When God Works in the Not-So-Normal

When God Works in the Not-So-Normal

God’s Amazing Work Behind the Scenes of Our Tenth Honeymoon Despite the Circumstances

I thought I’d share some of what’s happening in my world with you and what God was already working in the background when things had already gone horribly wrong. Sorry, I haven’t taken the time for quite a while to look up from my computer and share a blog post with you. I’d been caught up working on a book proposal after my editors finished doing their amazing work as my Boaz and I prepared for our tenth honeymoon. I think you will be amazed at our faithful God’s response to the crises of His people.

Special note: All images and photos are the property of Charlaine W. Martin. These may not be used in any form without express written permission from Charlaine Martin.

Our Tenth Honeymoon Trip

My Boaz and I took our tenth honeymoon to Maine, one of my bucket list trips. The scenery was breathtaking! We visited the lighthouses we could drive to see. Many of those in Maine are on islands and inlets that require going on a cruise boat. Those excursions are expensive! Besides, we paid to help family members have a good vacation when they visited us. So, we did everything we could for free or nearly free.

Many lighthouses, built in the 1800s, are part of the state park system, so they charge a small fee to park. We were used to seeing tall lighthouses closer to the water’s level or a bit higher. But Maine has a lot of high cliffs overlooking the bays and inlets. These beacons don’t have to be tall towers to be effective. Also, many of them are still in active use, supplementing GPS used by the ships.

Just as breathtaking was the waterfront in many of the towns, with a history that dates back to the 1700s. Beautiful boardwalks and brick sidewalks took us to the docks lined with shops and restaurants famous for lobster rolls. Boaz decided to get a naked lobster roll—no sauce. I wanted a gluten-free bun, so we got them together and picked the lobster meat off so I wouldn’t have to deal with the horrid seafood taste. We enjoyed strolling along hand-in-hand, taking in the view of its history.

Something we appreciated was the History in the Streets signage. We could walk around town to see historic homes and sites to learn about them. One town, Wiscasset, was chock full of history. One large brick house that we encountered was a customs house. George Washington instituted customs houses during his presidency, appointing Wiscasset as a port of entry. In 1870, this custom house was built, one of three. We also encountered a very old graveyard with people who were movers and shakers in early American history, such as Samuel Sewell, a chief justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature. He died in 1730. We also encountered a lovely sunken garden, which we found to be a good kissing spot!

We certainly got a lot of walking in! They don’t put those lighthouses in convenient places for tourists, you know. Instead, we hiked quite a ways up to them. Also, we walked the waterfronts in many of the towns and Portland. Two of the most challenging hikes were below the lighthouses. We stood stunned at the power of the waves at Pemaquid Lighthouse, which took out its bell tower in January of 2024. As we trekked down the rocky side, we stepped onto smoothly, worn rock so eerily beautiful. The water’s power had carved it into a marvelous, smooth stone slab far below the lighthouse. Since Boaz was tired from earlier trekking, the other hike I took was the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. It was also a light station on a rocky cliff. I hiked down a long stairway and onto boulders to see it from the harbor side. Wisdom told me that my age and short legs limited my ability to continue further down the rocky slope. I didn’t get quite the view of the lighthouse I hoped, but the view was stunning in its own right. I came very close to closing my exercise ring on my Apple watch without setting it to count my exercise!

The Uncommon Behind the Vacation

The Friday before we left, I had a bad allergic reaction that sent me to the Emergency Room. Even with the allergy pillow covered and its zipper duct taped, I still got quite a snoot full of dust mite mess. Dizzy and fatigued, covered in a rash that felt like I’d been rolling in fiberglass insulation, plus a dull ache at the back of my skull finally convinced my Boaz how bad my allergies really are. I’d been telling him everything we’d been doing wasn’t enough. I was fast-tracked through the ER and sent home with a short course steroid pack and instructions.

