It was our first road trip from the city to the countryside after some years. The last one seemed so long ago that my five-year-old son couldn't even remember it anymore.
We usually travel by plane (thanks to flight promos), and the trip takes only about an hour. But this time, traveling by car was necessary. First reason: my husband, who works in the countryside, spent Christmastime in the city and brought the car along. Second and main reason: plane fares were too steep and beyond our budget at this point (considering that Christmas expenses were high, and we also had to save for an upcoming trip abroad).
Oh, I forgot to mention: this road trip would take about…nine hours.
When the prospect of traveling by car surfaced late last year (due to circumstances mentioned above), I surprisingly found my heart at peace. (This was not so in previous months.) I believe this was the Lord's way of assuring me that all would be well. After all, His Word says that His peace that passes all understanding would stand guard over my heart and mind (Philippians 4:7), and well, verse 6 (NRSV) does say, "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
I prayed that our trip would go well and that the Lord would help us through all the preparations. My main concern was my son, as I prayed that he wouldn't get any motion sickness (it already happened a couple of times in the past when he threw up in the car as a baby, then as a toddler…he even hyperventilated — I think that traumatized me more than him). I was able to get an anti-dizziness chewable for him, though (thank You, God), and he found it yummy.
A week before the trip, we already told our son about it. His reaction: "But it's going to take so long!" My response: "But it's going to be fun!" His comment: "I want to take the plane!" So my husband and I explained to him in a way that he could understand that these things require a budget and that a plane ride is expensive. "No, it's not!" he surmised. "Yes, it is!" my husband and I answered.
So the day of our departure arrived, and we finally got to leave the city late in the afternoon. Our car was filled to the brim with stuff — a suitcase with my son's clothes and shoes, another with his toys, Christmas gifts from family and friends, hand-me-down garden lights from my uncle, my husband's golf set, my shoes, another bag dedicated to my son's stuffed toys, my computer bag, my husband's computer bag, food…oh yeah, and a walis (broom) still wrapped in green cellophane — a gift from a friend. And with all this, we still forgot the ham and cake! :)
First things first — we prayed for a safe, restful and enjoyable trip. It was also a blessing that my son was in good spirits…very good, in fact, that he was shouting in the car out of excitement — not for the trip, but for the game he initiated. He and his stuffed toy Grover (animated by me) would be looking out the window for monsters to battle against. We had to tell him to keep his tone down as the decibel level of his voice was quite deafening.
So Grover got tired of looking for monsters, as he wasn't a fighter anyway. (I wanted to just enjoy listening to the jazz music playing in the background.) Later on, it was Bubba the Bear's turn to keep my son entertained. (OK, Bubba would be me again…did I ever tell you I do puppetry?)
|I enjoyed the sight of fields like this one|
It didn't take long before he started to ask the "Are we there yet?" question…as he realized this was, indeed, a long trip. The solution: sleep. Which he did, mostly after our dinner stop. (He was so cozy with a pillow and blankie, and his stuffed toys.) Meanwhile, I had some time to pray and enjoy the sight of fields and the night sky. While doing so, the Lord assured me yet again that He is Emmanuel — God with us — and He wasn't just up there in the clouds somewhere, but that He was right there with us…in the car…with all our stuff. Heartwarming. I pretty much slept through half of the trip — confession: with my mouth open at times (even during a police checkpoint where I remember being half-awake...talk about poise!).
|Can you guess what our snack was? hehe...|
We arrived at our destination at about 1:45 pm, safe and sound. It was a good trip. My son quickly woke up on his own. We were welcomed by cold weather — nice! After unloading our stuff and thanking the driver, we had a post-midnight snack.
From city to country — one home to another — thank You, Lord!