As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Keeping it Together

Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that I have things together.  I'm far from a seasoned veteran at the stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom thing, but I think I'm starting to learn a few tricks to make things run a little smoothly.  But just when I start feeling too proud of myself, I have a morning like this morning.

My daughter had a last minute doctor's appointment for a nasty cough that's been bothering her for several weeks (which as it turns out is finally on the mend - thank goodness!)  Normally I would schedule appointments for the afternoon so that we have enough time to get through school in the morning without too much fussing, but as I didn't have the luxury of being picky this time around, I decided that a little planning on my part would make this no problem at all.  In fact, since we were going to be in town anyway, why not pack a lunch and do something fun?  No problem!

The kids were beautifully motivated, and breezed through all but their catechism lessons, which I had saved for the drive to town (I have to take a ferry, which gives me time to read with them, and driving is a perfect time for family discussion).  By the time they were eating their morning snacks, I was slapping some PB&J sandwiches together and sticking home-made granola bars in a back.  Even when I thought we were running behind as we were pulling out of the driveway, to my delight the clock in the van showed we were right on time.  Success!

And then, I noticed the check-engine light flashing on my dashboard.  This was kind of unnerving, but not as much as the low rumbling sound that my van made when the engine slowed down.  When I got to the ferry, I texted Jeff to let him know what was going on, and to find out what I should do.  And just to be safe, I turned the van off (thinking maybe once I turned it back on, the light would magically be off).  He called me straight away and while he was on the phone, the ferry arrived and the line started moving - all except me, because I couldn't get the van started!  I let out a heavy sigh, and could help but feel a wave of self-pity.  Can't I once - just once - be on time for an appointment?  

Luckily I was able to coast to the side of the road, out of the way of the cars behind me.  I put on my four-ways and walked down to the ferry, hoping the attendant had something to boost me.  He did, but said he couldn't leave the ferry.  "Do you know how to use it?" he asked of the machine they have on the ferry for boosting cars.  Needless to say I do not, and feeling rather badly, he said he would try to radio the crew on the adjacent ferry (which was down for service) to see if someone could help me.  I sulked back to my car, trying to keep a good disposition, and waited for a few minutes for the other ferry attendant.  He never did show up, and as it turns out it's probably better, because when I gave it one last try to start my van, it turned on without a problem!  I realized that when I was waiting in line I had turned the van off while it was still in drive, and that's why it wouldn't start (and also likely why I coasted so easily to the side of the road) - I put it into park when I stopped, before I got out, not thinking to try it again while the ferry was actually still in front of me.  So now, not only did I have to watch my on-time ride glide across the river without me, but it was all my own stupid fault.  Sigh.

Today's catechism lesson was to review the mass readings for this Sunday, and as I mentioned, I had brought the missal with me to read with the kids on the ferry.  But I was too anxious and upset to read them at that particular moment, so I turned on the music and waited a bit.  I send Jeff a lamenting text message about my foolish error, ending with something to the effect of, "...lest I think I'm anything super". After about ten minutes when the ferry was almost back to me, I was feeling calm enough to give it another try.  As I read the words of the second reading from Corinthians, they spoke right to my heart:

Brothers and Sisters:  Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.  

Everything.  Even when things don't go your way, despite all your planning.  I laugh at how often my life becomes the lesson of the day, and spoke to the kids about how we were going to have a good day even though things were so crazy - and as it turns out, we did.  And we did all of it that much more grateful to God for seeing us through, and for the fact that while a little embarrassing, things were not as bad as I first thought they might have been.  We made our appointment, we ate our home-made lunch, and we spent a lovely afternoon in town without spending a cent.  And I realized that when I pray for patience and perseverance, it is not so that God will take trials out of my life, but so that He will give me what I need to walk through them.  And also that the doctor will not hate me for being late yet again, and I should just relax a bit.

On my way home I received a text from Jeff in response to my frantic message earlier in the day:  "I think you're something super."  God bless him for knowing exactly what to say when I need to hear it most!

We made it!  Hurray!

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