Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is It Really "The Happiest Place On Earth"?

We still don't have a computer. After Dell sent ours back refusing to fix it (URG!) we got very busy with our requirements for Fostering and getting ready for a trip to Disneyland!!!

A couple in our church graciously blessed and astounded us with five four day passes for our family at Christmas time. We were so shocked.... I cried. We told the kids on Christmas Eve and I wondered at the time why they were not very excited, as I was. When we were getting ready to go though they were not able to sit still. Lilo was pacing the kitchen with her roller luggage and pillow in hand way before it was time to go out the door. Something occurred to me at that point. Children are such a picture of us all. I thought of their lack of excitement at Christmas and pondered again why they were not elated as they were when we were ready to leave. Are we not the same. God promises us heaven with a ticket bought and payed for by the blood of his precious Son. Yet, we not only do not show excitement, we even forget about it. After all, it's not now right? Now we see the pile of "presents under the tree" and they are the tangible, the here and now, the immediate gratification we so long for. It's the same reason the kids gave a quiet "yeah!" lacking the triumphant exclamations I had expected. They had their presents under the tree for the next morning and a supposed guaranteed trip to ..hello...DISNEYLAND was in the unknown future. We say the same thing to God..."um, I'll take my next cheap thrill here and now please!" Oh, how foolish we are. They also had no idea what to expect since they had never been. They had no maturity of foresight to glean from. If they only knew how that new little toy would pale in comparison to a day of non-stop fun. Yet, we are promised an eternity of absolute joy. We forget, and when we remember, we just can't see the value of the coming bliss, we only see the bling-bling of the present and we run to it because it gives that superficial high. Even Disneyland itself is a difficult thing to come down from. Returning to reality became a longing of mine by the third day. The value and peace of simplicity and every day hard work is factored into our making and actually gives us more joy than adrenaline kicked up thrills. We tire of it quickly and even the most amazing, and most entertaining thrill will need to be topped by something better. Even though I was moved to hear Julie Anderews words at the end of the fireworks show (which is so fun!) and felt my chest swell with a sob to think that my children were given this chance when we cold not have given it to them ourselves, I could not help but see the futility of a child thinking that this wonderful place would indeed make all their dreams come true and be "the happiest place on earth" for them. It is fun, and it is wonderful, and I am so thankful beyond words that God literally gave us this trip through many different gracious and generous hands, I feel the impact of the fact that it is also a "present under the tree" of this life and pales in comparison to the fullness of joy that awaits. So, I thank God for his parental patience with us as His children and his love to give us those gifts anyway at times, and holding back at others. To understand that we cannot possibly know what He holds for us and therefore we foolishly seek such temporal drop-in-the-bucket thrills. I hope my children learn that in their lives. I hope I learn it before the end too! All is enjoyed with open hand, to be taken at any moment without begrudging him the taking because all I have is goodness dropped in the lap of no doing of my own. Nothing is owed me and yet all fullness is promised me. I hope I learn to remember more than I forget. Even that would be seeing things ever so slightly more as they really are. After all, the world is a Fantacyland with wood and paint and special effects. An attempt to create the reality of joy our hearts long for. Over as quickly as it started, happiness fleeting as fast as it came, unpredictable and unsteady. Don't bank on it. It could disappear in a moment and without the Lord and His promises and fullness of joy, we will be left standing in the greatest emptiness we have ever known.

We did have a wonderful time. Lilo was sick the second day and even spiked a fever which frustrated me because we had three weeks of sickness before we left so I thought "oh, no, here we go again and we will have to go on home". She had had a cold, pink eye, and the puke flu before we left. Princess had a fever and cold. Superkid had the puke flu and I got it last right before we were about to go. In the midst of that, Rick and I were trying to get in our CPR and First Aid training, a preliminary walk through and TB test. We are pretty much done with our stuff except for a few toddler locks needed on the cabinets, and a print out of our DMV records. They have 90 days to get us licensed so that puts us being done near the end of the school year.
Oh, I forgot to say that we prayed for her and she was fine the next morning. I think she just got way over worn out. I layed there the night she had been sick and just prayed "Lord, give us wisdom if we need to go home we need to go home but you gave us this trip and if it's your will, let her enjoy the last two days." He did, and she had lot's more fun.
I was ever grateful I do not live in that area though...LA traffic is one of the worst things in the world.


Joan said...

Yay, Alicia! It's good to hear from you again! I'm SO GLAD you all got to go to Disneyland, and I look forward to hearing more about it! We miss you! Love, Joan

Alicia said...

Hi Joan!
I'm just going to try to use the computer lab at the school more often till Rick finds the right paperwork for the computer.
I can't post pics though!:(

Claire said...

Good to see you, Alicia! What a fun trip! We had passes a few years back, and just enjoyed going so much. I do live here in L.A. County (Disneyland is in Orange County), and the traffic in both counties is horrendous. I so want to be out of here.