Monday, September 10, 2012

Intro to My New Series: Places

Before too much time passes and I never get to it, I want to share my vacation with you.  Last year I did a 'series' called 'Moments' to share all the places God met me while we were there. (it was pretty awesome to see so if you haven't read them, you should!)  I want to do something similar this year, otherwise it would be a ridiculously long post.  But, let me give some background for any new readers....

In September 2009, we went on our first family vacation to Maine where our friends Corey and Jill had referred us to a place they vacation.  Des was 6, Isaiah 3, and Sam 6 months old and we were blissfully unaware of the depth of pain that could exist here on earth. We had an amazing week and knew right away that we would make this a family tradition.

A few weeks before our 2nd trip, we got Rachel's diagnosis.  And the day after her diagnosis, our friend Corey died.  As we drove up there that year, we knew this place would hold a different meaning.  Jill & Corey had just gone for their vacation right before he died - and paid for a portion of our rental - and this would be the only time Rachel got to go with us to this place we loved so much.  The week held a lot of pain for me.  I was 6 months pregnant, it was a heat wave and the surrounding area's water, including the pond we are on and use for a water source, was closed for E Coli.  No showers, no swimming, had to boil all our water to so much as brush our teeth and I was just coming to grips with the fact that Rachel was going to die.  Everywhere I went people asked when I was due.  Since I would never see them again, I didn't both telling many of them about her condition. We left a couple of days early - so thankful to return home - and were greeted by a large package holding the vault for Rachel's casket. 

Last year, we packed up again to go... this time with a forecast of a rain-filled week.  I researched the area for rainy day activities and had lots planned and many new things to try.  We ended up with a beautiful week, and did many of the same things we had done in the previous years, but my heart was so broken and the entire area just reminded me of the year before when we found out she would die and watched Jill bury her husband. 

My reality seemed to taunt me...  we went to Fort Knox and I got upset so Matt went in with the kids while I waited in the car.  As I sat and waited, a car pulled up in front of me and out came a mother and father and their little baby girl who they stood at the hood of my van and played with and laughed at and completely loved on for what felt like forever.  I wanted to puke.  We went to watch the fireworks on Rachel's 9 month birthday and sat down next to a husband and wife feeding their little boy snacks and Matt asked how old he was.."He's 9 months, it's a really fun age" she said with a big smile as she pushed a piece of cracker up against his cute little teeth and he giggled as he spit it back at her with a grin.  I turned my head and sobbed right there in front of everyone.  It was a hard and very lonely time for me.  It was when the rest of the world moved on and I realized I was going to have to feel this by myself for the rest of my life.

This year, I have been so busy and things here so hard that I didn't even get anything packed until the night before and I never once looked at the weather or tried to figure out what we could do new in the area.  Partly because I was trying to sell some things on line to even be able to afford to go and was wondering if we even should spend the money. I have been in survival mode and holding on by a thread emotionally and financially.  I was able to sell my cloth diapers and Matt got a couple hours of over time (which NEVER happens so it's totally God's provision) and we decided a couple of days before our scheduled time that we would still go.  The first day we were there, Des asked what we were going to do new because she said "I'm getting tired of doing the same old things."  As I told her that she needed to be grateful that we were on vacation at all, my heart felt her disappointment and I later told Matt how bad I felt that I haven't found new things and keep bringing them to the same places.  I just want to make them happy.

Well, my series this year is going to be called "Places".   Our 4th annual was by far the best year yet. Ironically it was the only year we haven't been affected by a hurricane while there (strange) but we did lose electricity for a while after a storm.  The consistent theme throughout our week there seemed to be the blessings in simplicity - and God showed me over and over that the less I look for 'more' the more I found.  I want to share with you how He blessed us in the simple places...  the places that don't just exist in Licolnville Maine.  It won't completely tell how He revealed Himself to me there, but it will give you a glimpse.... I hope.


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes