I should have known back when I wrote that article for Sue's Praise and Coffee newsletter about clouds being a reminder of God being with me I should expect to have to remember that. Because I have failed miserably at it.
Take today for instance.
It's Saturday, the first day of Christmas vacation. The first day of relaxation. Except I woke up in a panic at 5:30 thinking I had overslept to watch Jr today. But I hadn't, it was just Husband's phone alerting him to go plow.
And we weren't suppose to get any snow.
I awoke later to S3 and S4 taking turns tattling. “Moma, he just kicked me FOR NO REASON.”
“Moma, he just took my toy FOR NO REASON.” (which means there was a reason)
And in between all that it was “I am going to tell for real this time....” Then the tattling, then angrily calling out as soon as he stepped out of the bedroom “See, I did tell you on you!”
When I made pancakes for the boys, S3 and S4 had to sit in the same yellow chair I have in the kitchen and not speak to each other at all. That's just not the way you want to start the day.
We were running late, which just doesn't seem right on a day off, a day of vacation to boot, but the boys had Christmas play practice. Walking out the door we got an important phone call and the snow had made the roads truly awful and we were running late.
As I pulled into the church parking lot, still unshowered, wearing Husbands big t shirt, my favorite comfy jeans, a flannel and my big outdoor coat and hoping no one would see me at all, the suburban, that hardly ever slides on me, slid. As I was pulling into the drop off porch area of the church. The suburban was suddenly sideways and I was mere inches from the big decorative rock in the front.
I wasn't speeding, I wasn't in a hurry, I wasn't trying to do such a thing.
Had I hit the rock or, much worse, the church, I would have been humiliated beyond imagination and would beg Husband to never have us return. Ever. As in forever and ever. And move. Far far away. It would have been terrible.
But it wasn't.
Instead, the boys all did a collective, “Woa, that was SO COOL! Did you try to do that? Can we do that again? That was awesome!”
I am so thankful they find me cool.
When I got home, my two favorite neighbors stopped by. EG and KM are sweet girls, I just wish that when they stopped over it wasn't the moment I was not properly dressed, unshowered, have my hair in weird braids or buns for style's sake, have mountains of laundry.....you know, normal every day stuff. But I did have coffee on....and I think they secretively love this about me. And I did mention they are my favorite girls...so we chatted in my dirty dishes cluttered kitchen. They had stopped by to say goodbye to the boys because they are headed out for two weeks. That is sweet, I tell you, these are sweet girls!
But when they left and I jumped in the shower I was soon running late again when I headed out to pick the boys up. But I drove slower and was in four wheel drive the whole time. I pulled into church less than five minutes late. I hopped out of the suburban into the still accumulating snow we weren't suppose to be getting, shut my door and heard a weird cracking sound. As I walked around the back of the suburban, I noticed black things falling on the ground. Like muddy ice from a dirt road or like...glass.
As in my whole back window had just cracked, shattered and fallen to the ground.
I had to pick all the glass up off the ground and the bumper. Every time the boys got in or out of the suburban, more fell from the back. My thumb and finger were dripping blood by the time I was done.
I had no idea how it broke.
We had quite the little kid crowd staring at us.
When I pulled out of the parking lot to take the boys home in the broken window suburban, it was 12:30. They had to eat lunch and be back at the church by one for caroling with their WOL group.
I didn't have any food for lunch for them.
So, we stopped at the grocery store on the way home, grabbed two family cans of ravioli (can't even stand the sight of such food but they love it) and hurried home where I started barking orders to get the car seats (S2 and S3 still have to be in boosters and S4 has a car seat still) into the plow truck.
In the meantime, I was getting the ravioli in a microwavable bowl and into the microwave, getting disposable bowls and forks from the cub hoard and then we were all in the plow truck headed back to church where I would have the boys eat the icky smelling food they all so loved. We were home a full five minutes.
I have never driven this plow truck. I have not driven a straight blade plow truck in a long time. And did I mention it was still snowing snow we weren't suppose to get? The roads had completely deteriorated now.
So I am driving in an unfamiliar truck on nasty roads hoping the plow does not cross the center line.
We made it to church late but not too late and I spooned up the boys food and as they were scarfing it down so they could leave with the group, I felt like crying.
It was too much today.
But I held it all together, got the two younger back into the truck after cleaning up the church kitchen and headed slowly home. When we arrived home, I recalled how Husband wanted me to get familiar plowing with this truck just in case I ever had to help him in a pinch and so I began to plow the driveway. It's been many years since I have plowed. I got our driveway all done, not too great but not too shabby and headed over to do the rental. I made one great push of snow, impressive really how smoothly it went, when I noticed the front blade was dripping fluid.
And that is not good.
Remorse filled my tummy and I did began to cry.
I went back into our messy cluttered home to wait for Husband to come home and pray to God it wasn't a bad break whatever I had done.
I had a message from my Mom asking if I would have cookies and cocoa and coffee after the play Sunday night. I looked at the messy house and bickering boys and nearly called it all quits. It wasn't my mom's fault, it was a great idea really. I just felt like such a failure at that moment.
S4 jumped on the couch in joy to watch a movie, fell backwards and hit his head on the heater.
He didn't seem to have a concussion or anything so I left him in the house because Husband was pulling in and after I had just sobbed my apologies on the phone to him (very literally here) even though he assured me he was sure the plow was fine, I figured I had better go face the awfulness my 'helpfulness' was.
He was right, it was nothing. He had just filled the fluids and they were just dripping from being full. No problem at all.
So I jumped in the truck with him so he could finish plowing and poured out my woes to him.
Not a thing was wrong. I hadn't hit the rock, the insurance will cover the window, the truck was not broken, we had an extra vehicle for me to drive, we have a warm home people want to come over to....blessing upon blessing upon blessing.
But I had forgotten it all, and Husband gently reminded me.
Which was good, because when I got back in the house, S3 had a bruised eye because S4 had kicked him to get him off the spot he was sitting in to watch Clifford.
God was in the cloud that followed the Israelites thru the the desert in Exodus. He never left them, He kept them protected. Just as God never left my side today, kept us protected and sent blessing upon blessing upon me.
And the biggest blessing was my Husband, who reminded me of all that as we sat in an unbroken plow truck and just him being near me was making my day better.
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