Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mt. Olympus

It has been a pretty tough week at the Kastner house.  John has been in a SIGNIFICANT amount of pain for several weeks. Our minivan has been developing random minor ailments that are easy to fix but still  stressful (well except for one BIG one which resulted in a flat out MIRACLE). We found out last week that a "restructuring" of my department will likely leave me with a LOT more time (and a bit LESS money). And to add insult to injury I was body slammed with the worst seasonal allergies I have had this year (and I was out of my EXPENSIVE allergy meds). It's been a painful,  EXPENSIVE, difficult week.

Several months ago John and I discussed how we have NEVER (not even once) taken our children on a vacation. We have been on MANY vacations most of them with  (and payrolled by) Oma & Poppa.... a few for cheerleading competitions.... but just these six Kastners going away together, just us. .. it has NEVER happened before.  When we realized that,  we realized that it had to change. 

We stressed a little about how we would afford this trip (fine!  I stressed a little! John has this Bob-Marley-like personality that's like,  "It's only money, Mon.... we'll figure it out. ") but began making plans for the first ever Kastner vaca. I hemmed and hawed, dragging my feet to make the deposit.  I was terrified that the second we committed John's health would go again, someone would lose a job, the car would die,  or something. But finally there was no more time to delay. I had to make the reservation.  I did.  And the bad stuff happened: John's not doing well,  I'm unemployed,  our car is driving me NUTS with a new noise every day.... but you know what??? We went anyway.

And I won't lie. I am STRUGGLING with the worry that in the coming months we might need this money for groceries... or that we might have driven all the way out here for the car to BREAK DOWN.  but in spite of the worry in my belly, it's like my brain hasn't gotten the memo.  WE ARE HAVING THE TIME OF OUR LIFE! 

***the chaos of packing all our stuff in the car
***the LONG car trip complete with "Are we there yet?" every 2 seconds and an unplanned potty break to ensure a bladder didn't explode
***roller coasters, 

go karts,  

water slides,  hot tubs,  rock walls 

and MORE

***collapsing EXHAUSTED into our gorgeous room too tired to wiggle from having WAY to much fun

This morning contemplating the REQUIRED Starbucks trip that was coming (our room had no coffee maker... NONE) I started to feel the worry threatening to escape my belly and attack my mind again and then I heard God whispering, "My daughter,  have I not carried you before?  Have I not ALWAYS gotten you through?  What makes you think I won't carry you this time??? Rest.  Relax.  Enjoy your family vacation!"

So here are the lessons I have to share today:

1. I am human.  Even though I KNOW that God will carry us through each and every hurricane we face, I still worry.  It is still hard.  It is NOT fun.  It is okay to be human.

2. Satan never sleeps.  He never takes a break.  He doesn't think, "The Kastner family has had a rough road to travel: brain surgery,  money woes, pain,  sickness,  loss... I think I will just do them a solid and leave them alone on vaca." NOPE! He will prowl around trying to steal your joy at EVERY turn.  He will fight to destroy you every time.

3. I can beat Satan.  It doesn't take much actually.... simply allowing myself to have fun here.... praising when I feel like crying. .. refusing to allow my worry to make the trip from my belly to my mind. I CAN defeat Satan.

4. It's gonna be all right.  It really TRULY is. It might get messy.  I might not enjoy every moment.  I might come out a little battered and bruised but EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT! 

In closing,  I want to tell you that our children have already profusely thanked us a zillion times.  Jeremiah screamed,  "Best vacation EVER!" As he came round on the swings ride.  I had so much fun on the roller coaster I peed my pants (true story.... prolly TMI... but still TRUE story)... and this trip is SO blessed.  I see God's fingerprints EVERYWHERE.  For example,  when we made our reservations we were told that all outdoor parks close after Labor Day. So we would only have access to the indoor parks.... but when we arrived yesterday the outdoor amusement park was open and they told us the outdoor water park would be open today. ... so blessed!

So.... I'm gonna go try to have so much fun I pee my pants again... but the one thing I want you to remember is: IT'S GONNA BE ALL RIGHT!

Hang in there folks!

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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