Days of thanksgiving

Yesterday everyone was waiting and watching for the rain. I had made plans to go to the park with a friend, not knowing that my day was to be interrupted by a tropical depression. So expecting the torrents to begin at any time, I was also hoping that they would hold off until after my dentist appointment at three. Being that it was Tuesday and my friend and I both homeschool, we thought it would be fun to take the kids to the skating rink instead – keeping them out of the rain and allowing them to play. She volunteered to watch them while I went to the dentist, and the baby stayed home with daddy, who was home just in time to take care of him. She even volunteered to take them to her house if I wasn’t back from the dentist in time to pick up the kids at four. Everything went very well, all ducks in a row, etc. Then the minute we started the van, it began to sprinkle.

It rained in spurts while getting the kids to the roller skate place and getting to the dentist, a trip of about 25 minutes total, including a stop at the board of education to drop off my attendance reports. I was feeling pretty good about the way things were working out, rain included. It was a routine cleaning, in and out within a half hour. I was suppose to go to the Wal-mart to pick up a birthday present for my baby’s birthday, but by now it had begun to rain so hard that it was getting difficult to see the road.

I decided at the last minute to turn my signal in the opposite direction of said store and head to pick up the kids. I had a mother’s intuition that I didn’t want them driving too far in this rain, and that I needed to get them instead. I had gone no more than 30 seconds in this direction when my van’s battery indicator light came on. All systems began to shut down. I no longer had a battery, power steering, or power. I was cruising in drive like I was in neutral. Luckily, I was near a service road in front of the YMCA and I pulled out of traffic, straining to turn the van onto the service road and out of the way.

I tried to start the van again, only to be rewarded with an instant shut down and no power. Fortunately, I had remembered my cell phone this time and I called my hero to come and rescue me. My husband said that he would pick up the kids and be there soon. So there I sat, really needing to use the bathroom at this point. The YMCA was just across the lawn in front of me, but I didn’t want to leave the van and my code was on the phone my husband was using.

For some reason, I had brought along my knitting project. And there was a pack of cookies that were left from traveling with the kids the other day. So I wouldn’t be bored – and I wouldn’t starve. I picked up my knitting and finished my project. I didn’t have scissors with me, so I cut the yarn with my keys and used a paper clip I fished out of my purse to thread the yarn through the remaining stitches. About the time I started to sew up the seams, my husband showed up.

By this time it was REALLY raining. The water was so deep in the ditches that you couldn’t see the culverts any longer. He pushed me up on the hill so he wouldn’t need to stand in water, and then used the back hatch of his van and my hood as an umbrella to work under. The serpentine belt had slipped off and gotten stuck under some pedal looking thing under the whole she-bang. So he cut it off and used the one that we carried in case of just such an emergency.

After a run to the Y to use the bathroom, and an hour’s worth of work, the belt was back on. The van wouldn’t start until we jumped it and the computer reset itself. Then we were off. I had soothed my anxious and obviously bored children with the pack of Oreos during the wait.

Once on the road back home, traveling at a steady 45 mph in a downpour, I had time to reflect on the entire incident. I had wondered why all of this had happened, and why it couldn’t have happened at a more convenient time instead of in the middle of a tropical depression. Then it occurred to me, it had happened at the MOST CONVEINENT TIME imaginable. Any other time I would have been with all five kids on my own. I would have probably been traveling the back roads between my house and my mom’s – all country and no cell phone signal for about 20 miles or more. I probably would have forgotten my cell phone if I was just headed to town. I hadn’t turned left and lost power crossing a busy street full of traffic. I also hadn’t stranded myself in said busy highway in the middle of traffic where the van would have caused problems and probably been towed. Also, God knowing my propensity for staying busy, had reminded me to take my knitting project in case the wait at the dentist was too long. And cookies – the blessed Oreos that kept my kids from killing each other. Let’s not forget that the YMCA was just a quick run across the way, either, and that I had a membership, and they had a bathroom!

All of this went through my mind on the drive home. I thanked God for all of His provisions that day, and how He was showing me just what it means to “Praise Him in the storms.” Even during the storms, he provided ingenuity for my husband and a nearby hill to shelter him and keep him safe. He was, after all, messing with a battery and alternator at a few points. He provided all, and even though it seemed to be bad timing, everything was absolutely perfect.

We have been dealing with many things while trying to get our home. A lot of disappointments and setbacks, but everything thas come out to be better than it was before. We’ve just kept trusting and hoping that we’d get our home and God would see our dreams made reality. So the one thing I’ve been dealing with is the “why?” in it all. I don’t know why, but I do know that the storms will pass, and through it all God is showing us His mercy and provisions.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 KJV.


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