I awoke this morning not feeling the greatest. Ears and throat hurt, but I blew it off thinking it's just allergies (and it probably is) and I woke up really tired and very sore and stiff (nasty old arthritis). I had some needs weighing on my mind too. So I was a little grouchy feeling. But at that moment I was the only one up so I was keeping my grouchiness to myself. Knowing that I had errands to run and a doctor's appointment to go to I had to wake the kids up and take Hubs to work. Waking the kids up at 6:30 is my least favorite thing to do and I feel for those who do it everyday. They were crabby too, I could just tell that it was stacking up to be a long day.
Once back at home I fed the kids and I decided we would do our Bible class in the hour before we needed to leave for the doctor's office, I knew we were going to need it. I started teaching and I was struggling through the whole time, but I was determined that we were going to get through it and have a good day! They were wiggly and crabby and whiny and they didn't want to listen or participate (this is not the norm). I kept going but my grouchiness was growing into full blown aggravation. We finally got to the part where we pray and I started praying and the boys were talking and arguing with each other. We had ten minutes before we needed to leave. I corrected them and went back to praying. Seconds passed and the whiny fighting continued. I stopped praying, stood up, told them they had ten minutes of free time before we needed to leave. I walked into the bathroom, sat on the only chair in there (as a chair) put my head a towel on the counter and just cried out to God for mercy and grace to get through this day. It was a prayer coming from a mama who just knew I was going to need all the Heavenly back I could get. I prayed for about 5 minutes before I washed my face, changed my shoes, walked out and loaded everyone into the van. The kids apologized for being disrespectful (no, they didn't know I was crying out to the Lord above for strength) and we were on our way.
After leaving our little street to turn onto the main drag that will either take me to the interstate or side roads I chose to go side streets. I even chided myself for not going to the interstate for quicker travel because I left a little later than I should have. I made a quick call to the doc's office telling them I was running a little late. Went through a couple of stoplights and knew something was not right with the way the van was driving. The steering was off and it just felt wrong. I knew. It was a tire. I pulled off into a parking lot, got out and my fears were confirmed. My drivers side front tire was nearly flat. I mentally started running through my choices. We didn't have our spare on the van (because it's flat too), every person I know that could help was at work and I didn't have the spare anyway so it wouldn't do any good to call someone. I was at least a mile in either direction of a gas station with no guarantee if they had an air hose (some don't ya know). I felt a little panicked but with three kids in the car I couldn't panic or cry I just had to think and silently pray for wisdom. I called the doc's office again and told them to just cancel. Before I left the lot, I prayed. I asked God to get me to the gas station. I told Satan to back off and I drove out. Then I headed to the nearest station. I decided to go opposite of home, thank God for that wisdom because shortly I discovered it was the right choice. Going slowly, but we made it to the gas station without the tire getting any flatter. Before I got out I prayed again, I asked the Lord to please let it inflate so I could get to a repair shop for a patch. I put the nozzle to the tire and she inflated right up. I got back in the van and called a shop I knew was about 2 or 3 miles away and they were able to get me in. We took off for the shop, on side roads. After waiting for quite awhile I was told they could not repair the tire, a screw was in the side wall. Ninety-three dollars and a little over one hour later we were back on the road. At this point, I was just ready to go home, errands not withstanding.
But first we stopped at Kmart. This was my mistake. Daniel decided that this would be a good place to not listen. I had told them that if they were good I would get them a treat, but he had to listen and stay with me. We weren't in Kmart more than five minutes and it was five minutes too long. He didn't listen and after one warning to listen I said, "no treat". He melted into a fit of tears, loudly. I held my ground, paid for the one thing I went in there for and walked out, screaming kid in tow. He cried in the line and all through the parking lot, "I want candy, I want candy." I would have paid good money for a beam-me-HOME!-right-now-machine. Naps were a given, but lunch was first. We came home, ate and I put Sam to playing a computer game, Makiah reading and Daniel laying down. And I laid down too. My head and ears were throbbing at this point. Two hours later Daniel still hadn't slept, but at least he had rested. We got up and I did some cleaning and some office work. At 4:30 we needed to leave to stop at the grocery store and then to go get daddy. At 4:05 Daniel fell asleep. Really? We carried him out to the van when we needed to leave and in the 4 minute car ride to the store, woke him up. Fortunately he was happy, that 25 minute nap had helped. Now, to complete the intense Monday I had, we got our electric bill in the mail. Over three hundred dollars for last month and our house has not been cool (better than outside, but still hot). I looked at the bill, shook my head and said, "Lord you see and know. Make a way please." Now, maybe you aren't like me and three hundred dollar bills don't throw you just a little, but our budget doesn't have a place for an electric bill that high.
Here's where the blog makes the turn from complaining to explaining.
As I sat pondering my day and even during the various circumstances that challenged me I realized there are so many blessings even in the midst of all this. Here they are:
- The kids woke up crabby~but they woke up. And they woke up healthy.
- My tire went flat~but we weren't on the highway and it didn't blow out and cause an accident and it could have at any point on Sunday when we were driving all over the place from service to service.
- The Lord got us safely to the gas station, the tire aired up and then got us safely to the repair shop.
- I had the money to replace the tire.
- Daniel finally got a nap. Yes, seeing how tired and crabby he was, this is a blessing.
- God heard my desperate prayer from the bathroom. He gave me grace and patience to get through the day. He didn't change my circumstances but He kept me through them. He protected us, provided for us and He kept me sane.
Later that evening, I told Hubs that I needed to go to my local craft store and pick up a couple of things I needed and then I wanted to sit at Starbucks for a while and read or something. He said okay and I took off. I went to my craft store, went into Starbucks ordered a venti Apple Chai and sat down. I had a book and crochet with me. I sat there for just a couple of minutes and realized, I don't want to be here. I want to be at home.
Monday came to the Lovelocks with a vengeance. Chalk it up to life and Satan trying to get into my head. While I don't sit here (late, late Monday night) happy about the day, with a big smile on my face. I can say that I am blessed and I have joy because my Daddy is always looking out for this sometimes frazzled, stressed out mama and even in the midst of a day filled with black clouds of grouchiness, misbehavior and financial irritations there is always silver linings of blessings. You have to choose to look for them and then choose to be thankful for the blessings amongst the clouds.