pm. And had the most glorious, beautiful, perfect time.

Seriously. It was everything we needed. Just exactly what we needed. I missed Gabe, but I didn’t miss the anxiety (and he didn’t have a whole lot of it in FL). My baby sister (9.5 years younger than me) babied me (in a good way) for 4 straight days.

Homemade sea salt caramels (I could die), homemade mac-n-cheese, homemade chicken lettuce wraps (be still my heart), homemade breakfast casseroles, veggies w/homemade ranch, homemade salsa, and on and on and on.

Settlers of Catan every naptime (she has a 3yo and a 9mo) and night, Ticket to Ride Europe, Balderdash, Up and Down the River, Bum, Quirkle (that I got at a yard sale on Saturday for $1). The girls and I looooooooove games. So does Steph. And Daniel likes them too.

Cuddling with my beautiful (and hilarious) niece and my adorable (and squishy) nephew, reading books and blowing bubbles and laughing, laughing, laughing.

Thursday was a (FREE) trip to the zoo. WE FED GIRAFFES. It’d been awhile since I fed a giraffe. One of my all-time favorite activities of ever and ever all-time. We got Icees. We fed goats. The Riverbanks Zoo is so, so pretty. I just walked around the whole time with warm fuzzies.

Friday we picked strawberries. They were on sale and SO delicious. The girls had never picked them before. And we went to a fun Mexican restaurant for dinner.

Saturday we went yard-saling. I hadn’t gone in years. We scored big. Brand-new double Bananagrams ($24.95 value) for $1. The girls got a bunch of Creative Memories stamps/stamp pads for 25 cents and 50 cents. They got scrapbooking paper for making cards. I got some Pampered Chef stuff for super cheap. And like-new soccer cleats for Livi. And some other fun games. And a beautiful basket.

I spent $ on gas and tolls, $4 to feed giraffes, $7 for Icees, $25 at yard sales, $20 on strawberries, and $10 to eat on the way home. Everything else was on the house. And Gabe’s entire weekend was free. And he brought me back some super-delicious, not-so-cheap coffee that cost him zero.

Such a huge, huge blessing.

Now we’re all back together, and somehow, everything just feels better, lighter, free-er than it did before our trip. There’s a baby turtle (not our tortoise, Atlas) loose in our house somewhere (don’t ask), but other than that, I just feel happy and sweaty (we’re a little bit afraid to turn on our A/C that is 23 years old and supposed to only make it 17 years) and full of hope that things are going to get brighter.

Thank you, God, for simple, beautiful, wonderful pleasures. You’re so, so, so good.

Received any blessings lately you’d like to share?

13 thoughts on “just what the doctor ordered

  1. Sheree Griffin

    So happy you and your fam got a respite from it all. My blessing: biopsy results show NO evidence of “C” !!!!!

  2. Lisa Basner

    Wow – what a wonderful time you all had! I saw all the pictures on fb of the zoo and Bubba Bash. I have to say, I’m more jealous of Gabe – I LOVE Duck Dynasty!! 😉

    Blessing – I came down to stay with my folks for a while due to health issues, depression, being completely overwhelmed…….and God turned the whole thing around. He has made it possible for us to move close to family – something I’ve been wanting to do for some time, but I didn’t know how it could possibly happen! He provided amazing renters for my house in Maine (a wonderful family with 4 kids that want to buy it if I choose to sell!), and we are buying a cute little house (oh so adorable!) less that a mile from my folks! God has provided so much more that I could have ever asked or imagined! All of that happened in less that 3 weeks! AMAZING! And, my health is improving. It’s amazing how God orchestrates things in such a way to get our attention, so He can work.

  3. Bethany

    Wow, your trip sounds amazing! I’m so glad how it all worked out and that you got to have a blast with the Bashams! Love you!

  4. Sharon

    Marla,

    Please do a post on the baby turtle loose in the house!!!! I’m so curious as to the story behind that.

    I’m so glad things worked out for you and the girls to get away, too. Trusting God for some blessings over here ASAP.

  5. brooke

    i ran in a 5K this weekend to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. The cause is dear to my heart because 2 of my boss’s 3 children have the disease. Praise God the treatments for the disease have come such a long way, both kids participated in the race. In the last half, I could hear the daughter behind me (she’d cough every now and again as CF patients will do). Then at the end, she found an afterburner I didn’t have and blazed by me. Those kids are walking…erm…running miracles!

  6. Stephanie

    We paid off our car last week, and found out last Monday that insurance should cover Daniel’s wisdom teeth extraction. 🙂 And then I got another e-mail inquiry for another piano student, bringing this week’s new student count to 3. (Who starts piano lessons with only three weeks left in the school year?) I got 50% off some swim shorts this morning. They were the last pair, and happened to be in my size, in the color I wanted. 🙂

    And to top it all off… Daniel got two inquires for IT help over the weekend. We’re still waiting to see what those turn into, but both are for pretty major local clients. 🙂

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