A Romantic Weekend at the Landfill

Since our January wedding day years ago, my husband and I have savored a romantic weekend getaway to celebrate the beginning of each New Year. We enjoy spending this time together after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and look forward to it all year long. In fact, planning the trip starts immediately following the arrival home from the previous excursion. So you can imagine my shock and disappointment when our 9th anniversary arrived and it didn’t look like we would be enjoying our annual trip. I learned a long time ago that when God is leading you, it’s best to follow. But I’m stubborn. So there are plenty of times I try to reason with Him that my way is better, or should at least be considered. For weeks before Christmas, I tried to make reservations at hotels up and down the east coast of the United States. My husband researched cities close by, towns far away, cruises, flights, even a possible venture to Mars. Yet, nothing seemed to pan out. We ran into obstacle after obstacle until I finally admitted out loud what I’d heard inside since Thanksgiving. We were not meant to go anywhere this year. My darling hubby and I came to terms with the verdict and knew it was for the best. That still didn’t stop us from trying again when an unbelievable deal came up on Groupon. But Father God showed us the fine print after our purchase and we had to request a refund. Sometimes it takes a brick and a shovel to get through to me.

Promising to be obedient, we enjoyed the Christmas holidays with family and felt even more relaxed and appreciative than in recent years. We didn’t feel the pressure of gift buying and hectic schedules didn’t have their usual effects. It was wonderful. But Satan was not through with us just yet. During Christmas dinner with my husband’s family, his brother announced he and his fiancé were celebrating New Year’s with a romantic weekend getaway to one of our favorite cities. My husband looked at me as I was already on the computer scanning last minute hotel deals. Like I said, sometimes it takes a brick, a shovel, a 2x4 and a canon. Of course, we were unable to make arrangements to travel with them and once again conceded to spend the time at home.

On the first day of our house arrest, we forced ourselves out the front door to start taking down the Christmas décor. This led to cleaning and reorganizing the garage, a project that had plagued us for months if not longer. Every time I walked through it I felt my shoulders tense up as I stepped over random, useless objects. Forget trying to find anything we actually needed. Now we were spending our “romantic” weekend tossing old beach toys, blowing out mounds of leaves huddled in every corner and organizing miscellaneous products from the auto parts store. Yes, I was pouting! Soon the garage project led to a trip to goodwill, the recycling center and the county landfill. It was about the time we were loading old cans of paint into the back of the car when I actually realized how much fun we were having being productive and working together. We had accomplished such a significant amount in 24 hours and would be able to start the New Year with fewer burdens and less stress. A sense of relief and accomplishment filled me inside. With renewed energy I began to tackle the dreaded dark recesses of every box, bin and cabinet I could lay hands on.

As we pulled into the county landfill, I looked at my husband with a big smile and teary eyes. I realized God had known all along that this is what we needed. Imagine that. It’s amazing how Father God leads us in the tiniest details of our life. He knows exactly what’s best for us today and tomorrow. Even when we don’t want to hear it, His plan will always lead us in the direction we should go. That may not always be cabin on a hill or a bungalow on a beach. Sometimes it leads you to the county landfill. And following that road we find peace, love and joy. We also found some things we’d been missing for years. And the wonderful, restful, productive weekend at home was the best romantic weekend we’d ever had. Thank you God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

About the Author: April Thomas isn’t super mom. But wearing a cape makes life so much more fun. Plenty of moms envision themselves as super mom, but I not only have an authentic cape in my closet, I wear it proudly. Whether it’s the school car line, household chores or a business meeting in Atlanta, I use what I like to call my God-given talents to make life interesting. I carry duct tape and scissors in my purse since you can never be too prepared. I create marketing plans by day and bake (OK, buy) cookies for class parties by night. My family adore (OK, tolerate) my sense of humor, yet my detail-oriented nature takes vacation planning to a whole new level. I know the location of the restroom in nearly every retail store and restaurant in town and also on each exit of I-95 in three states. I can fix anything with my hot glue gun but will never camp again. My husband calls me blessed yet wonders if clipping coupons can be considered an addiction. Through it all, God uses the unusual, hilarious and sometimes humiliating moments of my life to reveal something important. Sometimes it’s motivational and sometimes its correction and even other times it’s just plain funny. But before I’m off to save the day and most likely create a scene somewhere, somehow, I want to share His message through my life’s daily adventures. http://www.CapeWearingMom.com