Ok, so I'll admit, I could not resist that colossal chocolate cake from Claim Jumpers last night!
David and I ordered it after our meals and we could only get through half of it, but what a devine half that was!
I'm still recovering from sugar shock, but it was definitely worth it for a peek into what life would be like if I could have dessert on demand!
Now I'll have to ride my stationary bike for about 14 hours to make up for it!
Speaking of bikes, let me tell you about "Penelope"!
Penelope is our GPS and she did an awesome job getting us across this great country of ours, but upon arriving in Marysville, something changed.
She seemed to be avoiding the highways and freeways and interstates. At first we thought that she was just being courteous because she was as sick of traveling as we were. We were thankful that she was showing us the beautiful winding back roads of the Pacific Northwest, but on our first Sunday morning when we were heading to church, we knew that something bigger was going on here.
We were told that The Rock Church was only 20 minutes away. To a "last minute" person with herself and a five year old to get ready, plus a bunch of lazy teenagers to prod awake, a 20 minute drive means we leave at exactly 19 minutes and 59 seconds before we need to be there! Hey, every extra second counts when you are shoving cocoa puffs down your throat, affixing ribbons in semi-wet hair and making sure everyone's socks match, plus nothing beats the thrilling challenge of whittling down that extra second on the road!
So, with the chaos that can only come from a family of six exiting a house full of boxes in a town that they have been in for less than 36 hours, we piled into the van.
We plugged in the address for The Rock Church and Penelope betrayed us.
Her smug display told us that we'd be there in 3 hours and 18 minutes!
Even at warp speed, we'd never make it!
Sure that she was dilusional, we headed out anyway.
With each mile Penelope dropped our arrival time by 10 or 12 minutes.
I usually get alot of satisfaction from making good time in an "almost late" situtation and from looking at the ever lessening arrival time display, I was feeling like I was flying!
This would go down in history as the best save from the clutches of lateness ever!
It was quite rewarding to see our progress as we got closer and closer, but we were still confused by the route Penelope chose to take us on.
It seemed like we made about 750 turns through backwoods and tiny towns.
Our panic subsided when we reached our destination at exactly 10:55 for a service that began at 11:00.
We planned to go to IKEA after the service and asked someone how long it would take us to get there. We were told that we were within an hour of IKEA, so we plugged the address into Penelope and again, she told us that we'd be there in over 4 hours!
David spent some time sifting through her menu and didn't see any indication that we were instructing her to avoid main roads, so we were convinced that she obviously needed a date with our PC for some updates.
We followed her directions as she led us through roads thick with trees and steep hills. We really enjoyed the ride and the scenery was beautiful, but we were confused as to why she was not taking us on any interstates which clearly would have gotten us there much quicker. Again our arrival time dropped with each mile we traveled and it took us about an hour and 30 minutes to get to IKEA.
Having shopped way longer than we had intended, when we got back in the van, all we really wanted to do was get home quickly. We plugged in our home address and were shocked to see that it would take us 5 hours to get home!
Determined to find out what was going on, David went through every single setting to figure out why Penelope insisted on the scenic route.
After 8 agonizing minutes of sitting in the parking lot of IKEA with four grumbling kids who just wanted to go home, I saw a gleam in my husband's eyes.
"Aha!" he said.
"I found the problem!"
My husband is a fixer.
He has always been good at tracking down a glitch and and providing a remedy.
"Penelope thinks we are on a bike!"
Apparently when we first arrived in Marysville, Madison was playing with the settings on the GPS in an effort to change our display vehicle. We normally travel as a little blue sports car or the "Black Pearl" from Pirates of the Carribean, but Madison wanted something different.
When she found "Bicycle Mode" she expected our display to change to some version of a mongoose mountain bike, so she chose it.
Our display never became a bike, but Penelope's understanding of what we were driving did change.
That is why our arrival time dropped so much with each mile we drove.
Penelope must have throught we were on the fastest bicycle ever!
So, now we know that we are 3 hours and 18 minutes from church in case we ever feel like riding our bikes there!
Now that she is fixed, I get places much quicker, I travel with the flow like everyone else. But having driven through the gorgeous backroads of the area we now call home, my eyes have been opened to what lies beyond the mainstream.
And it's worth the time management it takes to experience it.
When I have visitors come, I might just let Penelope think we are on a bike again. It would be a shame to visit here and never see what lies beyond the convenient.
It kinda reminds me of Jesus when He left heaven to become our Way.
Following Jesus will rarely take you on the main roads that are heavily traveled. Instead He'll lead you by Faith on roads you have never seen before.
He'll direct you up steep hills that you fear you'll never reach the top of and then He'll show you the view from there and you'll be so thankful for the climb!
He's seen what lies beyond the traffic of this world and He's promised us that it is worth experiencing!