The Drive to Newport Beach by Heidi Avery

Hey ladies,

It’s Monday, 12 noon to be exact and this will not be a usual blog from me. I think most of you knew that we were going out to Newport Beach for an extended work/vacation. My handsome, sweet, wonderful, hardworking husband will be covering the work part and we will be taking care of the rest and perfecting it only when he is able to join us 

We also decided to put our house on the market for these 6 weeks just to see what happens. Because of that decision the last 2 weeks have been consumed with repairing, painting and packing.

As Saturday ended our weeks of hard work Sunday began our family’s long anticipated 6 week journey to Newport Beach.

We were so excited and determined that even the 10 or so hour drive with 2 vehicles, a small Uhaul and our 3 sweet anxious children would be the BEST ever.

Our grand plans were to all be in bed early Saturday night and leave Sunday morning at 4 am, arriving to our cute little house on Balboa Island in the late afternoon. Just in time to get settled and relax on the front patio before the setting sun.

Sounds perfect, right? Right.

As prepared as I was we were not in bed until after 1am Sunday morning. Robert decided that a little extra sleep would be best for our long drive to LA and since we were driving both cars I couldn’t argue with that wisdom.

Sunday, 8:30am and off we go! Giving up my dream of arriving in the late afternoon my second-best plans were pulling in during the 7pm sunset. It was Hannah with me in the Yukon and Robert, Robbie and Isabelle in the Avalanche towing the Uhaul. Aside from being asked every 15 minutes “mommy, how many more minutes until we get to our house with the red door?” it was going great!

The un-perfect-ness began at 6pm, what I thought was an hour and a half from our destination. In Reno as you well know we can leave and arrive anywhere in about 10-15 minutes. In LA unexpected and sometimes unidentified traffic can delay you from even your second-best plans. It just happens here. In this case it lasted an entire hour.

Desperate for a bathroom and dinner we began to search for a family-friendly restaurant. It may surprise you, but this took another hour. All I remember is Robert saying I am going to turn in to the first family-friendly restaurant I see. Next thing we know, flashing in the distance was the sign “Dinah’s Diner… the BEST fried chicken” and below that it said “family-friendly restaurant.” A sign from God, right, no… more like a consequence to a wrong turn or something. They did give me a white carnation for Mothers Day, so that was a bonus.
We left at 9pm… no daylight to be found and as it turned out we were actually 2 hours from Newport Beach.

11pm-ish…we pulled up to Balboa island and the streets are very narrow and by that time of the evening the narrow streets are also filled with cars… very expensive cars. We maneuvered our giant trucks and Uhaul through the narrow streets and fortunately managed to find a long enough parking spot for the truck and Uhaul on our street. Remember that game we played as kids, operation? It was like that.

We made it, quickly unpacked and put the kids to bed and passed out… 1am.

Monday, rise and shine its 6am and my children are up! Besides being a little tired and a sore mouth from eating sunflower seeds (barbeque flavored) and lots of them… too many actually and milk duds… a huge box, Carl’s Jr for lunch (yuck), more sunflower seeds and gas station $3.99 teriyaki beef jerky from the bin that I had to ask for a bag for, I was doing fine and once again excited about our 6 week journey.

We’ve unpacked, walked the island and enjoyed a wonderful brunch and the clouds have just lifted exposing the warm sunshine. Right now, I’m sitting on the patio, listening to Sanctus Real, on my laptop writing to you and watching my children play happily.

I prayed for you all yesterday, that your Mothers Day was happy and blessed in everyway. Even amidst a really long drive and really bad food mine sure was. I wouldn’t change any of it… well, I still might have left at 4am 

I’m sorry this is being posted so late in the day and please forgive any errors as I am not printing this out to re-read it, re-write portions of it, allowing my husband to red-ink it or passing it by my darling Kelli for further inspiration… I’m just posting it.

I’ve also decided to share a poem with you that I wrote in 2005. I think it goes along nicely with our path to bigger faith and each verse was inspired by God’s word. Be encouraged and inspired my sweet friends…

The Mighty Living Vine

When empowered with the strength that only you can provide.
I can pick up my cross daily and walk confidently to the place where I will die.

My desires easily entice me and distract me from your perfect truth.
But with the gift of your Holy Spirit I am able to rise up and deny myself.

I can get caught up in the temptation of the world, filled full of deception.
Or I can follow after you where I can do anything and all that you promise is certain.

I can be your disciple if I hold on to the teaching that you designed especially for me.
Your truth never fails to set me free, it stands bold next to the blur of all that deceives.

Even though I do stray, I know well the place that I should always remain.
All I ask of you is given, even when the answer is not what I expected, it is always for my gain.

Thank you that I am but the branches connected to you the mighty living vine.
If I remain steadfast planting your word in my heart, much fruit will I bear over time.

And should any good fruit be produced at all, it would not be from my own failing ability.
Just the results of your perfect plan, carefully orchestrated, all for your great glory.

You have ever faithfully loved me, with a love that hard as I try, I cannot understand.
I long to love others the way you do, so in me they see the great work of your hand.

There is no greater love then when you laid down your life for me.
Fill me with courage that I may lay down my own life, in complete obedience, sacrificially.

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