Sunday, August 23, 2009

Never Been More Grateful

My car has been completely destroyed.

My wife is completely unharmed.

I'll take it!

A couple of days ago, my wife Tara was driving in a rural West Chester area while on a work trip. As she came around a curve on this particularly rainy day, she noticed a single-lane underpass ahead of her with a small truck coming through. As she attempted to slow down to yield to the truck, her car hydroplaned and spun out into the oncoming traffic lane. By the grace of God, both her car and the oncoming truck collided in such a way that the major impact took place on the side of the car. A few extra feet of skidding in either direction or a lack of head's up, last second swerving by the truck driver, and it would have been a head-on collision. I shudder to think of how things may have resulted in that case.

As it turned out however, Tara and the two passengers in her car walked out without injury, as did the driver of the truck. Our car however, was almost unrecognizable after the accident and was rendered totalled almost immediately. After a momentary breather, Tara called and told me what happened. Thanks to our good friend Justin, I was up in West Chester in no time and we brought Tara home to get checked out by a doctor. Thankfully, the doctor found nothing wrong with her and we left the ER with a clean bill of health.

Having had a couple of days to digest this near catastrophe, I am beyond grateful for God's provision in protecting Tara, her passengers, and the truck driver in what could easily have been a worst case scenario. Bottom line, the car can be replaced...Tara cannot. While it is really unfortunate that we are completely without a car at this time, I cannot help but to marvel at the way our friends and family have come alongside us since the accident took place, and I know that God will continue to provide for us as we look to get a new car soon.

In light of this accident, I was forced to put some things into perspective. In the midst of the chaos, I thanked the Lord, quite honestly, more than I have in some time. Please allow me to share with you:

Jesus, thank you for keeping your hand of protection over Tara, the passengers, and the driver of the truck. Thank you that our only loss in this entire situation is strictly that of material possession. Thank you that you are the only one who is ultimately in control and that our lives are in your hands. Thank you for providing always, even in the most distressing of circumstances. Thank you for providing peace in the middle of this turmoil. Thank you for forgiving us when we neglect to thank you for all we have under your care.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Return to (in)sanity?

I just returned from a week long vacation in North Carolina and it was just what I needed after a pretty grueling summer. I spent the week in the western part of the state, which by process of geography, is not where the Outer Banks are located. This was hard for many people to grasp. Conversations usually went something like this:

Me: "I'm leaving for vacation next week."
Person: "Where to?"
Me: "North Carolina."
Person: "Mmmm, Outer Banks...beautiful!"
Me: "Yes they are, but I won't be anywhere near them."
(Person leaves with confused look on face)

Anyway, my wife Tara, three friends, and I rented a cottage just outside of Hendersonville, NC in a cute little town called Tuxedo. Our cottage, aptly named "The Sunshine Cottage," was a perfect fortress of solitude for the five of us. We spent the week doing a whole lot of nothing and everything. Specifically, we hiked through various mountains, saw some cool water falls, went for scenic drives, swam in a lake, hung out in the hot tub, imitated southern accents, watched many DVDs, read books, gave each other bizzare nicknames (ex: Bacon Betsy), caught up on a year's worth of sleep, wrote impromptu songs (ex: "The Ballad of Bacon Betsy" and "Phil Bits"), and ate tons...tons of food! More than anything, it was a wonderful time of marriage renewal for Tara and I, as well as a time of growing closer to three wonderful friends.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then below are 15,000 words (well, more if you count the captions).

The sign said not to climb on the rocks. We did anyway. (Boo yah!)

A beautiful couple in front of beautiful mountains

Lunch at Lake Lure (or "Lula" as Betsy renamed it)

Phil, Betsy, and Ruth were pretty intense about their puzzles

Betsy...most likely reading about bacon

It took a while, but I ate the whole thing

Tubbin' it!

The Sunshine Cottage

We make this look good...

Nothing witty to say, Betsy & Ruth buying fruit

One of the many times Phil saved me from certain death

Joining forces with an angry squirrel

Lounging at Lake Lure (sorry, Lula)

Batman will not be pleased...

On the road again...