I wore a mask at the airport and on the plane going to Maine. Boaz thought it was a bit much until I explained that steroids lowered my immunity and we were boarding the Germ Tube. After disembarking the plane, we rolled our luggage over to the car rental counters only to discover they wouldn’t take our debit card. We appeared to be a bad risk during the credit check because we don’t use credit cards and have no recent credit history. The rental agent looked confused as we explained that we live by Dave Ramsey’s principles. We don’t do credit at all. It didn’t matter. So, we checked the other companies’ counters and found one that would. Unfortunately, it came at twice the price to get a set of wheels. Certainly, sleeping in the car rental agency for the week wasn’t on our agenda. We did it anyway. As Boaz dealt with the car rental, I watched a chipmunk run up to the door, look in the glass, and then scamper away. He amused me as he returned to try several times to come inside. What was he after? Who knows, but he did make it in later and scampered into the men’s bathroom. Finally, our vacation could begin!

 When we arrived at our hotel, I braced myself for the worst—a carpeted room that zillions of feet had tracked through. God provided me with a room that had NO CARPET! Praise God! Nonetheless, the bed is always a concern. It took one night to figure it out. He claimed one bed while I had the other with a plastic mattress cover and slightly inflated 99-cent beach ball for a pillow, versus a flocked inflatable camping pillow for $25 or more, and my own cotton blanket. It wasn’t what we wanted, but it was what I needed.

Later on, we went further north and stayed in a “hotel”—a motel—that should have had vinyl wood flooring and a queen bed that would fit my allergy cover, which I had booked. Nope! It had old carpet with a nasty odor that supposedly had been thoroughly cleaned the week before. It was also on the second floor with no elevator. Evidently pets and their owners get priority over humans with health conditions. Boaz had a bad back and knees with a worsening heart condition. We team lifted the suitcases up the steps. Then we split the bed and hugged our own sides after our daytime excursions. Intimacy took some creativity.

 I followed the regimen the ER doctor told me to follow before our trip. Even so, from that motel, my neck felt raw with eczema, and I’ve got several spots on my legs. My lungs hurt, too. Only two days later, we were back at the hotel that was my safe haven.

On the trip back, I didn’t think it necessary to wear my mask since I had finished my steroid treatment several days prior. What a mistake! In the wee hours of the morning, we pulled into our drive and crashed into bed. Two or three hours into our blissful slumber, I awoke to chest pains. Printzmetal angina struck at the worst time. Ugh! I tried walking and deep breathing but ended up taking nitroglycerin. We both wanted to sleep, but the only way I could do that was to use my husband’s portable oxygen concentrator. We thought all was well until I woke up feeling like someone played soccer with my head, and Montezuma’s revenge hit hard. I slept the day away between trips to the bathroom. Why, oh, why? At first, we thought I picked up a virus on the plane. It turned out that lack of sleep triggered the chest pains, and nitroglycerin can cause migraines in people prone to migraines. This type of headache never happened before when I’d taken it. Today is the first day I’ve felt somewhat normal. On the positive side, I lost four to five pounds, but not how I’d like.

Where is the Spiritual Application?

As hard as it can be, I had to trust God for what I needed on our trip. Many people don’t realize how fraught with challenges Bible teachers, Christian authors, and others who minister in the name of Jesus are. One man on social media complimented me for my posts. If only he knew about what happened in the background, he would realize how much more God deserved the credit than me! These challenges keep us from taking the glory that rightfully belongs to God. Paul’s thorn in the flesh, thought to be a physical malady, kept him very humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). There is nothing we can do in our own power that can compare to what God can do through us by His power. Even so, God has victory through us and despite our circumstances.

When you find yourself in less-than-ideal situations, not of your own cause, ask yourself what you are doing right now for God. If you are effective, you will likely encounter obstacles to accomplishing that work. Satan attacks God’s people, who are most effective for God’s kingdom. Lay your difficult circumstances before Him in prayer. Then, continue forward, trusting Him to take care of the rest. Give God everything, and He will indeed receive the glory. Life is always an adventure with God, isn;t it?

Many blessings to you!

Looking for a new devotional? How about Love, Peace & Joy? Check it out here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *