Well…my friends, are you tired of hearing about our crazy trip to Disney yet?
Good. I won't share anymore stories FROM Disney, but I wanted to share with you our story of coming HOME because it was just as marvelous and unexpected and breath-catching.
We got up this morning at 3:30 to catch the bus from our resort to the airport. [Sadly, we had to leave KRUSH (my beloved scooter) behind. It was a tender moment saying goodbye to her. You'd be proud of me; I didn't cry as I had to leave her looking lonely next to the bell hop. My only wish for her was that someone else wouldn't treat her as a china doll, but rather as the tough girl that she really is.]
We had a totally uneventful direct flight to Buffalo and landed around 9:30 AM, all prepared to be met by our friend John Moore to drive us home. As we walked out of the exit hallway, we saw this man holding a sign that said, "Rush Family."
What is this?!?
Turns out someone sent a limo to the airport to come and get us and take us home! What??
Kenny Driver (real name - he showed me his driver's license) was a GREAT limo driver and took us to our friends Ryan and Danielle Kader's house where their two year old, Sullivan, explored his first limo. Sully was excited about the limo, but he was most excited because he just LOVES Buzz Lightyear and, the day before, we emailed a picture of the four of us with Buzz, and Sullivan was now convinced that this new fancy-dancy limo would take him to Buzz and Woody's house. He was vastly disappointed when we all left their house, taking our dog Mollie Moo, with us and he didn't get go visit Buzz and Woody. Oops. Sorry, Sullivan.
Mollie Moo took to the limo like a puppy who has longed for a life of even more leisure and spoiling and, believe it or not, within 30 seconds BOTH she and Emilie were fast asleep and missed the excitement of the entire ride home.
I then texted my neighbor, Julie, to let her know that we'd be coming by soon in a limo and her three little ones might want to get their coats on to come over and check it out before Kenny Driver had to get to his next job.
Well…as we pulled into our neighborhood and got closer to our house…it became clear that our time of being TOTALLY spoiled was not yet over! We pulled up to our house and saw our entire driveway lined with the cutest row of about 20 snowmen you've ever seen. Some of them even fully dressed! We had snow forts carved into our snow as well as Welcome Home signs painted in the snow and, Chad's favorite, a Snoopy carved on top of his very own house as you'd see in the Peanuts cartoon. We later learned that some of those friends then circled our home and prayed over us like they did last winter.
And…within minutes of our arrival we found out who the culprits were who were largely responsible for making this grand surprise happen: Christine and Tracy (who both are/were affiliated with WNY Make-A-Wish and who coordinated puling off this surprise in less than 3 days); Christian (who took all the amazing pictures you'll see; and Julie (our neighbor who loves us well and who knows our garage code!) Not only did they gather neighbors and friends to carve our snowman greeting parade, but they also invited them to FILL OUR HOME to over-flowing with balloons, fun little gifts, and yummy treats all decorated to a Dr. Seuss theme.
|Can you say, "Surprised?!?!?"|
While I could say a ton more, the truth is that my mouth is sore from smiling, and my head is sore from shaking it back and forth in disbelief, and my jaw is sore from dropping open in utter amazement, and my brain is sore from trying to wrap itself around all this generosity and lavish love poured out over us by those who love us and love God.
While I should be embarrassed by all this lavish love, the truth is that – If I'm honest - I have just flourished in receiving it. It has refreshed my spirit, strengthened my mind, and encouraged my heart to continue to press into Him, trusting Him even more for the steps that lie ahead for our family – whatever those steps may be. It has been just as great a joy - if not greater - to watch our children (and nephews too) come to understand that, often God calls us to be wise and practical stewards of that which He has entrusted to us and, yet, sometimes He calls us to be almost ridiculous in the extravagance we show in worshipping Him and letting others know that He loves them too. To watch our kids embrace being delighted has been beyond–fun and a powerful opportunity to speak new truths to them.
So…to ALL of you who had a hand in either our Disney or our Welcome Home extravagant pouring out of love over our family…whether you ordered a floral arrangement, sent a Valentine's Day card, froze your tushy off making a snowman, lifted us in prayer, encouraged us via a comment on FB or an email note, bought us a silly little gift that made us giggle, or told us in words that you love us…. WE ARE THANKFUL FOR YOU. So incredibly thankful. You have made these past 8 days unlike NONE other we have experienced. We will forever be grateful and would love to thank each one of you in person. In fact, my mother is beside herself wondering how thank you notes will be sent out to each of you!!! (Not gonna happen and I assured her that none of you were in it for the thank you note!)