DAY ELEVEN (Unexpected Travel)

For the Wise Men, it was time for Plan B:  they had to go home by a “different way”.

How often over the past year, have you had an unexpected change of plans?  How much did it change your life?  Did it turn out for the better?  Did it seem worse at the time?  If it’s not TOO serious, you can say “Okay, this is a test, right?” And then use the opportunity to see how well you can handle the situation.

Remember, “If things don’t turn out the way you’d hoped, it means that there is something better.”  (Especially if you’re trusting God.)

Instead of a picture today, here’s a story that you might enjoy (not written by us).  It’s especially for people who were expecting a “normal” child, and have a disabled one–and most of those people have probably already read this.  But we’re posting it because some of you others might also enjoy it.  Believe us:  it’s absolutely true!!

When you’re going to have a  baby, it’s like you’re planning a vacation to Italy.  You’re all excited… seeing the Coliseum, The Michelangelo, the gondolas of Venice.  You get a whole bunch of guide books and you learn a few phrases in Italian so that you can order in restaurants and get around the town.  When it comes time, you excitedly pack your bags, head for the airport, and take off for Italy. 

Only when you land your stewardess announces, “Welcome to Holland”.  You look at one another in disbelief and shock, saying “Holland?  What are you talking about… Holland?  I signed up for Italy.”  But they explain that there’s been a change of plans and the plane has landed in Holland and there you must stay.  “But I don’t know anything about Holland.  I don’t want to stay here”, you say.  “I never wanted to come to Holland.  I don’t know what to do in Holland, and I don’t want to learn.”   

But you do stay, and you go out and you buy some new guide books.  You learn some new phrases in a whole new language, and you meet people that you never knew existed.  But the most important thing is that you are not in a filthy, plague infested slum full of pestilence and famine.  You are simply in another place, a different place than you had planned.  It’s slower paced than Italy and less flashy than Italy.  After you’ve been there a little while and you have a chance to catch your breath, you begin to discover that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, and Holland even has Rembrandts. 

Everyone you know is busy coming and going to and from Italy, and they’re all bragging about the great time they had there.  For the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was going; that’s where I was supposed to go; that’s what I planned”.  The pain of that will never go away and you accept that pain because the loss of that dream, the loss of that plan, is a very significant loss.  But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland. 

Emily Perle Kingsley – Kids Like These

Don’t plan it too much, but try for an impromptu tour of something; or a drive outside of your usual routes; or think of how you could do something in a ‘different way’ from the usual way that you do it.

The Mom should have been putting away the tree yesterday, since it was the day she had extra time, but instead she sat down to finish proofing a reference book for The Student.  Maybe the tree will have to stay around for awhile!

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