It’s early and the house is quiet. Poor Jake started running a fever yesterday. He waited for everyone else to be sick, he took care of us, and now it looks like he’s going to be the last one down with it. We are supposed to be leaving today for Houston (which is about a 3 hour drive) and staying there until Jake and I and Jacob fly to Utah on Tuesday. I’m hoping Jake feels well enough to travel.
We have a big day ahead of us. Packing, organizing, finalizing. Our last day alone together as a family before Jacob leaves. Last night as I was drifting to sleep, last minute to-do items kept popping into my mind. I finally had to sit up and write them all down so I wouldn’t forget them.
The last few days I’ve been overwhelmed by emotion. After my last blog post (the one in which I broke down about Jacob leaving), I was so grateful for each and every response that we received. We have so many wonderful friends and readers who are aware of us. I felt The Lord’s love through each of you. Thank you for taking the time to comfort my burdened heart.
Thursday we took a day trip to Enchanted Rock which is near Fredericksburg, Texas. We went with friends and took The Big Blue Bus. It felt wonderful to be on the bus again and enjoying the traveling life. The trip took about three hours. Josh brought his guitar and played for us. He just got it for Christmas, but he is quite the musician already.
We climbed to the top of the rock which according to Wikipedia: covers approximately 640 acres and rises approximately 425 feet above the surrounding terrain to elevation of 1,825 feet above sea level. It is the largest such pink granite monadnock in the United States.
It really is quite amazing!
Once we summited, Jake took all the kids through Enchanted Rock Cave. A 45 minute journey down through pitch black and small spaces, on hands and knees. While everyone was prepping to go into the caves (removing valuables from pockets and putting their headlamps on) Miss B was jumping up and down, determined to go with them. I was worried she would panic, and suggested she stay outside with me and our friend Ana. But Miss B was insistent that she go. Why was I surprised? She loved every minute of it. The dark and tight spaces didn’t phase her.
After they emerged from the caves, we had planned to be reunited, but Ana and I couldn’t find the outlet. We wandered all over the rock, but to no avail. Without guides to show the way, the group ended up at the base on the opposite side of the mountain. They then had to hike back up and over. Ana and I decided to meet them back at our starting point and we began our own decent down the mountain.
About the time I was getting worried that we weren’t seeing them yet, they came into view. They were still on the mountain and looking for a way to come down. The path in front of them was covered with boulders and quite treacherous. Had Miss B not been with them, they would have been fine, but instead they had to retrace their steps and find another route. I hated being able to see them clearly but not be able to help. In the end they made it down safely with no harm or accident, but they were worn out and done hiking!
On our way home, we were famished and stopped in Fredericksburg for brick oven pizza. It was the perfect ending to our day. The drive home was dark and quiet. Everyone was starting to fall asleep when a frantic beeping came from the control panel of the bus. The bus was warning us that it was overheating. Jake found a safe place to pull over, a little cafe with clean bathrooms as well as a free water hose in the back.
Turns out that a coolant hose busted. Not too big of deal, but it was late and everyone was tired, and Jake didn’t have his tools on the bus with us. We opted to get a ride home and are so, so grateful for friends who drove an hour to come get us and take us home! We couldn’t help but consider that had things not progressed the way they did two weeks ago, we would have sprung that leak in the middle of no where with Jacob terribly sick with the flu. Once again we were humbled by the knowledge that Heavenly Father is watching over us. That night we knelt in prayer and thanked Heavenly Father, and I felt peace as I drifted off to sleep.
When I woke the next morning, Jake and Jacob had already left to go fix the bus. I was thinking about what needed to be accomplished that day when I got a text from my sister in Alaska. One of our dear close friends lost her 15 year old son tragically. When I read the news, I cried out in anguish. My heart stopped and I couldn’t catch my breath. Oh how I’ve been hurting for my friend. I wish that I was able to be near her to wrap my arms around her. I wish that my hurt would take away some of hers. How quickly life changes. How fragile life is. How temporary. All I can do is pray that The Lord is sending His angels to encircle her and her family. That He will make her burden light and comfort her in a way that only He can.
When Jake arrived home he too was shocked and saddened by the news. We gathered as a family and talked and cried. As tragic events often do, suddenly my life and my problems were brought into a startling perspective. If you have a moment, please offer a prayer for my friend and her family.
My sister posted this picture yesterday and it brought me much comfort. No matter what, we are known by Him.
One of my favorite scriptures: Helaman 5:12
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.