It happens to everyone. Once in a while we will have a day or a week or a season where things just seem to go wrong. Recently, we were on a road trip when things went in a very unexpected direction…
This is what happened.
I'd been feeling sick and I finally went to the doctor to have some tests done. After ruling out some scary diseases, it was decided that the best thing for me was some sunshine and some rest. So we packed the family up and headed for warmer, sunnier skies. (You Mamas will chuckle, because we all know that there is no such thing as restful vacationing with children, you just travel and take the work with you! But anyway, that's what we did.)
We ended up in a small town we have never been to before. The first order of business was to stop at the grocery store and get some food for everyone. I pulled into the parking lot and got the children out of the van. After I got the baby out of the van, FarmGirl said to me, “Mama, I think I just saw your friend in the parking lot. The one from Planet Mommyhood. Does she live around here?” I wasn't sure where she lived, but it turned out that we had indeed spotted Jenn Hoskins from Planet Mommyhood! She saw us too, and we ended up getting together with her, Kristen (also from Planet Mommyhood) and another homeschooling Mom in the area for a playdate. (As an aside to my story, between 4 moms and all our children, there were 25 people at our playdate! Later, Papa the Farmer said to me, “We've been here 3 days. HOW did you meet all these people?!”
With so many new friends we had a really wonderful time and I was feeling refreshed when it was time to leave. BUT, on our last day there we decided to stop at the beach one last time to enjoy the scenery and let the children say “goodbye” to the beach before we had to leave a couple of hours later.
Well… when we got back to the car, my window had been smashed (see the picture above) and everything in the passenger's seat was stolen. (The car was PACKED since we were on our way home.) There had been quite a few bags at my feet and they had all been taken. Later when we took inventory to figure out what was gone, this is what was missing:
- my favorite (but mostly empty) purse with a moderate amount of cash for travelling
- my Kindle (which was nothing too fancy, but it was an older model with a nice 9.7″ screen)
- my knitting bag (and that half-finished scarf I've been working on for 2 years now!)
- my camera case (which was empty because I had the camera in my hand!)
- my bank card and my husband's bank card (which had been in 2 separate places and had been hidden)
- my Bible
It was a Saturday night and we were literally stranded with absolutely no cash and no access to our bank accounts. I'm not telling you all this to bemoan the awful thing that happened to us. I want to praise the Lord for the way He worked in this really inconvenient situation! Here's how the Lord took care of us:
- We had been staying in the home of a minister who was out of town. Since his family was still out of town, we were able to go back and sleep there without inconveniencing them.
- Everything we had on the trip was with us in the van, but most of what was stolen was inconsequential. There had been another car in the parking lot which turned out to belong to a woman who was temporarily living in her car, but that car wasn't touched. Us being broken into was inconvenient. If her things had been stolen it would have been absolutely disastrous for her.
- We could have been held up at gunpoint, but we weren't.
- Remember Jenn from PlanetMommyhood? She connected us to her church and they lent us a shop vac to clean up all the broken glass.
- Jenn also referred us to a local salvage yard where we were able to find the exact window we needed for only $27. That's a miracle, because in the entire metropolitan area area, there was only 1 van in the salvage yards that was the same make and model as our van (although it wasn't the same year). We weren't sure it would have the window we needed, but it did!
- A man from the church we had visited lent us a few basic tools to be able to retrieve the window from the other van and install it in ours.
- Papa the Farmer didn't have a lot of tools with him to remove the window, but of course, God had already taken care of that. Somebody who had been to the salvage yard before us had needed to get the window motor out of the door and they had already removed the window to access the motor. So my husband didn't even have to remove the window himself!
- We were able to find another place to stay until we could at least get the bank card situation fixed so that we could come home and we had a really nice visit with those folks.
I have to admit that – now that it has all worked out and we are safely home – I am a little amused by the whole situation. I wonder what those thieves thought to themselves when they got home and realized they had stolen an empty camera case, a complete collection of bamboo knitting needles and a nice King James Bible.
I hope they read the Bible and come to know Jesus. Maybe we don't know the end of this story yet, but we'll find out in Heaven. Just maybe.
We are home now, safe and sound. I have 4,700+ unread emails that I need to catch up on and I'm starting to think that a massive-delete is in order. So, if you've been trying to reach me, please just email me again! And a big THANK YOU to those of you who have emailed me saying “So-and-so is looking for you” or “Where are you?”