Please help me welcome my first guest blogger, Ashleigh Wade. Without further ado, here she is…
“What would you think of taking a road trip to The Grand Canyon?”
“As in drive the entire way there and back?” I respond, hesitantly.
“Yes,” My mom says enthusiastically, “Don’t you think that would be fun!?”
“Umm …” I speak through my gritted smile, “Yeah. Lots of fun.”
What is it about road trips that puts us on edge? I mean road trips are like musicals, we love to hate them. People get excited and say, “Yeah, road trip!” and then grumble the entire drive.
And you never see a movie about road trips where the family has a fantastic time every moment as they happily sing “Kumbaya” together in perfect harmony … Oh, wait, unless you are in a commercial.
Let me fill you in on a little secret: Commercials lie.
If you don’t believe me that’s fine. Purchase a 2012 Honda whatever-fantasy car and sardine six children in the back for a road trip. See if it turns out with your entire family smiling and singing in harmony.
Aside from lying commercials, most films about road trips are a little more honest.
Most road trip movies are comedies. And, to be cliche, there is always (some) truth in jest.
Which leads me back around to the conversation I had with my mom. Growing up as the oldest of seven kids I always knew exactly what a road trip meant. It meant eight plus hours with a car-full of kids with about 32 minutes of entertainment and parents yelling things like, “I don’t care who started it I’ll finish it.”
Yeah. lots of fun.
When Beth asked me to write a guest post I really had a difficult time coming up with something to write about. Initially I thought, “I will just write something cute and funny.” But I foresaw a few problems: 1) Beth’s writing is not only cute(er) and funn(ier) than my writing would be, but to top it she also can bring it around to a reflective point as well and 2) I really wanted to bring the post around to Beth’s book in some way. I had the awesome opportunity to preview Beth’s book and help with some editing. The more I thought about the book, the more I thought about road trips.
I mean, why do we keep taking road trips if they are about as much fun as watching someone scratch a chalkboard? I have just recently finished studying through my favorite book of the Bible-Ecclesiastes.
I know. Most people hate Ecclesiastes. But, I love it. And one of the reasons I love it is because it balances the bitter-sweetness of the Christian life. The writer of Ecclesiastes does not hesitate to clearly see the horrifying bad as well as the breathtaking good in the fallen world we live in.
That is how road trips are. They are bitter and sweet.
In a book I have been reading here recently, The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller makes the illustration that marriage is like two rocks in a rock tumbler together: their bouncing off of one another knocks away rough edges and makes each rock better in the long run.
That is how road trips are: there are rough, bitter moments, but in the end they really do leave you better, closer, more aware of yourself and your relationships.
And that is how Beth’s book is. At times it is bitter. Not only because she delves into the intimate, low moments of her life, but because those moments are a mirror, in them you see your own intimate, low moments. And that hurts. But, at the same time it is sweet. Because through the journey you come out better. Closer to God.
And, like road trips, along the bumpy way there is laugh-out-loud, fun, sing-in-melody, Kodak moments too. And ultimately you find yourself better, closer, and more aware of yourself.
I am so excited for Beth’s book to come out! I think it will speak to the heart of women in a very accurate and personal way.
As for that Grand Canyon road trip (which we have yet to take) … hopefully this six weeks of tight living will put that on the back burner and we can all go on a cruise together where we can take lots of nice pictures … and return to our own staterooms at the end of the night.
Ashleigh Wade graduated with a BA in English. She has always loved words and thought she was a better writer than she actually was. She is currently a wife to her awesome husband Andrew, a stay-at-home-mom to her amazing one year old daughter Kinsley, and volunteers with her church, the Rock’s Curriculum Team. For fun she likes to pretend she is a gourmet despite being a picky eater and in her (rare) spare moments reading. The greatest thing that ever happened to her was being saved by an awesome God who gave her favor and grace despite herself.