Saturday, August 2, 2008

the circus after the circus

This morning we ventured off to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus at American Airlines Center. I haven't been to the circus in years- probably back when it was in Reunion Arena. (Anybody else have fond memories of Sidekick and Maverick games back in the day? Tatu was the coolest.) Anyway, my mom and dad graciously treated the whole family to breakfast and the "Greatest Show on Earth". We got a solid 3 hours of circus mania since we got there for the pre-show at 10:30. It was a pretty cool deal. They let you walk out on the floor and watch some mini-acts up close. Lily was somewhat overwhelmed at all the people and activity. She squeezed Josh's neck and just stared at all that was going on. 

sidenote: As I watched these entertainers perform their ever so random skills, I couldn't help but wonder how they got started. I mean, do you set out to be a circus star? Are you raised from birth to climb sway poles? Are you recognized and scouted out of high school for your amazing stilt-walking abilities? And it made me wonder why there's not a reality show about the circus (or at least a documentary). I would LOVE to see what goes on behind the scenes and hear the stories of the circus family members.

After the pre-show, we found our seats and Lily seemed to relax a little now that we were a good distance from the action. The next two hours were pretty fun, although it got a little slow during the second act. Yes, there's an intermission at the circus. Come on, they've got to give you as many opportunities as they can to buy the stuff they're selling. I've never seen so many flashy, twirly gadgets in all my life. And in case you get hungry (since you're there for 3 hours- during lunchtime) they've got plenty stocked up to snack on. Mind you, it will cost $12 for that cotton candy, but hey- it comes with a super snazzy hat that is obviously worth far more.

I'd say Lily's favorite parts were the jumping poodles, the popcorn, and the cotton candy. All in all, it was a good show and a good time with the family.

By 2:00 and after our short, sweaty jaunt to the gold mini, we were ready to head home and even looking forward to an afternoon nap. But unfortunately, a nap was not to be this day- for me or my toddler. A little over half-way home on I-35, a car illegally cut over in front of us into the HOV lane (one of Josh's biggest pet peeves). Doesn't seem like too big a deal (except that it's against the law), but this car sent some debris (which looked like a pipe) flying at us. There was no dodging it, and we did the only thing we could do- drove right over it. And most of the time you just look back in the rear view mirror, wonder what it could have been, and get back to conversation. All of which we did, until we smelled gas. Not a good smell when you're traveling down the highway at 75 mph. So Josh pulled over onto the shoulder (thankfully it was a big one), and we all climbed out to notice our gasoline spilling out all over the pavement. So you've got six adults (one being 9 mo pregnant) and a 2 1/2 year old stranded on the side of 35 in 103* heat. 

Since the gas line was obviously punctured, we called 911 and waited for help to arrive. Within 5 minutes, two fire trucks pulled up on the scene. The firemen were great and even let the girls sit in the firetruck while they assessed the situation. 

The tow truck arrived (with half as much haste as the firetrucks) and carried away our beloved gold mini. Dad was a trooper and rode in the tow truck while the rest of us piled into Hillary's and Macy's cars (thank you!!!) and made our way home. 

Through this very hot inconvenience, I'm reminded of how quickly our world can change. In just one instant, when I'm not expecting it, something happens that shakes or even destroys my little safety net. And what is my reaction in that situation? What am I hoping in? Where is my joy founded? Thankfully, all that was damaged today was our minivan. We all walked away by God's grace safely and unharmed. But when the time comes when the damage might be far more costly and leave my soul aching, I long to ultimately be at peace, somehow, knowing that my hope lies with my Heavenly Father and His Sovereign will. That my joy is founded in His eternal goodness, regardless of whether He gives or takes.

Just a few weeks away from Luke's arrival, I find myself more reflective than usual. And sometimes that reflectiveness looks a lot like worry. Or maybe it's not exactly worry, but just that uneasiness about what could be around the corner. Things seem so good now. Josh and I talked about this recently, and he reminded me of several people who, in the midst of great tragedy or hardship, said they see God's grace in their circumstances. They know Him far more now than before this current trial. And it just confirms how sweet our Lord is to give grace in that moment to those who need it most. To sustain them and draw them closer still. I spend so much energy worrying about what may never happen rather than resting in the fact that if/when it does, God is there to walk me through the valley. I want to rest in that even now.

