Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Even The Small Things...

Good morning, God. Today is July 31st, a day I have been looking forward to this whole trip. We are going to Yellowstone National Park today! I am excited to see Old Faithful again, and the Paint Pots. Last time I was at the park I was 9 years old. We saw bison then, and deer, and a moose. I really hope we get to see all those animals again. But even more than that, I want to see a bear. The only place I have ever seen a bear is in the zoo. I really, really want to see a bear in the wild. But that doesn't happen very often, and when it does, it is dangerous. But I still want to see a bear. The only way it will happen, God, is if you bring me a bear. I know you care about the small things in my life, even my desire to see a bear in the wild. So God, would you please bring me a bear today? Show me a beautiful bear in the wild. If I do get to see a bear, I know it will be a gift from you. Thanks God, for listening. I love you.

This was the prayer of my heart when I woke up on Saturday morning. A little bit later in the car, I gave voice to that prayer with my family. And all day, we were all on the lookout for the bear I asked God to show me.

We saw elk.

And beautiful thermal pools.

And geysers

And spectacular storm clouds.

And a pristine waterfall.

And Old Faithful.

And a bison!

We saw deer, a bald eagle, a coyote, pronghorn antelope, and beavers. We saw the Paint Pots, Yellowstone Lake, lots of wildflowers, and beautiful rivers. But we didn't see a bear. I wasn't super disappointed when we left Yellowstone, because I had seen so much else. As we drove south through the Tetons, I kept my eyes glued to the window because we had been told the Jackson Lake area is frequented by many moose, and I wanted to see a moose almost as much as I wanted to see a bear. We came around a corner and up ahead, traffic was stopped. I figured it was the entrance gate for Grand Tetons National Park. But as we got closer, we realized that everyone was stopped to look at something not five feet off the edge of the road. Something big. Something dark brown. Something hairy...


The bear was a grizzly bear, not small, but not huge, either. We're pretty sure it was a she because of the size. She was there by the side of the road, digging in the dirt and eating whatever she was finding there. She was totally unconcerned by the cars that lined up in both directions to watch her...didn't even lift her head to look at us. Because we were going south and she was on the northbound side of the road, we had a safe space between us and her. I climbed up and sat in the open window on the passenger side of the car, and took my pictures over the top of the car. We stayed and watched my bear for about 5 minutes before moving on. 

As soon as we were rolling again, our family took a minute to thank God for:
1. Listening to the simple prayer
2. Being interested in the small things that are important to His children
3. Bringing us a beautiful, grizzly bear in a very safe setting

God, you are so cool! Thank you for your attention to detail, and that even the small things matter to you.

*Update! We are going to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in De Smet, South Dakota, today. We'll be staying tonight in Missouri, and tomorrow we will be home in Little Rock. Well, not really home, but we'll be there for a few days to pick up our stuff. On Saturday, we head out for Florida. We'll stop Saturday night with friends in Nashville, and then drive the rest of the way on Sunday. Matt will be driving our 26-foot UHaul with his van on a vehicle trailer in tow. I will be driving my van, loaded with stuff, kids, and our cats and tortoise. Please pray for safety on the road, and safety as we load the truck in the extreme heat Arkansas has been experiencing the last few weeks. Farewell for next post will be from HOME!


E. Charlotte said...

What a great post! I too have sent up prayers like that and am so thankful that God listens and does understand that the little things do matter. I am so excited you got to see your Bear! Yellowstone is very close to where I live, so I've been there often, but I have yet to see a Grizzly in the wild! You are blessed!

RachelRuelas said...

oh Emily... your story has given even more flight to my faith in our Savior and caring Father Jesus Christ. I love this story. God really does care to bless us with the small things and the large... oh I love it. I love Yellowstone too!!! And I saw a bear there also! so cool! exact same scenario too!! Side of the road, smallish grizzle, I am so happy for you all. And I'll be praying for safety! Can't wait to hear more about Fl!

Stef said...

when I saw your comment about the bear on your FB page, I wondered where on earth you were! Now it makes perfect sense :)
I love the pictures you took - amazing, beautiful place! I wanna go there someday, "really, really bad" (as Ethan would say)

Tara said...

AWE-SOME! The views and most importantly God!! Glad y'all have had such a great and safe road trip.

Southern Belle said...

Glad you saw your bear! That's so neat.

I admit I have tears in my eyes. Maybe in part because we've both been journaling through the process of moving.

As I read the last sentence of your post I couldn't help, but smile. After all these months this journey is almost finished. Its like a book. A chapter has closed and a new one has begun. A new chapter full of possibilities and new memories to be written! I am so happy for you Emily. Praying Orlando is all you hoped it will be and more.

Praying that you and yours, the cat and the tortoise all have a safe trip to Florida. = )

The Yorks said...

I LOVE it when God does that. It's like my dad (cause He IS our father) and I exchanging glances. Sharing a little moment. He's so good to us, isn't He? So tickled that you got to see your bear!

Kit said...

I loved your story about the bear! I live here in Montana and anytime we drive and we are in a forested area, I say, "I wonder if there is a bear right there behind that tree." It IS a thrill to see one and I am so glad God sent one to you. :) Good luck on your journey to Floriday and I sent a little prayer up for you and yours. Kit