When the Lord prompted me last month to take a last minute trip to Oklahoma and Minnesota, it was AMAZING to watch Him work out ALL of the details!
I gave my two-week notice at my dental office job on January 23rd. On the 24th, the dentist told me that I could just "finish out the week", rather than staying on for two more weeks. Also on the 24th, I chatted with Cassie about possibly coming for a visit to Minnesota. On the 25th, I chatted with Kayla about a possible visit to Oklahoma. My mind was whirring with possibilities of trying to fit both trips into one trip (and my finger were flying over the keyboard as I perused flight schedules, etc.)
I looked at the employee calendar at the bookstore, and saw that a couple of employees had some big vacations coming up, which meant that I would be getting some extra hours . . . and also meant that I needed to take my trip quickly, in order to be back to cover the other vacations. I also needed to schedule my vacation around the two Bible Journaling Classes that I had scheduled to teach in February, along with other responsibilities.
Texts and emails were flying around between me and Cassie and Kayla, and I was looking closely at my budget (since I had just quit my well-paying job). By January 27th, I had booked a $300 round-trip direct flight to Oklahoma (with only 8 days notice, which usually means much steeper prices). On the 28th, I got a call from my manager asking if I could drive to the Lynnwood bookstore on the 29th to give their manager a day off. "Sure." That unplanned day brought in about $200 with paid travel time and mileage on top of my hourly wage. Thanks, Lord!
I was also intently scouring online reservations for car rental. I was a bit surprised to find out that my car rental would cost as much as the plane flight. Ugh. But, it was a necessity.
The Lord then prompted me to read the "small print" on each online car rental contract, before making a reservation. The first good deal that I found, required an actual credit card upon pick-up of the rental . . . . rather than a debit card. We have not had a credit card in 30 years. Take that one off the list. The next good deal only allowed the car to be taken to 5 surrounding states, and Minnesota is not a "surrounding state" from Oklahoma. Seriously? I had never heard of this car rental rule. Whew! Glad I read the small print! Thanks, Lord!
The next budget problem came because I did not want an inexpensive "economy car". We were going to be driving 1,000 miles each way . . . in the middle of winter . . . through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. The chance of snow was high. I really wanted to rent an all-wheel-drive. But, those could be $400-$500 for the week. Yikes!
Then, the Lord prompted me to check the AAA site. I have never looked at car rentals or plane flights on the AAA site. We have AAA for the Road Side Protection Plan (and we used to LOVE the TripTik maps back before smart phones and gps). I jumped on the AAA site. I found a small SUV . . . with all-wheel-drive . . . with unlimited mileage and no state restrictions . . . and it cost $300 for 10 days (which was only about $30 more than the economy cars that I had found). Thanks, Lord!
Then . . . I got asked to work on the 30th at the Everett bookstore (training a new manager), which brought in another unexpected $200 for the day. Woo Hoo! Thanks, Lord!
As we were planning specific dates to drive up to Minnesota, I thought that it might be good to split the 950-mile drive between two days on the way there, rather than driving straight through (especially since I would be travelling with two active young grandsons). I picked the city we would stay in, and found an inexpensive S*per 8 hotel. Then, when I went to enter my W*ndam Rewards number into the reservation, I was shocked to see that I had earned a Free Night. I don't go to hotels very often, so had been earning my rewards slowly for quite a few years. But, I had somehow earned the required 15,000 rewards points (whatever that means). Well, if we are going to get a free night, I am certainly not going to waste it on a S*per 8. :) I found a very nice room at a downtown hotel/convention center, with a hot buffet breakfast. And, it was all FREE! Thanks, Lord!
God so graciously directed me each step of the way in planning my trip. He took care of every detail. He directed me to some great deals, and then gave me extra days at work to pay for those great deals. And, he even gave us a FREE night at a fancy hotel! What a treat!
Thank you, Lord . . . for caring about all of the details of my life!