We did it. Three small town girls and a baby took the west coast in style. Everything about last weekend’s Acquire the Fire trip to Anaheim, California was an adventure. Since Tara , baby Ryan, and Kalyn had never been to California and Tara had never even seen an ocean, we were especially excited to experience something new. We had planned our flights to allow for a few hours of sightseeing on Sunday so we were itching to take in as much as possible.
Flying with baby Ryan was nothing like flying to Canada with his sister Lili. He just sat there sweetly cooing on his mama’s lap and never caused us a moment of trouble.
We were so excited to arrive on Friday to 70 degree weather with beautiful blue skies. Palm trees waved their welcome to us as Disney signage beckoned us to a vacation mentality.
I love girl travel. Every little juncture from wheeling the bags to renting the car seems to have extra spice and sometimes a little drama. We missed our men, but we were determined to rise to our occasion.
The Acquire the Fire event in Anaheim was held at a large local church instead of an arena or civic auditorium. I felt comfortable there as the local host church poured out there hospitality to us. The whole atmosphere of the event seemed to reflect a more laid back style than the east coast intensity. And since many of the local people were of Hispanic background, we were treated to some authentic southwestern fare that thrilled us.
Saturday began with a real downer though. Tara woke up feeling terrible. At first we blamed her ailment on a cold and headache, but as the day wore on she began to suffer severe nausea and vomiting. We had to park her back at the hotel and quickly find a replacement for her at our booth. Poor girl! Who wants to spend their one shot at California with their head hanging over the toilet!
I left the evening event early to try to help stabilize Tara and baby Ryan back at the room. I was heartbroken as she looked like a lousy candidate for any sightseeing at all. Since Tara’s name was on the car rental agreement, she was the only one who could drive the car. The rental agency would not allow any new drivers to be added by phone. So instead of spending the evening planning our fun tourist travels, I mapped out a plan for medical relief for a quickly dehydrating nursing mama.
We sent up many signal flare cell calls back home. And, of course, Nathan felt incredibly helpless and worried. I was so proud of my sons Ethan and Matthew (ages 10 and 11.). They called together a couple other young men at the church and began crying out to God in what Doug says was one of the most unusual and powerful prayer meetings he has ever witnessed.
They must have moved a mountain on Tara’s behalf. At 9:15 p.m. Tara suddenly sat up in bed and said, “I am now suddenly fine. It is over!” It was one of the most spectacular miracles I have ever witnessed! Her headache and vomiting suddenly vanished and within 45 minutes we had her driving the rental car to pick up Kalyn and heading to Sonic for food! Prayer works!
I truly believe the whole escapade was a spiritual attack on our ministry event. Our time with the parents was especially powerful and, I believe, strategic in many homes. God is truly weaving something very deep in my heart for the calling on the parents of today. I see our mission as so pivotal to our time in history. I see our charge to bring this next generation to Christ-like maturity in the midst of a hostile culture as God ordained and vital. And as travel over the nation with our message, I sense we are sowing seeds for a wave of reclamation of a generation.
Sunday arrived with Tara all smiles. We packed in as much Anaheim touring in a few hours as anyone could ever imagine. Downtown Disney. Lunch overlooking the ocean. Beach walking on the rocky coast. And hitting the souvenir and surf shops. It seemed as if we had all our men and children along as all three of us spent most of our day on our cell phones sharing the sights.
We rushed back to catch our afternoon flight, in our familiar airport routine. Until we discovered we were not going to be given a boarding pass but only a “Request for Seat” pass. Never heard of that before. But apparently, 20 of us reserved customers would not be flying to Salt Lake City that night. Too much weight on the plane, they said, for some rough weather conditions.
So….we were stuck in beautiful southern California. The airline paid us off in travel vouchers and put us in the Hyatt. Not bad! So we girls just walked right over to the rental car station and negotiated us a deal on a second car. And back to the ocean we headed. We three California beach babies and Ryan!
Next week…..Billings, Montana!
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