With a lack of sleep, an extraordinarily fussy baby will stir up all sorts of worries and fears. Is she getting sick? Do you think she feels warm? Are those boogies? Is she pulling at her ears? Do her ears hurt? Then I got the phone call that Greta had puked on the airplane (before it had even taken off) and slept the whole way to Atlanta. My mind processed that as a virulent stomach bug that was going to worm its way into everyone’s bloodstream and we were all going to be sick for months on end. I tried to stay focused and remind myself that no amount of worrying was going to make any of this better. There was absolutely nothing I could do in that moment other than pray and trust that God was going to somehow work this all out. This was how I spent the bulk of my day down here on planet earth beneath a heavy layer of joyless thunderstorms.
At 1:30 this afternoon I sat in my car at the airport waiting for the call to go pick up the kids in the passenger pickup area. I was so excited to see them, but also overwhelmed. It just hadn’t been a good day so far. As I waited, I watched the rhythmic pattern of flights disappear off into the clouds, one after the other. I wished in vain that it was me heading off into the clouds on one of those planes, heading someplace warm and relaxing. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat there feeling sorry for myself. I quickly wiped away my tears and mustered up a genuine smile at the sound of Gavin’s voice on the other end of MeeMee’s phone telling me they were waiting to be picked up. Oh, it was so good to see those sweet kids again! I jumped out of the car and hugged them both tightly. Greta looked a little tired, but definitely not sickly, I noted with a sigh of relief. As it turned out, she had been very nervous about flying. She too was operating on a sliver of sleep and things may have been a little intensified. What normally would be a mildly apprehensive situation suddenly had the potential to become Armageddon. (I feel ya, sister!) The plague that I was imagining turned out to be a nervous belly. Once she was home, she showered, ate a good lunch and was running around with the excitement of being home and seeing Norns again! Definitely not sick! My prayers were answered!!!
This evening while cooking dinner I discovered that we had no vegetables to go with our meal and Nora was running low on diapers and wipes. Ordinarily I would have gone to the store closest to our house, but I had to go to the other one which carries the big giant economy size boxes of diapers. I was in a foul mood again, longing for what I once knew as “normal” that clearly doesn’t exist anymore. Of course things could always be worse, and at least Greta wasn’t sick! But I was feeling unimportant to God, figuring that maybe He had bigger and better things to occupy Himself with other than this spoiled brat who was intent on throwing temper tantrums on the way to grocery stores.
Without much care that it was pouring down rain, I sauntered into the grocery store to get what I needed, and boy did I ever get what I need. Here is my grocery list:
You will notice that it says nothing about mango peppers or romaine lettuce, which is precisely what I first walked over to get upon entering the store. As I stood there assessing the merchandise a woman approached me. “Are you Nora’s mom?” she asked. I smiled and said that yes, I am! She was soooo excited to meet me and raved about Nora’s sweet little cheeks! As she wrapped me up in a wonderful hug, my tears suddenly went on autoflow. She told me that she’d always hoped she’d run into me one day there at the grocery store and now here I suddenly was… buying mango peppers and romaine lettuce right in front of her. God knew that I was feeling sad and dejected and went through great lengths to make sure the timing was just right for our paths to cross and somehow even convinced me that I needed salad ingredients in the process! It was as if though God came down to personally give me a hug through Holly!
As I collected the actual items on my list I intently strategized on how to keep my tears of joy from spilling out all over the place. “Clean up in aisle 7.” I gave up on the tear management project when I met Holly again in another part of the store. After she swore she wasn’t stalking me, she held me in her arms again and boldly prayed over me right there in the middle of the main aisle. I suddenly felt very far from being trivial and unimportant. This was God letting me KNOW how much He loves me, let there be absolutely no question!!!
Just to make sure I was completely clear on this, another person approached me. A man. “Excuse me, maam?” I turned around expecting him to hand me a bag of lettuce that had fallen out of my cart or something. “You are absolutely beautiful,” he said. I looked back at him from my tear streaked makeupless face, wondering at first if he was being sarcastic… or creepy? But with genuine sincerity he repeated, “You are a very beautiful woman.” Taken by surprise, I thanked him and made my way to the checkout line in my frumpy t-shirt, sweats, and flip flops . I certainly hadn’t given any careful attention to my appearance to warrant that comment, which made it all the more special – an otherworldly message that God knew I needed to hear, and so very obviously was not in reference to my current semblance!
How could it possibly, possibly, possibly be coincidence that this song was on the radio when I turned the car on:
(WordPress won’t let me imbed the clip for some reason!!??) Here is the link: Gold
What I had intended to be a quick jaunt to the grocery store turned out to be a beautiful reminder that I don’t ever want to forget!
Once back home, I smiled at the female cardinal sitting out on our deck looking in the window as if to make sure I was okay. I certainly didn’t feel so insignificant anymore. Thank you, God!
Pictures from yesterday and today:
“Catch up with them and honk, Mommy!!!!!” – Gavin
I wasn’t much in the mood for picture taking today – but will have more of the big kids w Nornz tomorrow. Nora was soooo happy to see her brother and sister!!!
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
(James 4:10 NIV)
Sarah Update: Monday it was determined that it was E. coli infecting Sarah’s blood. They put her on a specific IV Antibiotic to treat the E. coli and by Tuesday she was able to come on an oral antibiotic, just in time for her BIRTHDAY on Wednesday!! Her kids were SOOO happy to see their Mom!! She’s still feeling very week, but is making progress. Our awesome Mom has been able to stay out there with her these past couple of nights to help out with the kids. Thanks again for all your prayers, and HAAPPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, SARAH!!