Waiting: Shuffling and Ruffling



The weight of her body in my already weary arms took it’s toll as the minutes rolled into an hour. Supported by the ordinary hotel counter my daughter and I waited for the night manager to procure a key to the room we booked at the last-minute. The warmth of my breath as I prayed for patience filled the space between her ear and my face. Now nearly two in the morning the hours driving the road caught up with me.

Annoyed, the manager muttered things under his breath not inappropriate for young ears. Misguided, each four letter words seemed to be an external demonstration of sincere contriteness for causing our family to wait.

We shifted to a chair made for one and took an opportunity to snuggle. Frozen in a seated position for hours as we drove I worked to make my Sugar comfortable, but comfort eluded us like the key to a room.

Meanwhile the boys of our family attempted to find an accessible and safe space to park our moving truck and car carrier. Gritty eyes or not the headlights that moved in the parking lot across the street revealed their frustration.

This move required more strength than I could garner and as the move continued to progress with the unexpected and unwanted I grew faint. The steady cadence of my daughter’s breathing steadied my tears of complete exhaustion from spilling out. Every problem has a solution…God will provide a solution…I muttered truth under my breath to reassure my discouraged heart. If only we could lie down and rest.

Well over an hour later the manager gave up his search an apologized. Sometimes an apology feels like a flimsy bandage when a tourniquet would be more fitting, this was one of those times. Regrettable words nearly spewed from my mouth but God shut my lips with fatigue. God’s good like that, He uses the unexpected twists and turns to keep us from going over the edge when we’d prefer to dive headfirst.

The manager made a formal apology and began calling other hotels and motels in the area. Like Joseph and Mary, and as I already knew, the list shrank with the words, “We don’t have room.” Down to the final motel on his list my heart leaped at the prospect of maybe.

Sticky floors, thin walls, disgusting odors and people yelling at different hotels and motels over the years turned me into a particular hotel shopper. Completely depleted the ten hours of driving that waited at the dawn of the new day led me to heartily embrace any bed.

Thankful the manager took time to find another option, grateful for God’s provision we headed a block down the road in hopes of a bed. Parking a twenty-six foot truck with a car carrier is tricky business but this motel offered a perfect parking spot for both our vehicles. Quietly we found our room, tidy and clean. We showered the aches of the day away and collapsed on the beds.

Too soon the next day woke us but this motel offered an incredible breakfast that satisfied our kids; content kids while moving is a priceless gift. Who can deny the joy of fresh waffles and fruity cereal? (Unfortunately I’d see more of the cereal in a matter of hours.)

Still road weary we headed back to the black lanes. Fatigue and I don’t fare well. Usually I become cranky, irrational, hypersensitive, but sometimes, when I embrace the fact I cannot change my energy level I become stoic or silly. Fortunately for my family, the later prevailed. Rest will come I reassured myself. It’s a good thing I didn’t know then how long rest would delay.

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