I mentioned here of a recent trip we made to Niagara Falls, and had promised to tell more of the blessings we experienced in just that short period. So here we go...
The Lord shows himself strong in the lives of believers when trials do come our way - sometimes the time between the hardship and blessing is short lived, and sometimes not. This situations make for great testimony material to give praise and glory to Him. However, sometimes the smaller blessings can go by unnoticed - almost as if they are coincidental or even unimportant.
In our house, we have been trying to point out the little blessings to each other so as to make a habit of praise for God. Little blessings that, in the eyes of unbelievers would be simply a coincidence. Let me list the small and not-so-small blessings from the few days of our trip:
1. when my husband first started planning the trip there was (as always) strict consideration about cost. After spending time researching hotels online we found a 3 star hotel (pool and free breakfast) for $56 per night - awesome!
2. we have a dog and for as much as he thinks he would like to travel with us it doesn't generally work out well for him to sit in the car. So a young lady at church, who is not necessarily a pet lover, agreed to sleep over at our house while we were away to care for him. Normally the cost for dog kennels is $25/day - she stayed for 3 nights and didn't ask for anything (but we did paid her for her time).
3. just two days before we left, we mentioned the trip and the hotel cost to our close friends and jokingly suggested they come along...they took up the offer! Mister H had no trouble arranging for two days off work and they packed up their 6 kids (including Ducks BFF) and we all drove down together.
4. when we arrived at the hotel, our friends were told that their reservation had been lost - so they were offered a suite to replace the two basic rooms they had booked! They had a king size bed in one room with a livingroom/kitchenette and a connected room for the kids with two queen size beds and a pull out couch. All for the originally quoted price!
5. the weather was questionable as far as rain, but our entire first day there was clear and sunny. We hiked around the Niagara river all afternoon.
6. my husband has been dealing with some health issues (I keep telling him it's just part of getting old) but the entire time we were away he was feeling great.
7. Our second day there we had planned on more walking in tourist trap areas but it was pouring rain. While the husbands were sitting in the breakfast area of the hotel trying to figure out some plans, a bus tour company was pushing their all-day tour - $160 per person. As my husband talked with the driver of the bus it turns out they played soccor together as kids and he let both families join the tour for FREE! We travelled all over the area on this bus with several stops of interest for the kids.
8. Because we were having so much fun; because we had such a low hotel cost; because we homeschool; because the weather cleared up - we decided to stay another full day and hiked through the region again.
It was a fantastic trip with great company and many, many blessings. Always look for the blessings in each and every day - they are there!