One month has passed since my family and I drove down from Oregon to begin my internship here at Joseph International. Looking back at the 29 hour trip, I am amazed at the Divine Grace given to my wife and me as we traveled with our four beautiful children. We were sure to pack enough snacks, water, pillows, and blankets to get us through each traveling day. Right before we started on our merry way, we went over the Nava traveling rules: no fighting, no hitting, and absolutely no whining. We were no more than two hours away from home when our nine year old son, Micah, asked, “Are we there yet?” And so it began: the fighting, the hitting, and the whining! I don’t know how many times I heard a child say, “He’s touching me!” or “Get your feet out of my face!” And that was just day one.
On day two, after stopping at a rest area, one of my lovely boys yells, “I think I left my wallet at the rest area because I can’t find it anywhere in the car.” Since I did not want to replace the money, I took an illegal turn and headed back to the rest area. I wish I could say I did this joyfully, but not really. Divine Grace allowed us to find the wallet, protected me from a ticket, and protected our son from holy discipline! As we traveled along, our third child, Malachi, insisted his seat was not as comfortable as everyone else’s. So we had them all take turns on different seats to make sure everyone got “the comfortable seat” (which ever one that was!).
By day three, we were all ready to be home, so we were a little on edge. Driving through plain Nebraska didn’t make it any better. We were all sick of seeing cows, yet craving burgers and fries! As we traveled on, the singing began. My oldest, Miriam, was repeatedly belting out LMFAO’s ,“Party rockin’ in the house tonight, everybody’s gonna have a good time!” At this point, Hadassah, the youngest of the four had had enough. She could no longer stand to hear her siblings talk, much less sing. Now this was a bit of a doozy for us to resolve because we couldn’t either! Divine Grace gave us the wisdom to put on Francesca Batastelli, Hadassah and Miriam’s favorite singer. All through the trip, I implored for God’s Divine Grace as I watched my beautiful wife sleep while I drove 27 out of the 29 hours! She did offer to drive, but I kept hearing my father-in-law’s voice in my head, “I used to drive 16 hours straight on our family trips, all by myself”(of course I had to beat that record!).
As a result, this trip taught me so much more about God’s Divine Grace in my life. How many times am I extremely whiny, cranky, annoying, and fail to follow the Father’s instructions? And how many times do I bicker with my loved ones and try the Lord’s patience? My attitude and actions toward others are nowhere close to his Divine Grace. Thankfully, His grace is sufficient and his mercies are new every morning. Every day, he teaches me, through his Divine Grace, his love, kindness, patience, long suffering, temperance, and joyfulness, as I travel with my family on the road of life.
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