As some of you know, I have been plotting to take my husband away. Insight for Living will be cruising up the inside passage in Alaska at the end of the month. As Mike has now devoured all of the Great Lives series, I thought he would really enjoy spending time with Chuck Swindoll and some great musical talent.
I began my research and then...well...plotted to talk him into it. It would involve a day of travel to Seattle and the spending of the night there. I had researched not-too-fancy motels near the docks that would make embarkation easy. I've been on the deck of the ship more times than the captain. I've chosen our stateroom and even talked to the cruise director to made sure we'd have what we needed/wanted.
When Mike was initially reluctant, I told him that if he wanted, he could just sit on our private veranda and watch Alaska go by. He began to cave.
Several family members even made monetary contributions to this excursion. It looked like such a good idea. My prayer was that Mike would agree and that it would all go smoothly.
Here's another thing about the author. I'm not too good on picking up God's leading. I CAN be lulled into thinking that MY ways ARE His ways. And, why wouldn't God want us to enjoy this trip and grow spiritually? Of course He would.
And when I'm in THAT 'zone,' the caution lights grow dim to my vision. Here's a problem. "No problem." Maybe you want to rethink. "Rethink? Bah." Is this best for you? "Well, sure it is. How can it NOT be?"
Keep praying, brothers and sisters. I'm learning.
I called again today, just to make sure the cruise is not sold out. (It's not) The agent reminded me that we would need our passports. No problem. We have passports. We used them the last time we flew.
So I got them out. Mike's was issued on June 10, 1999. That's right. It expires TOMORROW.
Tomorrow. That's less than three weeks from the cruise. It takes longer than that to get a renewal.
Yes, I know. There are ways around that. When Allyson went to England with Mike...I believe it was in June 1999...we discovered that HER passport had expired. The tickets were purchased and the trip was only days away.
You can see we are not big international travelers.
What to do, what to do? You can call to a regional passport office..the government's definition of 'regional' is a bit broad..for us it's Chicago or Detroit. You may be able to make an appointment. We did. In the early morning, we drove to Chicago, downtown, parked and found the office. It was full of other travelers who needed quick action for a passport. We had to show the printed itinerary and then wait for 4 hours to get the document.
We had a great time shopping on State Street, but it was a long day. We got back home around 9 PM.
So my first thought, when I looked at Mike's passport was "no big deal, we'll just drive to Chicago."
Then...and aren't you all praying for wisdom here...God whispered some possibilities in my ear. Like I would have had to have paid for the cruise. nonrefundable at this point. Plus I'd have to get the air tickets. THEN, what if we got a flat? What if we missed the appointment?
And, after all, is a full day romping around downtown Chicago all that good for the hub?
I'm now convinced that he would just go along, not complain, not show me how tired all this makes him, just to please me. What a guy!
And what a God! It's now clear to me that God has blocked this trip, for His reasons. He IS God, after all. (and I am not.....)
I told Mike at dinner about the complication and that we probably should forget the cruise. Can you spell R-E-L-I-E-F? It spread all over his face.
What he's doing instead....I asked him to renew his passport the old fashioned way. "Who knows? I may take you somewhere later in the summer." All smiles from me.
He just jumped on his motorcycle and is picking up photos at Walgreens. While he's there, he'll get a passport photo taken.
Oh, in case you're wondering....mine is good until 2011.
Thanks for your prayers. God is teaching us many things.