Friday, July 29, 2011

Road Trip: A Wisconsin Adventure

During my two hour drive to meet my husband and get away for the weekend, I prayed. I petitioned for our safety during our travel, offered thanks for the opportunity to retreat from the stress of child rearing and work and focus on our marriage for a while, and asked that Amos and I grow together in Christ, being open to what seeds may be planted during our trip. I just love when God answers prayer! We left the ol' mini van in St. Louis, packed the Versa, and we were headed north!

An overnight stay with a great friend and a quick stop at my favorite cupcakery later, we found ourselves across the Wisconsin border. The topography looked much like Missouri's rolling hills, lush green foliage, and rural communities. We marveled in details unique to Wisconsin. The endless water that peeked once in a while from behind the hills and midwest forests felt foreign to this Missouri gal, used to endless rolling hills. In my travels, the land has always dissolved into sand and palms or jungle-like greenery before the horizon was filled with sparkling water. As we drove along the edge of Lake Michigan, we saw quaint red barns scattered like a city's Starbucks.

Being in Wisconsin felt genuine, simple, and wholesome. More than anywhere else I've been, the farmland and rural communities were filled with a love for Christ. It is a subtle excitement, one that seemed to be a way of life here. Communities seemed to be confidently rooted in God's Word.

Door County, Wisconsin's "thumb" is sandwiched between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Blonde haired children working the family campground greeted us with soft Wisconsin accents. Amos and I loved that we were never more than twenty minutes from a shoreline, and we loved that the sun rose and set over a water horizon in this rural community. What a blessing to have the awe of both in one place!
We sat on the dock of the bay and watched the sunset together.

Cherry season is serious business in Door County. Amos and I took our bucket to the orchard rows and filled it with dark red berries. We picked cherries as it started to sprinkle, and walked back toward the barn through a shower of heavy, cold Wisconsin raindrops. It was perfect.

We spent a day in Chicago before heading home, and while we hadn't planned on this adventure, we both enjoyed our day sightseeing together. I loved getting to show my husband a city that I love. We enjoyed the bustle of the city and the quiet of the parks with the Chicago skyline behind us.

We traveled to the 95th floor of John Hancock to enjoy the view from atop the city. We walked Navy Pier and Chicago's Riverwalk. We discovered new neighborhoods that left this girl excited to explore them on the next visit. We stopped into the world of American Girl which hit a soft spot with a certain Daddy who brought a very special doll home for his youngest daughter.

The drive home began with music and comfortable silence, and transitioned to a sharing of faith, struggles, advice, and appreciation for one another. If we had needed to be away from home for a month in order to share those last four hours, it would have been worth it.
Praise be to God who know what we need even when we are clueless!


Mrs. Haid said...

I am happy for you that you had a refreshing time (and a bit envious, I covet that alone time with my husband).

A nosy question... do you pray for 2 hours constantly? In an out loud talking voice? Or internal dialog? Or rosary prayers, too? I am curious and always interested in learning from others to improve my prayer life.

Ashley said...

What a fantastic trip AND outlook! So happy you two got to retreat like that together! Can't wait to hear more about it in person...when will that happen?!

Kelley said...

Bethany-- I have to say I've never been asked that questions before! That particular day I spent time in internal dialogue as well as really listening to Christian music and singing along in prayer, My unscripted prayer probably lasted 30ish minutes (off and on), but the entire drive was prayer. I pray scripted prayers as well, but not nearly as often as my own. I find that, with kids, it's difficult to focus on the real meaning behind written prayers, and I end up just saying the words rather than really praying.

Mrs. Haid said...

I want to ask my Catholic MIL and GMIL about their prayers, too. But maybe that is nosy. When they say they pray the rosary for me or my family, I wonder how they can think of something and say a scripted prayer at the same time. I can barely concentrate on the words and mean them of "Come Lord Jesus" at supper. Thanks for being honest about this and sharing.

I would really, really love 2 days alone with my husband. Or 2 weeks. You are so fortunate!