My husband, Dave, and I were looking forward to this summer. It would be the first summer in seven years that I wouldn't be having surgery or recuperating from it. We'd planned some trips and one day excursions. Memorial Day was on the horizon and we had plans to kick off a great summer season.
That was until we discovered a leak in our crawl space that had been shooting upward for a period of weeks causing 20K in damages to our house. The kitchen (the hub of any household) had taken the brunt of it. That was our "Day of Memory" (aka Memorial Day).
Cancel, juggle, rearrange, make reservations, ask for help, and move into our "cozy" efficiency for twelve days. I'd like to share some lessons that God has been teaching me since our summer plans were hijacked that fateful day.
1. The Grand Entrance (Humility/Humor):
Needless to say we were all a little rattled having thrown our bags together to move into a small efficiency in town, closer to Dave's work. Our sensitive beagle got noticeably more anxious with each bag that was carried out to our cars. Were we going to leave him behind??
After pulling stuff out of our cars at the hotel entrance (much like the clown car act), we loaded up two luggage carts and made our way to the reception desk. I was on dog and luggage duty while Dave checked in. The lobby was full of all sorts of people. Topper pulled me around in circles as he did what all beagles do, sniff everything imaginable. I silently prayed the check-in process would go faster. It didn't. Then it happened....
Our sweet and obedient dog, who'd not had an accident indoors since he was a pup, did the "dirty deed" right smack dab in the middle of the lobby. All eyes were focused on us. Looks of disgust, pity, horror; as well as chuckles and audible laughter came rushing toward us in waves.
Like all good dog moms, I happened to have a poop bag in my purse. I apologized profusely to the folks behind the desk and asked if they had Lysol wipes and paper towels and I would quickly clean up the mess we'd made. I knew then and there that we'd been labeled as the "Fecal Family".
Lessons Learned: God loves a humble and contrite heart. If we get too haughty, He can easily level the playing field. Humor is beneficial. May we never take ourselves too seriously. Laughter IS good medicine. We have a fabulously funny story to share about our adventure.
2. Friendly Port in a Storm: (Gratitude)
Since, Topper (our beagle), will howl pitifully if left by himself in the efficiency, (and we can't afford another incident lest we get tossed out); wherever I go, the beagle goes.
Some eating establishments along the busy streets post in large letters, "No Dogs Allowed." We pass on by. I'm getting hungry for something to eat and I am hoping we can walk in an establishment, order, and wait outside. I poke my head into the next eatery to inquire if we can come in? "Sorry, no dogs allowed unless they are service/therapy dogs." At this point I need therapy, but decide not to push my luck.
Really hesitant by this time, I crack open the door of the Crepes and Coffee Shoppe. "Might we be able to come in," I ask. "Sure, come on in," the young lady with braids twisted upon her head beckons. "Your dog's so cute. What's his name? Can he have a treat?"
She gleefully put Topper through his paces with tricks for treats. She even filled a dish of cool water for him. It felt SOOooo good to feel welcome. We'd found our port in the storm. Topper and I sat outside and he blissfully munched dog biscuits while I savored a blueberry muffin and a delicious cup of coffee. Ahhh...we were finally welcome.
Lessons Learned: For all the bad out there, look for the good and stay focused on it. When God grants you a port in the storm, don't forget to offer thanks and show gratitude.
3. The Omelet Station (Patience/Mercy)
Dave and I traded off heading downstairs (return to the scene of the Grand Entrance) to get our complimentary breakfasts. As usual, I headed first to the omelet station and put in my order with Clarice, the omelet gal. Then I meandered around getting coffee, oatmeal, and fruit. It was a busy morning so the omelets were taking longer.
One man, obviously annoyed and in a hurry, asked three times if his omelet was ready. Another woman took five minutes to explain all the special ingredients her omelet required. Then, as I turned to see that my omelet was finally ready, it was swooped out from under me and, in halting English, the eager eater poked a finger at the spinach in the omelet and said, "This not MY omelet...has spinach!"
The young omelet maker, perspiring over three omelet pans, responded with amazing kindness, "That's because it's not your omelet; it's hers," pointing to me. In a huff, the omelet snatcher complained that the omelets were taking too long, then turned and left.
"I'm so sorry," the poor young woman apologized. "I'll make yours right away," she continued.
"No problem," I said. "You're doing an awesome job under not so great circumstances," I said with a wink and a nod to all the vultures lurking around her station.
Lessons Learned: In an "I gotta have it right now world," a little patience goes a long way. When you can, show mercy. After all, you've been given the greatest gift of mercy. Give what you've gotten.
We still have a week to go and I'm sure there will be more stories. Things might not be going as planned, but boy do I have an appreciation of my home and all the blessings God has given me. Maybe my plans needed to be hijacked in order to build my character...or maybe "Life" just happens??
Either way...let the next story unravel...with God, I've got this!
Dear Heavenly Father, First, forgive me for when I take the everyday blessings for granted - like a familiar roof over my head. Let me come before You with a humble and contrite heart and let laughter be my default mechanism when times get tense. Keep anger and frustration far from me. Let me have an attitude of gratitude both before and after blessings you bestow abundantly. Let me be a messenger of mercy and build my character with patience and perseverance so that my response to "Life being Life", will bring YOU glory. Thank you for always being there even when the road gets rough. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
What about you? Have your plans been hijacked lately? What lessons has God been teaching you? Is there any way of responding or reacting, on your part, that needs adjusting? What is your prayer? I'd love to pray for you...
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