Sunday, August 29, 2010

When planning goes awry

My husband and I are different sort of planners, especially when it comes to trips. He is into the details about what to do. I am into where we will stay, what we will eat, and finding those sort of spiritual places that make a trip transcend just being a tourist junket. It makes for a nice combination of talents and our trips usually turn out quite well. But, in spite of our best laid plans, unexpected things happen.

Sometimes, we are blessed with wonderful surprises. We stayed at a hotel in Hilo, HI which just happened to be next to one of the largest Japanese gardens outside of Japan. While hubby worked, I spent the days photographing the different sections of the garden. Bridges, stone lanterns, intricate plantings and pools of koi were unexpected treats next to our rather shabby hotel.

But there are times when we find ourselves in less than stellar circumstances. Early in our marriage when things were a bit rocky, we went to Rockport, MA (yes, I see the irony) to get away and work on our relationship. At a lovely waterfront restaurant, my clams tasted metallic and I didn't want to eat them. Hubby thought I was just picky so I downed them. Several hours later, I was in our expensive bed and breakfast throwing up in a trash can while I sat on the toilet. Twelve hours after that, I was able to take back my earlier statement of "I want to die." Why, you ask? My husband had been the most solicitous soul in caring for me, reminding me of why I married him in the first place. It also didn't hurt that my invalid self was stuck in a beautiful space including gazillion thread count Egyptian cotten sheets and a window with a view.

Thirty years later, we are thankful for those early lessons in things not working out as planned. Preparing for our upcoming vacation, I am dealing with unwelcome health issues which have changed our plans ahead of time and may change our plans when we are on our journey. Hubby has thought about changes before I bring them up, quelling my fears about ruining the trip for him. In turn, I am willing to go beneath the ocean in a submarine. If you have claustrophobia and fear of drowning like I do, you will understand my love for this man. If those plans change, we will still make the best of it. It is no wonder I believe in what Jeremiah says.

"For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11

What plans have you had that have gone awry? How can you look at those circumstances differently?