Friday, February 1, 2013


Yesterday was one of those days packed to the brim with things... and unlike a lot of my packed days, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.

It began just after E hopped on the bus with a trip to Home Depot.  We have had a leak in our kitchen this week (blog post still in "edit" mode) and Dan and I went to check out our new flooring options.  Home Depot Employees Everywhere, here is your warning:  I am a blubbering mess when I step through your automatic doors into your Orange Goodness.  The smell, the people, the memories of my Daddy overwhelm me in that big box store.  And they likely forever will.  So when the kind lady gave me a square of tile for free, she had no idea I would cry.  She was just doing her job- and getting the "customer service part" right.  But every time people there treat me like Daddy treated his customers, I feel like he's giving me a little kiss on the head.

Dan and I went from there for a breakfast date only to get the call from our contractors that we needed to rearrange our day and head home to deal with the insurance estimator.  Let me say that in the last 5 days I have grown more and more thankful for our insurance company.  They are good, y'all.

For about a 30-minute-window, I popped in at MOMS.  I got to briefly hug on some ladies... and lead a silly ice breaker.  I know I joked about it on Facebook this week, but I am thankful that my church allows me to use all those Student Council ice-breaking skills on a regular basis.  I love learning new things about the people with whom I am in community.  And here's my plug to group leaders everywhere: even if you "know" your group, there's always goodness that can come from a quick ice breaker.  Just ask my small group... our most memorable one to date was "What is one thing you never want your parents to find out?"  I cringe and giggle remembering that night...

I scooted out of MOMS (sadly right before one of my besties was teaching!) to go deal with more kitchen stuff- then headed east for the best lunch I've had in forever.  January 1, our world got rocked again when we learned of my friend Lee's flu-nomia (trademark pending).  Now that we are on the "other side", I can be honest and say that I wasn't sure he was going to make it.  In all honesty, I screamed out to God many times those first few weeks "WE CAN'T DO THIS AGAIN.  WE CANNOT LOSE ANOTHER ONE.  THIS FAMILY NEEDS THEIR DADDY."  And, to be completely honest, I prayed big prayers, but didn't truly trust for big answers.  I am still in the "wounded prayer" mode from 2012... and while I knew God could heal Lee, I wasn't totally sure He would.  I am more than thrilled to report that we book-ended January with emotion for Lee.  While on the 1st, we were frozen in fear... on the 31st we shared a meal and celebrated his healing.  He still has a long way to go to be 100% again, but he is making huge strides.  I am in awe of God's goodness.  I feel like we got the front row seat to a miracle.

We rushed back from lunch with Lee and Emily in time to get E off of the bus, then I shot over to spend time with Mom.  She'd asked earlier in the week if I could take her shopping, but given our kitchen/leak drama, our schedules didn't line up until last night.  We spent 3 hours shopping, and while moments of it were maddening, I benefited from some God-ordained patience.  Earlier this week I read this article by Amy Grant.  While I agree with her comments whole-heartedly, I kept thinking this week of the "last great gifts" I can give my Mom.  I can give her dignity.  I can give her patience.  I can give her kindness.  We shopped for new black shoes nearly identical to the ones she has in her closet... which she doesn't remember that she owns.  We bought a pair of "bedroom slippers" because she said she desperately needed some... only to place them right beside her other- already owned- pair.  She told me the last thing on her list she needed was a hat.  Moments later, I said, "Let's go find a hat!" to which she replied, "A hat?!?  Why would I need a hat?"  My heart constantly breaks when these moments occur.  I think about the mother I grew up with and all of the valuable things she taught me... and now I think about the mother I am getting to know and want to use those valuable lessons to love her well.  It is a process- and while it is so painful for me, I'm certain her pain is great, too.  So I will continue to shop for duplicate shoes and guide her toward hats as long as I'm able.

I went to bed relatively early last night after a packed-to-the-brim kind of day.  Just before bed, E and I FaceTimed with one of my her best friends and as I saw my own face on the screen, I saw just how run-down I looked.  I no longer have skin that doesn't require maintenance.  I no longer have naturally bright eyes that look alert without effort.  I no longer have the benefit of youth on my side.  But my tired eyes were tired from a day well spent with the people and things that I love.  I'm thankful that today is a little more low-key, but I'll take a full day like Thursday from time to time to remind me of God's goodness.  In the mean time, I'll just need a few more naps... and some really good moisturizer.

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