When the Lord called us to Indiana for our first full-time ministry, I had no idea what to expect. I had an idea of how things might look, because I have two uncles and several cousins in the ministry. But, I really didn’t know what it would like for our family. At least not on the day-to-day level. Although I was excited and thrilled at this new opportunity, I found myself experiencing quite a bit of anxiety as well. I tried my best to put the thoughts of self-doubt, worry and anxiousness out of my head. But, the long (almost 12 hour) drive from Oklahoma to Indiana was a little more stressful than I was prepared for. Here’s the story of our trek to Indiana – our new home state.
We started out bright and early (6am) on a Monday morning. We literally woke the kids up and just put them in our van still in their pajamas! We settled them in with their electronic devices (yes…we are those parents, especially on long trips) and we set out for the open road. The trip went by rather quickly – at least compared to our first visit back in February during the mother of all blizzards!!
Remember that when the Midwest was covered in ice and snow? Yeah…that was the weekend we were set to travel to Indiana for the family visit. It was the loooongest trip of my life!
Thankfully, the morning we moved it was picture perfect. Amazing blue skies with no clouds in sight. The drive was not always peaceful, but more so than I expected. We made one stop in Joplin, MO for a brief potty break and mid-morning snack and hit the road again. Our lunch stop was at a very fun and unique McDonald’s in Rolla, MO.
The kids enjoyed some playtime on the indoor playground and we were able to stretch our legs and get a much needed break from the seats our tushes had imprinted for the last 5 hours. We finished our lunch and headed out again.
Not long after lunch we reached St. Louis, MO. My children love going through here and are thoroughly fascinated with the Arch. Mister Mouse affectionately calls it the “Sparkery Rainbow” (aka Sparkly Rainbow). It’s so cute the way he says it too!!
Soon after, the girls were naping nicely, the boys continued watching movies and playing on the Kindle’s and the van was quiet for just a little while. *Ahh…bliss! Things were going very smoothly…too smoothly. And just as we were talking about what great time we were making – SCREECH!! Our travels came to an abrupt halt.
All we could see in front of us were lines of semi’s for what seemed like miles. We were at a stand still. We sat motionless for nearly 20 minutes!! Unfortunately the lack of movement caused both of the girls to wake up. And they were not happy campers. Thankfully the line finally began to move and we found an alternate route which took us out of the construction zone and back on the road to our new state…eventually.
Sadly, the 45 minute ordeal put us quite a bit behind schedule and we were now faced with where to grab something for dinner. We were about 3 ½ hours from our destination, yet it felt like 10. We were hoping to make it for a late dinner, but now it looked as if we’d be lucky to make it before the kids’ bedtime!
We grabbed dinner on-the-go (more or less) and kept moving down the road. The kids were getting tired of being in the car and we were getting a little cranky ourselves. “Lord just help us get there safely and without killing each other” ran through my head more than once. We were ready to be there and get settled. Dinner seemed to help settle the kids down a little bit and gave the Hubster and I something in our stomach’s again, which helped us continue pushing forward. As if we had another choice, right?!
While were were so thrilled and excited about this new adventure and journey the Lord had led us on, there was some anxiety in the mix too. We did not have a home of our own yet, so we would be staying with a couple from the church. They had graciously opened their home to us. I was relieved knowing we were not staying in a hotel, but I was anxious to start looking for a place to call home.
We finally arrived at the house around 9:30pm Eastern time, which was 8:30pm Central time – the time zone our kids were used to. It gave us just enough time to get the kids in, introduce ourselves to the couple and settle the kids into their new beds and rooms. Getting them into bed the first night wasn’t too bad since they were exhausted. Bedtime at our house is usually 8pm, so the kids were ready.
It was a little past dusk when we arrived, so seeing the full view of the house and countryside would have to wait until morning. The Hubster had stayed here when he visited the second time and I had heard all about it. I couldn’t wait to see it for myself.
The next morning, I woke up to this.
I was speechless. It was absolutely breathtaking.
As we drove toward town the next day, I was able to take in our new surroundings. The countryside was just beautiful. I loved seeing the rolling hills and farms as far as the eye could see.
I am so blessed.