The children and I set out yesterday on a full day of errands. It was hot, we didn’t pack any food and it took much longer than I thought it would. Along the way everything seemed to go wrong. I tried to find my sister’s new house to drop off a gift and couldn’t find it, even though I’d been to that neighborhood before.
I gave up and went to get a lab slip from my doctor (this is the reason I went to FWB for my errands instead of shopping here) only to get in and find out it was the beginning of the lunch hour. We stayed in the waiting area for a while because the children had immediately gotten out the doctor’s photo albums of the children he’d delivered (used to be an ob now just does gyn) and they were loudly exclaiming over all the babies. I let them have their fun and finally left to try to find my sister’s house and failed again, so we went shopping for our trip and Carol’s return home.
Everything went fine in Office Depot. This is where we met the pioneer lady (see post below). The thought occurred to me that God uses our delays to get us to the right spot at the right time, and that we never know what effect short interactions with strangers might have on them and us.
Next stop, Publix. As we walked in the door I started feeling lopsided and realized that a strap on a “personal clothing item” had broken! Talk about feeling self-conscious! I still had to shop for two households in that state.
We rushed to the bathroom for a pit stop and there was a woman in there who asked us if we homeschooled. We told her yes and she said she was doing that this year too. It sounded like it was her first year so I quickly encouraged her that it was a great and good thing, and that was it. But as I said before, she may have needed just such encouragement and there we were in the bathroom to give it at the appointed time. I might have talked longer but we were desperate for that pit stop and Laura wanted me to come in the stall with her so that’s all I had time to say.
I normally enjoy shopping with the children, but yesterday they were hungry and didn’t have as much self-control. They weren’t being bad, just really REALLY loud. They read EVERYTHING at the top of their lungs and got excited about anything they saw. I already felt like I wanted to crawl into a hole so it was a bit overwhelming to feel like we were drawing even more attention to ourselves. I prayed quickly, “Lord, I need your Spirit! Fill me.” We managed to maneuver two loud, laughing carts around the store and get everything on the list and I didn’t yell at anyone. That was God’s grace!
The crackers I needed were on a top shelf so I had to stand on tip toe to get them. I grabbed the first box and then was trying to decide if I wanted the same kind which was very far back on the shelf or another kind. I had just decided on the other kind when a man came over and asked, “Need some help shorty?” I think he thought I was offended when I said, “No, thank you, I was going to get this one.” He apologized and I said it was okay. Anyway, it was funny to me. No stranger has ever called me shorty before.
At the checkout, the cashier commented to the bagger that I had bought everything organic and then she turned to me and said, “You would die if you knew what I heard on the news about organic.” I just smiled and I could tell she was disappointed that I hadn’t taken her bait (She didn’t know she would have gotten an earful on the subject if I had! Why do people believe everything they hear on the news anyway?). A few minutes later she said, “There’s nothing wrong with it, don’t get me wrong.” She was then really confused when she scanned Carol’s groceries and found that all of them were conventional!
At last we were out of the store and after we loaded groceries in the car we pretended to be the cart collectors and ended up with a caravan of four carts. We made a train with them, with our hands as connectors, and the kids thought that was fun.
Back to the Dr.’s office we went. I told the receptionist I was there for my lab slip and she looked really confused. She looked for it, couldn’t find it, and went to talk to the nurse. She came back a few minutes later and told me the nurse had mailed it to me! She had called me the day before and told me to come get it. The receptionist made me a copy of it anyway.
Next we went to CVS for some travel containers and then I determined that I would find my sister’s house. Her birthday was in July and I wanted her to have her b-day present before October! This time the directions made perfect sense to me and I found it without trouble. Of course! God’s timing is perfect and doesn’t often match mine.
When we got home and checked the mail, there was the lab slip from the doctor. I had almost called them to ask if they could mail it as they usually do, but I hadn’t. Apparently it was a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing and only God knows all the reasons we had to go to FWB, because other than dropping off the gift I could have done all my errands at home in a lot less time.
To top it all off we made a quick dinner and then went to Carol’s house with Rob to clean, sort, and file. Our friend Nancy came and gave the house a thorough cleaning with the children while Rob and I sorted through giant piles of important and unimportant papers and filed what needed saved. Several hours later we came home, had a second dinner and then crashed into bed.
It was a long day, but God was present with us and we all had peace. I am thankful that He gives us what we need when we ask Him to.