For us, like most people I know, December is a crazy busy month. We had Christmas parties, programs, caroling, birthday parties, sleepovers, homecoming, Christmas and in the mix of it all, diagnosis day of our sweet Olivia. Needless to say, to fully enjoy the Christmas season, I have to be intentional about it. With the help of 3 very lovely little girls, it was not that difficult to have fun. Sometimes I had to think like a 4 and 5 year old to let loose but that seemed to work!
Back on track....in the midst of all the chaos, it is so easy for me to either get so caught up in all the emotions and forget to realize how great our life really is. December 11th was diagnosis day and let me tell you, that day is scarred until the end of both Greg and my existence. No matter how busy we stay (and I go go go until it's over!) there is a lingering sadness that cannot be shaken. That day we went to church, ate lunch out, went caroling with the girls' Sunday school class and came home to a nice surprise. I have no idea who it is from but this was hanging from the mailbox with a note that simply said, "THINKING OF YOU GUYS TODAY" It really lifted my spirits along with the other messages that I had received that day!
The next day was long. We had school, preschool, cheer class and no Greg home that night. I was busy hauling all three girls in and out of the cold rain, house looked like a tornado hit it (as usual these days) and I had a knock at the door. A lady brought me a plate of cookies. I do not know the lady, she told me that the teenagers at the Christian Church in town were making Anonymous Angel Cookies (?) and someone had anonymously turned my name in to receive some cookies. The note attached said to pass a blessing on to someone else. I was really feeling uplifted, 2 blessings, 2 random acts of kindness in 2 days! I did not know what I could possibly do to pass on a blessing right now, I was just too caught up in my own life. I did not have time to bake anything, I was emotionally vulnerable and just exhausted with my life.
Fast forward to today. This is in no way me bragging about myself, just grateful that I was in the right place at the right time. Since Greg is working around St. Louis this week, the girls and I had plans to go to St. Louis early this morning, spend the day and overnight there and head back home tomorrow. I have been fighting a cough with OTC meds and sheer stubbornness for a month now and finally broke down and made an appointment at the doctor office. That delayed our plans until the afternoon. Of course I did not have our stuff packed so what would have taken 15-20 minutes takes an hour with a crying baby.
I walked out of the house, slightly discouraged by the laundry piles folded all over our living room but still determined to have a good night away. Start driving and wonderful! I needed to fill up my gas tank, why I did not fill it up with just one kid with me...now I know! I decided I would fill up in Vandalia. As I am getting off the second exit, a white SUV is pulled over and an older lady is walking up the exit so I pull over to see if she needs help. Her car had run out of gas and she was traveling from Ohio to St. Louis to see her daughter. I was able to give her a ride to the gas station and back to her car. When we got back in the car at the gas station, the song Blessings by Laura Story started playing!
****Quick disclaimer**** I would NEVER recommend pulling over, especially with my little girls in the car under normal circumstances. I have driven by many broken down cars but this time it just felt right and thankfully, it was!****
The girls and I were able to continue back on the road after a slight detour. Of course they thought I was nuts letting someone get into our car that they didn't know. About 10 minutes into driving I was thinking about how all of this stuff that slowed us down could have been just so that I could stop and help this one person. Then song This is the Stuff by Francesca Battistelli comes on the radio. I could not help but laugh and just appreciate that all of this crazyness in this life really has a purpose and comes full circle! It is just a reminder that my timing, no matter how big or small, is not the same as God's timing. Sometimes being patient with all the "stuff" can open our hearts to his perfect plan :)