Whether through death or divorce, chronic illness or tragedy, college or the armed services, missions or marriage, families change! And, when we find ourselves amidst such a change or challenge, we ask ourselves, “now what?” You wonder how you will ever sleep at night, look at the empty chair at the dinner table or celebrate the next holiday season.
Monday, March 11, 2013
My Disney Miracle
Last Spring Break, my parents had formally invited my brothers family and the kids and I to Disneyland. Each member of the family received their own, Disney Invite from Grandma and Grandpa! It was truly a dream come true. I could not believe it! After my husband left, I had decided that I was going to pull things together and save enough to take my kids to Disneyland. Family Change can definitely take its toll on every member of the family. My kids had been so valiant and positive throughout the whole ordeal. If anyone deserved a week at the happiest place on earth, it was my kids. As soon as my pulse slowed down enough to hold the invite without shaking, I read the words which were written. "One week of lodging and tickets to the parks would be provided." My heart sunk. How was I going to come up with a few extra hundred dollars to pay for gas to drive there and then food for a week while we were there? I kept my concerns to myself, amidst the screaming and laughter and excitement. How could I let me kids down? How could I tell my parents that lodging and tickets were not enough? I had a few months to prepare. With more than an extremely tight budget, I came up with a plan. Then, I presented it in prayer. I would save $10 a week from my food budget, and purchase bulk items to take to make sack lunches with in the park, and to eat as we traveled. I still needed a plan for gas and dinners, which in a tourist town, can be more than expensive. The rest of my plan was that I would pay my tithing, serve faithfully in my volunteer assignments. I would double my fast offerings and therefore quadruple my faith. I would hold regular Family Night once a week, and family prayer, daily, without fail. There was no room for error in my plan. For my service and faith would be in exchange for a plan for gas and dinners during our vacation-- which we were all looking forward to. D-day approached! It was Friday night and we were leaving Monday morning. I had my $10 from each week saved, and went and purchased some bulk items, paper sacks, water bottles and baggies. The less I had to buy in California the better. Saturday we cleaned and prepared to leave. Sunday morning, I woke up with a stomach ache. We were leaving in less than 24 hours and I was still unsure how it would all work out. Sunday evening, we were packing the van and coolers for the trip. I asked Garrett, my 10 year-old to let the dog out. Then he returned with an envelope. It had been taped to our door. It had my name written in pencil. I opened it and thought I would choke from the enormous lump in my throat. The envelope was full of cash. I immediately thanked my Heavenly Father, I knew it was from Him. That envelope contained $223, sort of an odd sum. We left for Disneyland. Had a wonderful week. Little did I know, that 2 months later my oldest daughter would be engaged, so that was our last family vacation with all of the kids and cousins together----as kids!! One of my kids forgot to pack socks, so I used a little of the money on a package of socks and the rest on the trip. We returned home with .50cents! I never felt so rich!! We did it---my kids and I and He who knew that $223 was exactly what we needed for our Disney Miracle! We even had some bulk items and paper bags left over for school lunches for the following week. Faith is power!