Sep 28, 2017

Life is Magnificent

by Kari Diane Pike

Hello Friends!

Did you miss me?

I have most certainly missed you.

I love sharing thoughts and inspirations and learning from your comments. But life happens. I saw my podiatrist, cardiologist, oncologist, dermatologist, optometrist, and gastroenterologist, and child number seven married the man of her dreams, all in the short six to eight weeks since I last posted here. I reached a goal to ride a distance of fifteen miles on my bike, shed nearly thirty pounds, and my blood work results came back better than they have been in years. There has been no progression in my M.G.U.S. and my heart is full of gratitude. Yep, we've been crazy, busy, happy.

During all of this craziness, an experience of a four-year-old grandson helped keep me grateful and grounded:

Mom: Time to get your jammies on and get ready for bed.
Four-year-old: Wait. What? But I want to have dessert.
Mom: It's too late for dessert. It's night time. You need to go to bed.
Four-year-old: Humph. No fair. Jesus ruins all my plans.
Mom: Did you say Jesus ruins all your plans?
Four-year-old: Yes. He ruins all my plans.
Mom: What do you mean by that? Why would you say that?
Four-year-old: Well, you told me that Jesus made the whole earth and He made the day and the night. And you said that since it's night we have to go to bed and I don't get dessert. So He ruined all my plans. 
Mom: 😲

I've pondered on this little discussion for weeks. Part of me is in awe of this little man's reasoning skills. Another part of me laughs out loud when I think about the future parenting adventures that lie ahead for his lucky mom and dad. Deeper thought reminds me that, like our little grandson, there have been many occasions when I've been unable to comprehend why the Lord asks certain things of me. I get a plan in my head, pray about it, set goals, and start putting those goals into action only to run up against what I perceive to be road blocks. And sometimes I wondered, "Why did You ruin all my plans?" or "Why did I feel prompted to make this choice only to have everything fall apart?"

In 2009 we earnestly prayed about moving our family to Utah where my husband had been working for nearly a year. Let me emphasize that word "earnestly". We wanted our family to be together, but we truly wanted to make the best choice and accept the Lord's will. We received a miraculous confirmation to our prayers and decision and used every last penny to relocate. More tender mercies paved the way for us to find a lovely home in an incredible neighborhood. We had no doubt that the Lord had guided our steps all along the way. Until things started to fall apart.

We lost our renters soon after the move and eight months later lost our home in Arizona that held thirteen years of precious memories. Well, "okay", we said. We love it here in Utah and we'll start over. Our landlords had given us a lease with an option to buy, and we had come to love Utah county. We could get over that little bump. We didn't see the hairpin turn up ahead.

A year later, downturn in the economy caught up with Utah and my husband was laid off from his job as a civil engineer. We used the money we had saved for a down payment to get us through six months of unemployment. Our landlord kindly encouraged us to stay in the house until school let out for the summer, at which point they moved back to Utah and we - two adults, three teenagers, a cat, a dog, and a parakeet - moved into our little tent trailer and camped in my sister-in-law's driveway.

The first few days of "camping" was kind of fun. Our two families cooked together and hung out on the porch and played night games. Even having only one bathroom available for eight people worked out because the Texaco station down the street opened at 6:00 a.m. "House" cleaning took less than thirty minutes. What a great adventure! Until it wasn't.

The violent windstorms that whip out of the canyons of Utah county are scary enough when you live in a sturdy house with a strong foundation. The rain and hail and flying debris accompanied by micro bursts of sixty to eighty-mile-per-hour winds are down right terrifying in a tent trailer. I broke down that night. I learned what it means to "cry unto the Lord". Why, oh why, had things turned out so differently than we expected? Had I failed to listen to His will? Were we supposed to stay in Arizona? Had I put my own desires in place and made the wrong choices?

I begged for protection for my family. I pleaded for peace of mind. I cried for mercy.

And then it was quiet.

Oh, the storm outside our canvas walls raged on. But in my heart and in our little home on wheels, I felt love. The thought that grew in my mind:

Just because things didn't turn out the way you expected doesn't mean you made the wrong choice. You are not being punished. You will discover great blessings. Do you think that things worked out for the early pioneers they way they anticipated? Do you think they expected drought and crickets and nearly starving to death? Did they do the wrong thing? No! They followed the counsel of the Lord. They learned. They grew. They endured. And look at the legacy they left for you and others. Laman and Lemuel murmured because they didn't understand the mind of the Lord. They refused to try. Remember what you learned before about being prepared to receive blessings? You are being prepared. Don't be afraid. Faith endures.
Six years have passed since that storm raged. I never imagined we would be where we are today. I can honestly say I count my blessings every night and thank Heavenly Father for "ruining my plans" because the life with which He has blessed me and continues to bless me is far more magnificent than I could ever dream.

Two families tied together through the blessings of eternal marriage. I love being connected to all of these amazing people!


  1. Lovely post, Kari. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Stephanie. And thanks for your kind words. Hugs~

  2. Ahhh, I needed this tonight! Had to smile; my grandsons are ages 2,3,4, and 5 and they're all skilled negotiators. I admit sometimes dessert befalls them late, just because I'm impressed with the thought process. Thanks for this!


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