TENDER MERCIES FOR CHRISTMAS

God has given us some tender mercies the last few days. He is an excellent gift giver.

tender mercy #1: the dead battery

quick trip to walgreens before dinner. boys were good in the store, i just snagged 9 boxes of my favorite cereal for 1.88 each. life is good.

wait, why isn’t the car starting. weird. i just took it in for an oil change yesterday, they should’ve told me if anything was wrong with it. must be the battery. but i was only in the store for like 15 minutes. even if i did leave a light on would that really kill the battery?

i walked back into the store to see if i could intercept whoever was checking out at the register to help jump my car. the man checking out chatted nicely with the cashier. i noticed paint on his phone case- good sign, i bet he’s handy.

“could you help jump my car? i think the battery just died?”

“sure, i’m parked right over there” pointing to a white service van. (perfect!)

he pulled over and connected his cables. even tightened one of the battery lead clamps that was a little loose.

“there’s a sticker on your battery that says it was installed in 2010. you probably need a new one. there is an auto zone right there, they can hook their machine up to it and tell you if the battery is bad. and they’ll install a new one for you at no extra charge.”

i wished him a merry christmas, thanked him for his help, and said a silent prayer that he would be blessed for his kindness.

there was an auto zone literally next door, sharing the same parking lot. they did all he said they would.

the very next morning i needed to drive to tampa for a meeting and this story would have likely been a lot less merciful had my battery died at some point during the trip.

feeling good about how well the bad battery turned out my biggest worry arriving home was that now it was past dinnertime but i still had to make dinner, serve it, and we hadn’t done homework yet so the night was probably going to run long. as we sat down to dinner i asked the boys what homework they had and to my delight the answer was none!

couldn’t have gone any smoother.

tender mercy #2: the bad directions

“daddy will be home tomorrow! aren’t you guys excited?”

“Yay! then it will be christmas!”

as always the day before he comes home is a day of excitement and preparation.

i went to bed excited to know that by the time i woke he would be in the middle of his 5 hour drive to the airport. i hoped i might wake in the middle of the night and be able to call him and keep him company as he drove in the wee hours. but i didn’t wake until 10 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. i called him right away to see how his drive was going.

“good…” he said, but there was a little not good-ness to his voice. “so this drive is 7 hours?”

oh no.

“no, it’s 5 1/2 hours… so, what is your eta?”

“10:30”

“your flight takes off at 10:30”

…GPS strikes again. kevin is an excellent driver. if i was faced with a car plowing toward me on an icy, windy road with nothing but a cliff to my right, there is no person i would rather have in the driver seat than him. he rivals james bond in his maneuverings. but when it comes to directions and having a good bearings of north, east, south, west- ugh!

“why would you go north when Fargo is south?!”

“i was just following the GPS”

“didn’t that set off a red flag when you put in the address and the drive was 7 hrs long?”

“yeah it did, but i couldn’t remember how long you said the drive was and i figured it was too early to call you. maybe the flight is delayed and i can still make it.”

“let me check…no. says its on-time. you might as well stop driving, you aren’t going to make it.”

….i was on the verge of tears. feeling anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration, helplessness i continued,

“well let me call the airline and see if they can move you to a different flight. but i doubt there will be another one today because allegiant only flies like once a day. and who knows how much more the new ticket is gonna cost us.”

i go to allegiant’s website. no phone number. just chat and email options. i google ‘allegiant phone number’ and find it. as i start to dial, kevin is ringing me back.

“hello?”

“God is looking out for me. i just got a text message that the flight is delayed to 12:15.”

I check the website again, that i had literally just checked 2 minutes ago. he’s right, the flight is delayed, and he’ll be there with time to spare.

huge ball of stress unknots from my insides.

The Lord is good to all

i hope you are realizing some gifts from the Lord in your life this Christmas season!

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CHECKLIST FOR AN 18 MONTH OLD

enoch is 18 months old now and oh the places he goes!

there are all these new things i’m having to keep track of to keep him safe and limit the amount of times i say no. it is a chore!

1. keep my bedroom door closed so he doesn’t mess with the printer, the router, the mirror, the window, or the fan

2. figure out how to keep him out of the oversized drawers in the kitchen where i keep my glass bakeware

3. keep rubber bands on all cabinets since the child proof locks don’t work on them because of the style (put rubber bands back on after 3 year old takes them off for fun, grr)

4. keep the rolly coffee table pushed away from the TV cabinet so he doesn’t climb up and touch the TV

5. watch for him climbing on the table, no realistic way to stop him, so keep it clear of drinks to limit its intrigue

6. keep the small kitchen shelf full so he doesn’t climb up on it and turn on the garbage disposal

7. so glad he stopped trying to climb up the bunk bed in his room

8. keep both bathroom doors closed so he doesn’t turn on the sink

9. put the fan up after his nap so he doesn’t put more legos in it

10. don’t use glade plug-ins

oh and

don’t bother putting laundry in the hall laundry basket, he’ll just throw it out

good thing you don’t care too much about those DVDs he gets into every other day

thank goodness he can’t open doors yet!

DEAN BABIES: THE FINAL CHAPTER

baby 5

 

we told the boys about baby coming in february. i loved their little happy faces when they figured it out.

this is the last baby we are planning. when we had only one child we thought we wanted seven! then when baby 2 arrived on the scene and it took us an hour to leave the house for a dinner out we thought, wait maybe this parenting thing isn’t as much of a breeze as we thought it was with just one. so we backed it down to five. i got so many gasps from the men i worked with when they found out i wanted 5 kids. they all had 3 or less. i wanted a big, fun family. but not too big to where i’d drown and end up being a militant mom just to keep my sanity.

so our fifth is on its way. only the size of a bean at this point, but i’ve been blessed with nothing but healthy pregnancies thus far, so i can only assume the best.

i had hoped i would have 3 boys followed by 2 girls, because i wanted the girl to have a close sister because i know how much i loved growing up with my sisters so near in age. so when i found out baby 4 was a boy i was sad. there went the sister plan. and i decided i didn’t care if our last baby was a girl because it would just be selfish of me to want a girl. and it was also when mitt romney was running for president and their family of 5 handsome, successful men was something i really admired and would love to have.

but then i read this book, Edenbrooke, and in it the girl has a twin sister and the sister overshadows her whole childhood. the sister is the pretty, successful, smart, personable one. and she’s just average (or so she sees herself). and it got me thinking, maybe it wouldn’t be horrible to not have a sister. i mean, no drama, no trying to upstage each other, no fights over the same boy, or the whole love triangle thing where your sister likes a boy but he likes you (happened a lot to us as teen sisters!) if i had a girl, she would be the star of the show.

another thought that entered my mind was could i really feel fulfilled never seeing what a girl of ours would even look like? it seems trivial, but just to see her. and then to watch a daughter grow, to relish in her beauty, dress her up, send her out on her first date, see her marry and give birth to her own babies. that’s something special i would miss out on.

so now i’m back to wanting this baby to be a girl. i’ll be happy either way. to raise that brood of 5 strapping boys sounds exciting. to have my little princess does too. so i guess its a win/win.

STRONG OR COLD?

She had never been one to worry long over the vagaries of human conduct

scarlett o’hara in gone with the wind. its funny how certain characteristics of a person can be seen as a flaw or a strength depending on where you are standing. 

‘You are always responsible for how you act’

‘You are always responsible for how you act’.

remember that!