We had a great trip to Wisconsin to see Ryan's family. We met at a lodge in La Crosse, which is about 7 hours from us. It's a pretty easy trip, especially having been used to trips from Albuquerque and we agreed that this might have been the easiest in a while. We listened to the "Chronicles of Narnia" CD set we got last year for Christmas. The kids were enthralled. We stopped for supper at a gas station/Arby's combo place and did an all in one stop. There was another family there of a mom with 4 elementary kids on her own. I was admiring her from afar, especially when she spilled her drink and kept her cool. Ryan told the employees that a mop was needed, and also complimented the mom on how well her oldest son had taken care of things while she was in the restroom.
Farther on down the road we got some exciting news. A friend of Ryan's sent an email inviting us to Thanksgiving dinner, but also offering us a van that some of her out-of-town family was wanting to give away. I don't think she knew that we had been looking to buy this very same van in the spring but had decided to squeeze more life out of ours as long as we could. We could not believe God's blessing!
We got home Friday evening and made arrangements to meet them to pick it up and go over how things work. They were leaving for home the next morning and we were just excited to see the van even though we had a cranky toddler.
Imagine our surprise when we met the generous family and recognized them as THAT VERY SAME FAMILY from that random restaurant in Iowa. I was glad we didn't have to be embarrassed at how we had treated them, and that they had felt blessed (however slight) by us in that moment. We all had fun putting together the details and sharing how we had felt at the time.
How incredible is God in his timing, in how he teaches us, and in how he blesses us!