Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

When I was growing up, any time I was worried or nervous about a new experience, my dad would tell me to think of it as an adventure. When I was nervous about going to camp in 5th grade – he turned it into an adventure. When I got my tonsils out – well, I’m not quite sure what kind of an adventure that was, but that was my dad’s advice then, too. It was his way of putting a positive spin on things. Turn the nerves and anxiety into excitement – adventures are exciting!

This last week has been an adventure for me and my daughter, Lia! I had the opportunity to attend a Youth Ministry Retreat at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp on the beautiful Flathead Lake in Montana. That is one of my favorite parts of the country, and I’ve wanted to go to this camp for several years – what a great opportunity for some continuing education. Since Lia, is schooling online, she was able to join me for this trip. I was nervous about traveling in the time of Covid, but we decided to turn it into an adventure!

We took our time driving, spending a couple of days with a friend along the way. We were happy to see masks on faces everywhere we went (isn’t that a strange new reality?) so we felt safe in our travels. Safe, that is, until our car started making a very strange sound.

Luckily, our friends had a shop to recommend near their home, and they were able to have my car repaired the next day – leaving us just enough time to get to camp in time for dinner. Our time at camp was fantastic. Lia had time and space for schoolwork. I had time for classes, discussions, networking, and rest. I even got to learn some new group games that I’m excited to share with our youth!

As we woke up on our last morning at camp, we were surprised to see a couple inches of snow on the deck outside our cabin window! Flathead Lake is always a beautiful sight, but somehow the snow increased the magical feeling. We finished our morning with one last session, a final worship service, and a delicious brunch with new friends.

As we left camp, we were happy to find that we had encountered the perfect snow – enough to add to the beauty & wonder of our environment, but not enough to make the roads treacherous. Our drive toward home was going beautifully – until that strange automotive sound came back, this time with an additional random jerking of the steering wheel. Not a comforting feeling.

Lia and I made it safely to Coeur d’Alene, where I decided to have the car checked out again. Of course, the repair shop was not open when we arrived. We turned our trip home into another adventure. There was a nice hotel nearby, so we stayed the night in Coeur d’Alene, enjoying local restaurants and shops. This was not the trip home that we had planned, but we were able to keep smiling.

Unfortunately, the car repairs were more than what could be accomplished in a day, so we ended up leaving our car in Coeur d’Alene, renting a vehicle (Dodge Chargers are fun, by the way!) and driving home later that evening. My wonderful husband is flying to Coeur d’Alene later this week to bring my newly repaired car home – an adventure of his very own!

Life does not always go as we have planned. In fact, one of my mom’s favorite lines is, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” What I tell my kids (my students & my own children) is that even though we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can always choose how we respond. So, even though car trouble derailed our well-planned-out trip, Lia and I decided to keep smiling, and make it an adventure!

Sometimes life is what we make of it. Enjoy your adventures friends!

Deacon Amy