A Dream Vacation Come True

Img_2233_Edited.jpg  

Magical. Amazing. Happy. A Dream Come True. Just a few words that keep coming to mind as I reflect on our recent trip to Disney World. Who would have ever thought that on the incredible journey of caring for Baby Shafer that we would be given a dream vacation?

  Img_2101.jpg

The Lord continues to astound us with crazy good in our lives, along with the crazy bad. A dear friend of ours made contact with some pastor friends of his in Orlando and God impressed upon their hearts to gift our family of 7 park hopper passes to Disney.

Img_2242.jpg  

Then only days later, our same dear pastor friend in Nashville emailed us again and said that a couple from his church wanted to provide our accommodations for the week at a nearby resort. Then, a family from the school our children attend came up to my husband the day before we left and provided the resources to assist with our gas and food expenses.

  Img_2253.jpg

To say the least, we were simply blown away. How can mere strangers, casual acquaintances, and relatively new friends provide for us in such a profound way?

It was God and God alone who worked out all the details for our family to experience the joy of receiving such gifts.

Img_2173.jpg  

Yes, God divinely orchestrated every last detail even though we encountered a few near misses/scares during the weeklong festivities.

  Img_1852.jpg
  Shafer looking at his Mickey sticker to complement his mini G-tube (thus, Mickey & Minnie)

The morning we were to leave, Shafer woke up with a 103 temperature. So off to the doctor we went, not knowing if this would completely halt our plans. Hours later, we were cleared after labs leaned toward a virus. We left armed with all the necessary paperwork just in case we needed to go to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children while in Orlando. The fever lasted 4 days, yet Shafer was a trooper and showed no outward signs of feeling bad.

Img_2295.jpg  
Shafer on his favorite tea cup ride with mommy  

After a great conclusion to our time at Disney, Shafer awoke on Saturday morning with his feeding tube (G-tube) completely pulled out of his stomach! We clicked into emergency mode, called Vanderbilt, were given directions to head straight to the emergency room, and again God watched over us as timing played on our side and they were able to reinsert another tube without surgery.

  Img_2332.jpg
  A few of nature's friends coming for a visit on the patio of our villa

Then the rains poured in for the next three days. But, God had another surprise in store.

Img_2349.jpg  

We were able to meet up with some of our good friends from Atlanta who were rained out of the Magic Kingdom and enjoy some great time. We have literally talked about going somewhere together for years and have never been able to make it work with our schedule, but the Lord allowed us to collide at Disney.

I really can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard or had as much fun. Again, just another example of how God has made good out of all things.

  Img_2364.jpg
Img_2370.jpg  

There were numerous highlights on our trip, yet Shafer was mesmerized by the parades. After each one ended, he would repeatedly say “again…again” as if we could rewind and cause Goofy, Donald, Mickey, Minnie, and the gang to dance right back down Main Street!

Every minute of every day, every show (the kids favorite by far was the Festival of the Lion King), every meal, every encounter with the Disney characters, every ride, every everything was truly magical. I now fully get their motto, “Let the Memories Begin.” From the moment our toes touched the property, we entered into a land of make believe and dreams.

  Img_2412.jpg
Img_2473.jpg  

Happiness exudes from Disney…and it is contagious. It beckons you in and takes you on a magical journey of remembering days gone by of enjoying childhood memories to fast-forward you into the reality that now your children are where you once were.

This vacation was a dream come true for us. It somehow lifted the load of the past 2 years and gave us a renewed sense of hope for the future.

  Img_2488.jpg
Img_2556.jpg  

“Tomorrowland” is a mystery for all of us, yet if we trust the Lord and cling to Jeremiah 29:11—“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”—we can approach each day knowing that God will take good care of us.

Love and blessings to all,
Shafer’s Mommy