Wednesday, October 21, 2009

While Away the Toys will Play

"For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Psalm 84:10

I interrupt the regularly scheduled Jewish Project for a story of another kind.

Each October, my family treks down to Orlando to spend time in the most Magical Place on Earth: Disney World.

This is a big to-do in our house and we start gearing up for it months in advance. Having made this trip for many years, we have come to expect a certain level of Disney magic that makes all vacations perfect and grand. However, this trip was much different. We had to fight for each moment of happiness.

For example, here’s what happened this past Saturday.

Obstacle number 1)….we spent the day at Hollywood Studios. Most of the attractions at this theme park are shows, so we had to schedule our day in regards to show times. This set us up for a very long day with two preschoolers…..but we were aware of this and had a pre-established grace flowing.

Obstacle 2) My husband and I had made reservations to have lunch at Mama Melrose’s inside the park. A restaurant I love. However, since we switched to a gluten-free diet this past summer, we had to order gluten-free food, which this restaurant does have available. And so my family dined on Tapioca rolls and gluten-free flatbread pizzas. Really….do I have to explain? Yep. I wanted a do-over.

Obstacle 3) The night before was our son’s birthday and all his unwrapped but unopened gifts were back in our cabin. Let’s see…you’re six and you can either walk around in a park all day or go back and play with your brand new toys. Uh-huh.

Obstacle 4) Finally, after a long day in the park, we took Disney transportation back to the “hub” of our resort – Fort Wilderness. Since it was late, we decided to get take out from the restaurant that was there. We ordered and waited….and waited…..and waited…..and waited. They forgot our food. But, we finally got it and off we went to catch the bus that would take us to the “sleeve” of where our cabin was located.

And, Obstacle 5) We boarded the bus that said “Settlement Orange”….the bus we needed. However, as we boarded the bus, the driver changed the sign to Wilderness Lodge. Yeah….we got on the wrong bus! But, in true Disney fashion, the driver was extremely nice and took a detour to take us home.

So, here we are. Off the bus and walking down the road towards our cabin, so very ready to sit down and relax. As we walked up our steps, we noticed that we forgot to put out the “do not disturb” sign.

Opening the door to our cabin we found this:

And this

(If you look close, Ferb is holding the TV remote and the TV which was right in front of him was turned on to the Disney channel)

And this

(This was Squeaker's bottom bunk where she found her brand new Simba plush toy nice and tucked in.)

And this

(Bug's upper bunk where Phineas is hanging out with Piglet)

And this

(Now this picture was taken in the bathroom and the elephant towels were hanging above the toilet. The irony of the scene was lost on the kids however, I'm very much aware that elephants are heffalumps in Disney's Pooh bear series and Pooh is very afraid of Heffalumps.)

And this

(Teddy sitting on the table coloring)

We laughed so hard we cried. All day long we fought for happiness, intent that we would not let little distractions or setbacks destroy our family vacation. In the end, we discovered the Lord had a surprise for us. A personalized comedy show right in our own room.

After finding puppy playing in the trash, we grabbed the camera and went on a treasure hunt to find out what the rest of the toys were doing while we were gone. Each “scene” was met with uproarious laughter that healed a portion of our day.

In the end, my husband and I had tears in our eyes as the scripture listed above came to life in both our hearts.

Why? Because a woman, who does not hold a glamorous job by any means, performed her work as if she was holding the “door open in the house of the Lord”.

The next day, we were checking out of the resort and uncharisterically decided to hang out in the cabin for the last few hours instead of going to another park. Because of this, we were in the cabin when the cleaning lady came to call.

So grateful to meet her, we took the time to thank her for the wonderful scenes she had left in our room and how much joy it brought us.

You will never guess her response….

She explained to us that she likes to create one scene per day in all the rooms she cleans. However, since we had the “do not disturb” on the day before, she didn’t get to make one for us and therefore decided to make up for lost time. Then, she reached in her bag and pulled out two more gifts. She handed our princess a tube of princess bubbles, and our little prince a toy airplane.

She did not expect to meet us. She did not expect gratitude. And yet, in a random moment of her tedious day, she was prepared to be a gift-giver.

Isn’t that all The Lord asks of us?



Krista said...

how totally awesome. what a release at the end of a day where you tried so hard and were so tired.

B His Girl said...

This is so sweet. The Lord prepared a 'place' for you through the cleaning lady. May God bless the work of her hands. Sometimes vacations are hard work. Have a great day! B

Jennifer Pacacha said...

What a treasured memory! God is so faithful, even in the little things.

Beverlydru said...

Wow- that actually brings tears to my eyes. I love your words that uproarious laughter healed a portion of our day. What a great memory.

Life with Kaishon said...

This is such a beautiful post! I am so glad God gave you such a special gift during your stay! How wonderful! I want to take my son to Disney world before he grows up too much! I think he will love it there : )

Life with Kaishon said...

PS Stopping over from SITS today and so glad I did. This made me smile!

Leslie said...

Stopping by from SITS! Love this story!

Parenthood For Me said...

That must have been heart warming. I have never been to Disney. Someday when my son is older.
I am visiting from SITS Sharefest.
Have a wonderful weekend.

The Blonde Duck said...

Was the gluten free food not good?

Dead to Self said...

I have not stopped to read your blog in some time. In fact I have not stopped to read anyone's blog in a few months.

However I came back to blog today and found things I had written as we began to change churches, crazy that it has nearly been a year. I read a comment you left me and felt so encouraged nearly a year later because of where I am now!

This blog just amazes me, just realizing that God's timing and plan are perfect and that He always has our best in mind. The big thing that I'm learning right now!

Sista In Arms Lxx said...

Awesome, there are so many who bless behind the scene, not in full view, not out there for all to see, but silently working away how important and integral are these busy hands. Lxx

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

I just wanted to wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and to thank you for becoming by blogging buddy. I still have not spoke yet at my church ladies group. But am so glad for the names of God that you gave to me. I will be using them to pass on the blessing.

Lee Ann

Angelica Bays, said...

HOw cool is that!!?
Ok, I'm sharing this with my friends- it's too fun!!