Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday's Devo--Unplanned Detours

Elaborate plans must sometimes go awry.

Before my trip to visit Jaime and meet Laurie for our writer's weekend retreat, I'd checked, planned, and booked the best routes I could find for my traveling budget. I love riding Amtrak for my trips for many reasons:
~~I can avoid traffic/driving stress
~~Cheaper than flying
~~Closer to Jaime's than the airport
~~I can write while I ride.
~~The people are much more laid back the flyers
~~I love the scenery
~~It appeals to my nostalgic senses
~~It connects me to America's past

However, for every positive, there are always challenges. This weekend my smooth schedules with Amtrak hit their limit and my train was not one, not two--but ELEVEN hours late. First, I was homesick, then I was anxious, then annoyed, then worried I'd wear out my welcome at Jaime's (never!)--and finally, resigned myself to roll with it.

For every inconvenience, I started looking for blessings. I work in a service profession, so I was surprised by the blessing of being the recipient.
~~I was most worried about arriving to Chicago at 3 a.m. and finding my way to a hotel. Don't forget I live on a dead end dirt road, and I'm the baby of the family who is used to following wherever the leader directs. But I was traveling alone. I was pleasantly assured of my safety when a Chicago policeman escorted me to my taxi.
~~A nice girl from New York split the cab fees with me.
~~The hotel let me check out later than usual because of my travel arrangements.
~~I had a super awesome king sized bed and room service breakfast.
~~The valet and the cabbie on my hotel departure were super nice and helpful to this country girl.
~~My taxi and food was mostly reimbursed.
~~I had one more day to adjust to Day Light Savings Time before I go back to work tomorrow!
~~I have an awesome partner at work who willingly picked up the slack while I made new connections back home.
~~My husband was awesome encouragement through my moments of frustration.

Oh, and the reason for the epic fail on the train delay--avalanches and mudslides.

It reminded me of James 4:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

And Philippians 4:6-7:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

How have your plans been interrupted lately?
Take time to stop, and look around for something new...take a new attitude...the Lord willing...

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. Oh Anne, this is so good! I've had a lot of plans for the past couple months not go as I'd hope--mostly due to writing goals. Haha! I feel behind and more than a little anxious. But you're so right--there are blessings in the interruptions. And I'm thankful to have seen some of those even in just the past couple weeks. Glad you finally made it home!

    1. Thanks Melissa! Is your writing weekend in store soon? I hope so. :)

  2. Hi, Anne!!

    You didn't say - but I'm assuming you've made it home OK!! SO glad for that!!

    I had tentatively made plans to go out of town to visit friends and go to a women's conference this past weekend - which didn't work out. However, I was at home - not out of town - when plans changed, so not such a problem as yours!!

    SO glad everything worked out OK for you, and I'm guessing that you learned some things through your new experiences!! Another way to look at it: it would have been much more unpleasant if the delay had happened on your way TO Jaime's instead of on the way home - thereby cutting your visit short - and it also allowed you some pleasant memories of the weekend at Jaime's to reflect on during the extra hours it took you to get home!!

    1. You are so right Bonnie. I wrote this blog post in the train station while I was waiting. The most interesting thing was that in the very moment I was ready to paste in the verses, a sweet homeless woman asked me for some money for her bus ticket to go to a domestic violence shelter for women. It jolted my attitude after having slept in a king sized bed, eaten the breakfast fit for a queen, etc. I thought of her once again when my head hit my pillow last night. If you think of it, say an extra prayer for "Katherine".

  3. Will do, Anne!! Can relate to Katherine - after being married to an alcoholic abuser!!

    I think I mentioned that I was third shift manager for a women's domestic violence shelter in Elkhart, In. for a brief period. I was responsible for the intake of women and children during my shift - it was gratifying to see the attitude changes in the residents, from fear to happiness (especially the children) - as they began to feel more safe. It was also disheartening to see so many of the women make the decision to return to the same abusive situation. Even though the shelter did everything possible to line the women up with a place to live, a job, child care, and transportation - many still felt more comfortable, for numerous reasons, returning to that which they already knew!!

    1. Bonnie, I visited that shelter in Elkhart as a nursing student in my community health rotation, about 1988!! Small world. I thought of that place immediately when I met Katherine.

  4. Thanks for the scripture reminders! We as humans get frustrated when things don't go as planned but we don't know the bigger picture as God does. I often think of traffic delays or when all of a sudden my mind takes me on a different route than I would normally take. That's God! He could be saving me from an accident or other peril that I would have no way of knowing about. I'm So glad He's always looking out for me!

    1. Surrender is part of the detour....


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