Not So Organized

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bundled up for the cold. Heading out to hike but was completey snug in Mommy's Moby wrap.
"Sometimes our lives are so organized that God can't get into them at all." Joyce Meyers

I love this quote by Joyce Meyers because it has my name all over it. I am a proud, card-carrying member of this club. I love, thrive and enjoy things--all things--laid out all nice and neat. Predictable, you could say.Needless to say, my life as of late is as far from organized as one could probably be. But you know what?

God is MORE present now in my disorganized, jumbled up life than ever before! I see Him working in ways that I most surely would have missed before when everything was "just so." Let me tell you about our weekend.

On a bit of a whim, we decided to take a whirlwind trip this weekend to Atlanta to check "seeing fall colors" off of Everly's Bucket List. We planned to cram a lot into a short amount of time. God really showed His goodness and grace while we were there, let me tell you! I'm so glad He's been--er, shall I say, helping me over the last 8 months--to be less organized and more ready for a moment when it happens.

Our surprise by the Coca-Cola Family

Starting with our hike. It just so happens that our ranger, Don, who took us on a guided hike was a God-fearing man who appreciates our beliefs and faith. He understood our purpose for coming and made the experience top notch, telling us all the fascinating details of the history of this Civil War park that homeschoolers just devour. Don taught us about the many varieties of trees on property and showed us how to identify leaves, nuts and vines. We learned so much and were thankful to be able to share our praise with what the Lord has been doing in Everly's life with him at the same time. Cool fact: Scenes from the new Hunger Games movie (Mockingjay) were filmed here. Didn't know that before we arrived. A HUGE shout out and THANK YOU to park ranger Kelly at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, GA for making our tour with Don a reality!

In the true fashion of a homeschool family on a vacation, even a mini one, we made the most of the short time we had and went to the World of Coca-Cola for what we were hoping would be a great lesson in business. What. An. Experience. For real. The lessons learned in this one visit reached far beyond the pages of a school text.

While we wanted to take the boys on this tour, it was still an indoor activity in the midst of cold and flu season. Our plan was to take them on a small tour so that we could bypass as much of the crowd as we could, thus keeping Everly as safe as we could. Because God is watching out for His children, He provided in a way that only He could have. The entire Coca-Cola staff must have "known" about Everly because we were given star treatment, including a stellar tour guide, Steve, to weave us in and out of crowds, bypassing nearly everyone who could have breathed on her. Staff members would randomly stop and say hello and ask how Everly was, using her name, as if we were old family friends. We felt so welcomed and safe there. Then towards the end of our tour, the Coca-Cola bear and some of his buddies found us at a display with Steve and came bearing (yes, pun intended!) a gift for the family. The boys loved the tour as much if not more than we did, not only because of all the cool stuff there, including a plant line AND a tasting room with 100 different Coca-Cola products, but because for one three hour period, one afternoon, one part of a day, we just were a family of five touring an attraction. Thanks Steve and the Coca-Cola family for giving our family a day of memories and a wonderful visit!

God moments just appeared in SO many ways for us on this trip! I'm so thankful and grateful to him for giving me the EYES I needed to SEE what He wanted us to experience.

THE Carl Azuz and for us, a true treat to meet!

As we made our way back to Tampa on this quick trip, we decided to swing by quickly to see the CNN Center where our favorite show of 6 years is filmed, CNN Student News. As we entered the atrium area, we found a spot to wait while Jimmy ran back out to the van to grab something. I happened to glance to my left and I see Carl Azuz, the Student News anchor, writer and pun-writer extraordinaire, walking by. My knee jerk reaction was to call out his name and at that, he turned, smiled and walked over to our table. He chatted with us for a good bit, took a few photos with the boys and graciously ignored my over-exuberant excitement at meeting him! What a treat it was for us just by "happenstance" (insert God's doing here) that the ONE person we hoped to see walked right by us! And, please, let me tell you that he was so incredibly amenable to visiting with us, answering questions and was not in any apparent hurry to move along. Carl Azuz...what a way to end our trip! Thank you!

See, while some may consider all this "good luck" or something of the sort, I know that God knew just what our family needed right then. We had just gotten the news about the malrotation of Everly's stomach and a 5 day minimum hospital stay to have surgery for it and the g tube. Of course, this was quite emotional to think about. Cue music. Just like God did for us one year prior, a quick trip to completely take our minds off the fresh news was in the works. He threw in all sorts of little God winks (the faithful ranger, the special treatment at Coca-Cola, and the surprise sighting of Carl Azuz) to top it all off! You have to understand that we've had emotional highs and lows for the past year so these moments like the trip, big ones like Go Shout Love this month and the everyday ones that come in the form of texts, calls and prayers ARE what helps our family keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Hiking by the river on a crisp fall morning.

May God continue to bless Everly and our family and those who love her. That we will continue to have experiences such as those from this past weekend. Traveling and doing "typical" vacation activities as a family of five is not lost on us. We are grateful for the opportunity and will continue to work to make those things happen as long as we are able.

With love and appreciation,


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