Saturday, June 7, 2014

God Showed Up... Again. And Still.

This past Monday was my birthday.  While the big kids were in school, my in-laws watched the babies so I could celebrate my birthday poolside with Jon.  We laid out at the St. Regis Hotel pool, compliments of a friend's hook up.  The day was perfect.  So relaxing, I even fell asleep in my lounge chair!  It was glorious!  As we were driving to pick up the babies from my in-laws, Jon and I passed this amazing hotel called "The Blue Lantern Inn" in Dana Point.  13 years ago, when Jon resigned from his position at his first job out of college, they gave us a night away at the Blue Lantern Inn as our farewell gift.  It was incredible.  It's right on the ocean overlooking the Dana Point Harbor.  It provides wine and hors d'oeuvres each evening.  Incredible breakfast each morning.  Each room has a jacuzzi tub and a bedside fireplace.  Need I say more?  :)  As we drove past the Inn on Monday, we reminisced about the time we got to stay there 13 years ago.  We talked about how amazing it was and we talked about saving up so we could go back and visit someday.

Then Tuesday was Jon and my 14th wedding anniversary.  I woke up in the morning to one of the babies crying.  I went to stand up out of bed and I screamed in pain.  I collapsed onto my bed.  I knew I had gotten a sunburn on my legs the day before at the St. Regis, but this pain was different.  It was fierce and intense.  I tried to stand up again.  Nope.  The pain was debilitating. Long story short, I spent the next 2 days in bed.  Literally, in bed.  I didn't brush my teeth for 2 days because I couldn't even get to the sink!  The best guess I have (from the 'amazing' online research I did) ;) is that it was nerve pain.  The sunburn somehow did something to the nerves in my right leg.  (I literally have no idea - I've never experienced anything like it.)  So instead of enjoying our Anniversary with the amazing date night we had planned, we had to cancel our babysitter while I laid in bed.  Such a bummer.

When everything went downhill that Tuesday, my in-laws stepped up big time. They took the babies while Jon went in to work.  Then on Wednesday, they picked up the babies for an overnight sleepover.  Praise God for them!  I got to rest and let my leg recover.

Then Thursday morning, at 12:15am to be exact, I got an email from a friend.  She said, "OK this is crazy, but sometimes crazy can work!  Any chance you can have someone watch your kids for the night?  We have an extra room tonight at (ready for this?) THE BLUE LANTERN INN!  It is paid for and was going to sit vacant - but then we thought of you guys and knew you had to cancel your anniversary plans because of your leg.  If you can make it work, it's yours!"  Um, HELLO!!! What are the chances!??!  At 7:45am I called my mother-in-law to 'test the waters' to see how things were going with the babies.  ;)  She answered the phone and said, "Good morning!  I was going to ask you - Would you like us to keep the babies again tonight?'"  Amazing!!!  I proceeded to tell her about our offer and she was so graciously on board.  Then I called an incredible friend to ask if she would break all of our rules and host a "school night sleepover" for Jackson and Taylor.  ;)  She graciously accepted without hesitation.

So Jon and I spent last night (Thursday night) at the Blue Lantern Inn.  What a treat!

I've been reminded once again of how good God is.  I am reminded of how personal His love is.  I am reminded of how intimately He knows us and knows our story.  Your story.  My story.
How gracious of Him to not just give us a date night to replace our missed Anniversary - But to give us an extravagantly better Anniversary experience than we had even originally planned!  And to make it all the more sweeter, He had us drive past the Inn on Monday, just to build the anticipation.  ;)

God's ways are always gooder.  ;)  He can take our good plans and make them better.  He can take our lame plans that we think are good and create better ones.  When we make bad choices, He can redeem. When we make good choices, but are victims of circumstances, He is present - offering whatever is needed for restoration.  He. Is. Gooder.

I realize this "blog post" (if you can even call it that) could have been summed up in 60 characters saying, "Jon and I spent the night at The Blue Lantern Inn last night."  But I just couldn't.  It was so much more than that.  It was God telling us that He is here.  Still.

You'd think by now His beauty would be running out for all these ashes.
But they're not.
Beauty for ashes.  Beauty for ashes.
New beauty.
Every morning.
I surrender my ashes...
And He gives me beauty in return.
He is here.


  1. When I read your blog I cry because God is so good and you are so good at bringing His light and love with your words. I'm glad you got to spend an anniversary to remember with Jon. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.

  2. Blesssing abound BECAUSE of His awesome goodness. You and Jon continue to live, breathe & belieive in Him with every fiber of your being and He acknowledges your faithfulness... STILL and always will. Thanks for shining your light into each of us and into the dark crevices of doubt that are washed away. Bless you both.