We travel a lot as a family. Christian and I in the front, the Peanut next to the Rooster next to the dog in the back. It is a tight squeeze, especially with the Christmas haul in the back. The Peanut got a ride on fire truck and a Radio Flier big wheel for Christmas. Grandparenting looks like it will be a lot of fun. Every time we leave a driveway to go up and down interstate 75 we pray for traveling mercies.
When I pray for traveling mercies, I have a certain idea in my head about it. In my world traveling mercies look something like this: kids asleep or playing nicely with each other in the back (yes, I am speaking about children who are not yet old enough to be front facing), dog asleep, no traffic, no inclement weather, no line at the Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts when we pull off, no poopy diapers, minimal bathroom stops and inside warm bathrooms with changing stations for both mom and dad when we need them, we arrive in the destined driveway 15 minutes before the GPS originally said we would. The crazy thing is that I can recall multiple trips that were like this.
The way home from my in-laws started the same way we always start car trips. We prayed for traveling mercies. And then just an hour in to our trip we hit dead stopped traffic outside of Cincinnati. Both kids were asleep in the back and we were not about to let a stopped car wake them up. (Rilla Rilla Rooster Head, hates it when the light turns red.) So we turned around to go the other way, and 45 minutes later we were stuck in another branch of the same stupid traffic jam. What. The. Heck. And when we finally got passed that the going was snowy and so so slow.......So we took a dinner break outside of Elisabeth town.
And wouldn't you know it the there was a Chik-Fil-A, (traveling mercy) that was having kids night so they were fully prepared to help us get the tray to our table and entertain the Peanut (traveling mercy) and it gave the good plows enough time to go before us (traveling mercy). It was slow going but doable until we got outside of Lexington, and we hit a patch of black ice and started fish tailing and Christian started steering and I started praying, and when it was all said and done and no one was hit my 20 month old rear facing Peanut started pointing "see, see, flying see." No, I don't see, but yes I certainly do see, angels of traveling mercy.
We got stopped again outside of Knoxville, and after being dead stopped on the side of the road for over an hour where I tucked the Rooster into her bear suit and walked her up and down and up and down the freezing cold high way to get her to stop screaming until we were finally moving again we decided to stop. This was one of the first times we had the money in our account to not blink about the cost of a hotel. And there was a Red-Roof-Inn, that takes dogs, with one room left. Traveling mercies anyone?
We arrived safely the next day in the beautiful sunshine well rested enough that it wasn't a big deal to bring all of our stuff into the house. In fact there wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed with fresh clothes and a hot shower for all.
And I was struck with the thought in my little house with my little family and my little dog, that we were home safe and sound and showered. That maybe it wasn't the kinds of mercies I was anticipating, but the Lord is merciful all the same. Sometimes God parts the clouds, and we avoid the storm all together by His mercy, and sometimes God takes us through the storm and provides His mercies in the midst of it.
You would think that there I would have learned my lesson, but just a few days later someone lost the paper I needed to go back to work, and I prayed for God's mercy. I was just so sure He was going to show me where I had placed the extra copy I had been hanging on to, I was so sure I would find it in the trash I was digging through. I would find God's mercy and my paper there. Instead, I found His mercy in a mid-wife who wrote whatever note I needed, and an incredibly gracious and understanding department that covered my classes until the moment I walked in the door with that paper. His mercies.....I need to start looking better, I seem to be finding them in the most interesting of places.
Where have you seen God's mercy lately? Surely I can't be the only one discovering them.