Whew. Hope that makes sense. It's been a long day and a really long post. I'm off to bed. :)


Kristyn said...

Craziness! So are you without a car today...on your birthday?!!!! Let me know, we can all load up in my car if you want to hang out or need to go somewhere!!!

Nat & Annie said...

Happy Birthday Nat!! Let's celebrate soon!!!!!

Christy said...

wow nat! i am sorry about your car - that is terrible. it is good to be reminded of God's grace in each situation and how He is near even when we don't think that he is. I know you are looking forward to mr. luke getting here - can't wait to see him!
love you guys!

Rachel Wilks said...

Totally makes sense! I worry alot about WAY too many things, so this was good to read. Glad you all were's the gold mini??

Can't wait for Baby Luke to get here!!!

Meredith said...

That's crazy! Glad you're okay...and Lily got to enjoy the firetruck :-) Can't wait to hear about Luke's arrival!

John and Natalee Warren said...

Is today your birthday?
This was a great lesson for me to hear! Thanks for being open even if you didn't know if it made sense, it did to me and its so true and encouraging so thanks for sharing!

B-HO said...

I just wanna know did ya'll make the 5 o'clock news? J/J ---So GLAD ya'll are ok!!LOVE YOU ARE SENDING BIG HUGS AND KISSES LOUISIANA STYLE!!

Hillary Kouba said...

The circus looks like so much fun! I don't know what Katelyn would have done but probably being a little farther away like that she would have liked it. I can't believe the car trouble and yes with you 9 months pregnant and in the heat of the summer. I'm glad your family was with you!
We can't wait to meet Luke! Your dad said you will probably have to have a c-section. I know you had an easy labor and delivery with Lily so a c-section probably isn't your first choice but I had it with both girls and it's not too bad either. I'll be praying for you in the next few weeks!

the corsos said...

Thanks for this sweet reminder! Hope you are getting lots of rest before Mr. Luke's debut!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you guys are ok!! Glad that Lily enjoyed the circus. I am still working on your gift, it may not arrive on time due to some paying orders that have recently taken place. Please be patient, because this fun gift will make it up there...eventually. heehee

Happy Belated Birthday!!!

Andrea "The H family" said...

Girl..why do you wait so long to blog? I love reading your thoughts. comment. The gas deal freaks me out. YES! Praise God all of you walked away and YES..God is so good. more YES: Pregnancy makes you love more, appreciate more and see Him more. I so agree. I'm crying a lot here lately. I'm sappy bigtime. more point. Circus pondering. Well, my grandmother's roommate for years was a circus boy. (I've had a colorful life) He GREW up in it. It was generational and so, so, so many are born into it. I know this from many 'strange' conversations I've had with him during holidays. Odd most of them are. (so I saw) Oh..and they frequent the state fair quite a bit when not working. Great side money for them. He made cotton candy from scatch. So good.
Oky Doky--nothing like a detailed blog comment.
Hugs honey--can't wait to see Luke. Get prepared.he'll be called Baby Luke for 2 years! I've finally converted everyone to "Lukester".
Love you babe,..A

The Taylor's said...

hey girl. i am so glad you guys are ok! that is a scary thing. well hello from mississippi. lily has gotten soooo big since i last saw her. can't wait to see pictures of Luke. :)

Trog and Mendi said...

Your travel woe is eerily similar to what happened to me about a month ago. Don't know if you read it on our blog or not, but the condensed version is that I ran over a huge fire extinguisher in the middle of the highway going 70mph that had fallen off a semi. It busted my oil pan, among other things under my car, so oil was all over the road along with me one the side of the road for 3 hours in the summer heat waiting on a tow truck...Weird, huh?! I felt the same way afterwards reflecting on the graciousness of our Lord and how our lives are truly in HIS hands and His alone. I'm so glad yall are okay, but I know how stinky it is to be car-less for a bit!

Aina said...

I'm so glad that I am not the only one who wastes energy fearing the worst...thanks for reminding me of God's goodness.

My Profile said...

Glad to know you all are okay! Love your blog!