The Not So Magical Kingdom….

Contentment is a complex word. It encapsulates confidence, a still peace in our heart. It’s where my soul sits and waits without worry.

Oh how I wish hind site weren’t a thing. I wish I could untangle my mess in the very moment it is happening. But alas I can not. Therefore I sit and wait patiently for said hind site to show up and shed light on what my emotions could not yet see.

It was Day 1. We were tackling the beast of all Disney parks, Magic Kingdom. We boarded our boat transportation and took in the fresh, dry for Florida, morning air. The castles, characters and magic anxiously awaited our arrival. We took the classic pictures and pinched ourselves. A trip I’d planned since the birth of my eldest child, was finally here… and it was all that I had hoped for…. until it wasn’t. A short few hours in, the rain, wet feet and frustration hit hard. Granted, I knew rain was in the forecast, I packed the umbrellas and rain coats but apparently I had also packed my much too large expectations. With hundreds of folks escaping the downpour, moods were no longer magical. We had entered the Disney hunger games. Our patience was falling faster than the torrential rain. The teen that passed us up in line didn’t stand a chance…did I mention the downpour of hunger games? Apparently losing our four year old was not an excuse to stop moving, so she took it upon herself to take our place in line, you know because that’s the right thing to do when a family is frantically screaming their child’s name. Let’s just say, she got hers and Jesus still loves me. This would be followed by 3 hours of ‘fake it til you make it’…and ps) I don’t fake anything well. My husband can’t handle wet feet, and my kids wanted to jump through every puddle in their soaking wet tennis shoes…we were not prepared. After many eye rolls, a very long “it’s a small world” experience and let’s just say more than one occasion of tears, I felt defeated. This was NOT how it was supposed to be.

But is it ever?

As a mom, I should have known. To have a plan B, C, and let’s be honest….D. I should have bought those damn ponchos and packed the rain boots. I should have said screw it and laughed it off. I should have not let the emotions of others steal my joy. But nonetheless, here I sit with my dear friend, hind site. And what I realize is that while there were most definitely some bad moments, this was not a bad trip. I will not let what didn’t go right steal from what did. Thank God for a break in the clouds, a magically lit castle and iconic firework show to save the day.

Friends, how many of us are seeking contentment through the lens of perfectionism? How many of us are flexible, as long as it’s within our “plans”?

While I wish more than anything I could go back and redo those few hours, I know that I can’t. But, I can breathe. I can give myself grace and know that I’m not perfect. I can learn from my human mistakes and grow. I can trust that this life is full of frustration but also free will. How will we react today when faced with trouble? How will we respond to those that are less than kind and losing their patience? Well, hind site tells me to smile and stay the course. Scripture tells me to trust that while the thief (Satan) came to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus came to give us life and to have it to the full. Today I choose life, today I choose to have it to the full.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Contentment can only be found in the grace freely given through Christ.


Melanie Ortiz

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