Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Counting One By One

Yesterday, I went to the mail box three times before there was actually mail in it. I was hopping about, being impatient because I had no stamps and they were supposed to arrive in the mail. And I just wanted the mail guy to get there and do his job.

The kids wanted lunch and I was so busy doing other stuff that I actually got frustrated when they wanted seconds. Who does that?

Gracie had a Dr appointment at 330, and when I had the kids ready to go, the car loaded, and was set to leave, I found that I had no idea where my keys were. An hour of searching and flipping the house around found the keys IN THE CAR. I was angry because this made things such that I could not run my errands before the appointment, so the afternoon felt somehow useless. Never mind that we made it to the Dr appointment on time.

I called my Mom to check and see when the Christmas parade in Scottsboro was to be held. She said, 'Tonight at six o'clock.' I called my sweet husband to see if he was willing to jump through the hoops it would take to get us there, and he said sure. We agreed to leave Huntsville a tad before 5.

Want to know where I was at 5pm? Still sitting at the Dr office. In Madison. With rush hour traffic over Chapman Mountain between me and home.

I was mad. I was aggravated. I was fuming, quite frankly. And, I had made the grand mistake of telling Thomas that we were going to go to see PePop and MeMum. So, he was whiny about wanting to see them. Sarah was whiny because she got shots and pokes and prods from the Doctor and Nurses. And I had to drive in stand still traffic because SOMETHING was going on way ahead of us, out of my vision, but had traffic at an absolute snails pace.

It was close to six before we pulled into the driveway. I had not prepped anything for dinner. My kids thought they were starved. I knew I was. And my wonderful, sweet Joshua was patient and trying to do anything he could to make my life easier. And I was being bull headed. (I know, I know, hard to believe. But it's true.)

We loaded ourselves back into the car, drove back across town to the new Cracker Barrel, sat ourselves down and ordered a yummy meal. 20 minutes later, our drinks made it to us. 30 minutes after that, our food came out. Or at least Joshua's plate and the kids plates. Mine did not. In fact, my plate did not make it to us until my family was nearly finished with their food. I am an unusually patient person with folks in restaurants, thanks to a waitressing stint once upon a time. But this was pushing even my buttons.

I guess it was closing in on 8 pm when Joshua took the kids out to the car and I stood on line to pay the bill. Another wait because the place is fully stocked with new employees. And then, I went outside.

Did I mention it was cold yesterday?

After about 3 or 4 minutes of being in the cold, I was upset with my innocent husband for not bringing the car around to get me. Where was he? I didn't even know where we were parked, because he was kind enough to drop me at the door so I could have a few kid free moments and get us a seat. I sat down, rather huffy, if you must know and started recounting the horrible day, adding fuel to my fire.

The door to the restaurant opens, and out walk this old man and old lady. The kind of old where they are stooped and frail looking. The kind of old where you just automatically know they have seen truly hard times. Worse times than lost keys and slow traffic. And you wanna know what? They were holding hands and smiling and enjoying the moment. They both looked over in my direction and smiled at me, commenting on the cold, and the beautiful night. And then said, Merry Christmas. God bless you.

Until that moment, I had not noticed anything but the cold and my own discomfort. The moon was huge and bright and things were crisp and clear. But I had been so wrapped up in self pity for the day that I had not taken the time to notice anything good. In fact, I was probably subconsciously not looking for good. I was mad.

There is this country song that says "I just wanna be mad for a while". I was living it out, too, buddy. Not only had I had a bad day, but I was sitting around mulling over the wretched parts, making them come alive again in my memory, which only stirred me up more.

There is an old kids song that says "Count your blessings, count them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done." Last night, after the kids had been put to bed and Joshua was amusing himself with computer stuff, I sank into a nice hot bathtub and counted my blessings.

This morning, I am determined to make it a better day. Yucky things may come our way today, I am sure. But the sun is out, my kids are healthy, my home is warm, my husband loves me, and most importantly I have a God who will never, ever leave me nor forsake me.


lotsolove said...

We have all been there. Thankfully, there are easier days in b/w those kind of days so we can recharge our body, mind, and spirit.

The Fannings said...

and you have such a helpful counter in Thomas! "wun, too, fwee, tweve!"

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the early call this morning! Your blog makes me stop to count blessings too! My heart hurts for a little 5 yr old who suffered,it seems needlessly, but will have a most blessed Christmas! Surely!


The Fannings said...

counting the days until you post something else... :-)