We arrived home (safely) a little over an hour ago – thank you very much for your prayers. Apparently, the roads in the KC area had been fully treated since the accidents this morning – so besides seeing some cars (and a semi) that were off the road in various places, the roads were not iced over.
As we approach Kansas City (only a few hours away) the temperature is dropping and it has been steadily raining. Ice is forming on the exterior surfaces of the bus and we have seen numerous salt trucks. The interstate is not yet slippery, but the temperature in Kansas City is 24, and our weather-tracking web page was reporting a number of accidents on various roads and interstates.
From dark and narrow mountain roads to icy interstates, it looks like Uriah is doing very well on our first trip with him!
Although, the heat in the main cabin of the bus hasn’t been working, so it has been a little chilly. It’s a good thing the heat in the driver’s area is functioning!
We started out in the bus by driving about 40 miles through curvy, narrow, and steep (9% grades) roads through the mountains until we got to the Interstate. I guess they figure that if you can drive a bus on roads like that the interstate’s will be easy…
We did stop for diesel at a Flying J. The bus has a larger gas tank than the van, actually, it is significantly larger. The van held about 30 gallons, while the bus holds 230. Filling that tank is an exciting experience.
Dad and I are now between Lexington and Louisville (both in Kentucky) on I-64 driving west – which means we have about 550 more miles to go. We spent most of the day at Easter Bus finalizing details and checking the bus out.
In the past, with one of our older vans, we have had to stop a number of times in different places and have tires balanced. It was funny to find ourselves in the bus, which has brand new tires in the front, stopping to also have those balanced.
We were finished at the tire center and on the interstate by about 6:00 p.m.
I’m not sure how much later we’ll keep driving (it’s a little after midnight) until we stop for some rest. What is nice about the bus is that there is plenty of room for sleeping bags, cushions, and air mattresses in the back.
We would appreciate prayer as we continue traveling. We’ve driven through rain in the mountains and there is a chance of freezing rain during the day on Saturday as we drive west.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalms 100:4).
Am I grateful for each precious minute the Lord gives me to be with my family member? I don’t know how long the Lord will give me with my family. Our little Susannah Joy was only with us for three short days in March. I think back to Melanie’s pregnancy, and how if we had known what was going to happen, it would have been very difficult to bear. Yet, we didn’t know ahead of time, and the Lord’s grace was sufficient and was given when we needed it. Our hearts are overflowing over the Lord’s gift of baby #2. We all have been extremely touched to read the many comments after Nathan’s blog post. We are ecstatic over the incredible blessing of this new little one.
We’re thankful for the nursing home church we have. Those precious people love us (not to mention how much we love them!) and pray for us when we’re gone on the road. Their delight when we arrive safely back is very evident. Sunday morning church is the highlight of some of the residents’ week. What a joy it is to be able to fellowship with these dear saints.
Part of Thanksgiving Day we spent joyfully working on the house together. The guys were finishing up some of the final small areas to sheetrock, while Dad and Jesse working on mudding, and Mom and I worked on clean up. We are thankful the Lord provided for the house and the ability for the Titus2 ministry to have more room.
As we enter into this Christmas season, my desire is that my focus would be on my Savior, the Redeemer of the World.
Only for Jesus, Sarah
Mary, a wonderful helper :-)!
Mom has diligently helped carry sheetrock scraps out from the different rooms to the garage. We’ll be taking the scraps to the dump!
The great mudding pair!
I’ve helped also with cleanup and carrying sheetrock scraps.
I think it’s time for another Nathan and Melanie update. We are wanting everyone to know that we are doing well and continuing to heal – it’s been just over 7 months since we lost Susannah. I’m amazed at how God has restored our hearts. Yes, there is still pain. Both of us have had times over the past month where we’ve been around babies and experience an intense heart-ache as we are reminded that Susannah is not with us. But, healing is happening and for that we are grateful – God is at work!
I wanted to start with that paragraph because many readers may equate the above “healing process” with what I have to share next. It was important to me to communicate God’s faithfulness in the healing process first in this post; it is a work He has done day by day over the past 7 months and which continues. Having explained that, I’m very excited to announce that Melanie is pregnant!!!! For a couple that waited five years for the Lord to bless with our first child, it is almost unbelievable that His second gift would come only seven months after Susannah’s birth. Yes, Melanie is pregnant and looking at an end of June due-date! God is good!
It is a little unconventional to announce pregnancies so early, but it is important to us that we do so. So many of you have walked with us during our time with Susannah, both during a challenging pregnancy and then the few short days we had with her. You’ve wept with us and upheld us in prayer – and now God has answered so many of your prayers with this new little life Melanie is carrying. For those that have children praying for us, this is such a tangible evidence of God’s working, blessing, and answering – He answered your/their prayers. Isn’t that wonderful?
The road before us might not be easy. Lots of people have told us it will be, but we’re not so sure. We wonder what this pregnancy will be like, how things will progress, what will June of next year be like. . . we don’t know. God showed both Melanie and I yesterday that we were going to need to trust Him during this pregnancy. Without directly thinking it, in many ways we had been hoping we wouldn’t have to this time – that things would go so smoothly and without challenges. And yet, we are called to trust in all areas at all times, this pregnancy is no exception. I guess that’s what abiding is, resting and trusting. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
Thank you all for your love, prayers, and sharing with us in this joyful news.
Nathan and Melanie
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.