Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lessons Learned From A Weekend We Didn't Expect

This past weekend, our plans were to drive to Milwaukee for a wedding and then come back on Sunday. But, just in case you didn't check Facebook this weekend, here's a little recap of the super great weekend we ended up having:

So to sum up, we drove 4 hours, broke down, spent 4 hours at a tiny gas station trying to get a tow (thus missing the wedding), spent 40 more hours in Wisconsin waiting for our car to get fixed, found out it was a problem too big [read:expensive] to fix, rented a car, and drove 4 hours back home. Awesome. Weekend. As Bri says, it would have saved a lot of time and money if we would have just gone outside on Saturday, set his car on fire, and then gone back inside. Touché. 

However, that is not what happened, so therefore we now have this story to tell. This story that includes tears (I held it together pretty well most of the time), gas station food, an hour and a half of being on hold with Discover, sitting in a cold car while one of my dear friends walked down the aisle, losing a beloved car, missing plans with good friends, and renting a car 2 weeks before we both turn 25 (ergh!). 

But it's also a story that includes the sovereignty of our God. Our car stopped running literally a block away from a gas station (rather than the highway), the gas station attendant was super helpful and nice (even when we were basically loitering in his store for 4 hours), our friends came and saved us with their AAA (and let us crash at their place all weekend), and so many other small (and big) blessings along the way. 

So here are a few lessons we learned from our little adventure:

1. Hold your expectations loosely. I titled this post "Lessons Learned From A Weekend We Didn't Expect" because that's exactly what this past weekend was... something we didn't expect. It was a disappointment in many ways and didn't go at all how we planned. But the situation only got more frustrating as I tried to hold on to my expectations with all my might. As I felt like I had a right to the plans we had made, the disappointment only grew more strong. But when I started to let go of those plans and embrace the direction God had us on, my attitude changed drastically and I was able to enjoy the moments that were joyful.

2. Focus on the positive. Be thankful. As you can tell from my two lists above—one filled with all the sad, bad, and mad things we had to deal with, and the other filled with all the graces we encountered throughout the ordeal—perspective can really change a situation. As much as we wanted to wallow in the suckiness that was our weekend, both Bri and I made it a point to try and dwell on the positive things that were happening and be thankful for how God was so plainly providing for us. And when we did? It made all the difference.

3. Have a sense of humor. Don't take things too seriously. Be against the problem, not each other. It was really easy to get wound up in this stressful, time-sensitive situation, and then take that out on each other. But after awhile, I think we both realized that it wasn't the end of the world, and that if we had a sense of humor about it, everything would feel much less heavy. I joked that this weekend was a test of our marriage and we passed, but really, it was a test of how well we handle stress and "emergency" situations. 

Bonus Lesson: Emergency funds are good. This whole situation is SO much less stressful since we aren't freaking out about finances. For now, we've decided to try out the whole one-car family deal, and so far the first couple days have gone well! But we are aware that we will probably want to replace that car eventually (maybe before next winter), and it's so nice to not have to wonder where it's coming from. Thanks Dave Ramsey!

So hopefully you had a less disastrous weekend then we did, and can instead learn these lessons second-hand. You're welcome. :)


  1. We have been doing the one car thing for almost 6 months! We didn't plan on doing it but now I won't trade it! Enjoy that time together!

    1. It is nice to have that extra time together in the morning and afternoon! My job situation might be changing soon which will make one car more difficult, so I don't know if I'll be singing its praises as much then, but for now we've really been enjoying it!


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