Friday, August 31, 2012

My 35th Birthday

All I wanted was to spend my birthday at the beach. After all it is my happy place and birthdays are meant to be happy, right? I enjoyed a grueling workout in the wee hours with Blake so I could go out to indulge in my favorite meal of the day with Blake and the kids before he went off to work. I had the car packed and we were headed for the shore as soon as possible. You know that phrase, "Come hell or high water..."? Well that is a little how I felt about getting to my happy place. Except when that high water can only be crossed by a big bridge that has the potential for delays due to unscheduled maintenance and inspection. As I drove up upon the stand still traffic at the toll plaza, I wanted to cuss but instead i considered the last year of my life. I was reminded that God's timing is perfect and He loves when we bring Him our every concern, even the silly ones about traffic. I had others praying too! And at just the right time when my bladder and my kids were both screaming at me, there was an opening to my left and I could see the "authorized vehicles only" turn around ahead. I authorized myself to use it and we were suddenly free! I am not gonna lie it stung a bit to not get to spend my entire day at the beach but if i hadn't had that time in my car looking at taillights, I might not have stopped long enough to appreciate something...Birthdays are meant for celebration, but not of me as much as of the One that created me and holds my life in His hands. All in all, it was a good day that ended at my happy place surrounded by a few of my happy people with a belly full of yummy pizza and ice cream.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dreaded Grocery Run

There are two aspects of parenting that I absolutely despise: potty training and grocery shopping with my kids.  Perhaps it is because the two things completely overwhelm me.  Unfortunately, neither of my children have been those so-called kids that train themselves.  They are actually the kind that require that hardcore commitment as a mom to be house-bound for a week or more and provide endless supplies of chocolate treats (two things that should never go together anyway).  Then there is grocery shopping...if you know me well, you know it is just something I choose not to do with my children if at all possible. (Honestly, Blake does most of the grocery shopping in our household anyway which is a huge blessing.) On those rare occasions that I find myself in a store with my kids in tow, all proper parenting practices seem to fall by the wayside and I resort to bribes, again with chocolate.  Don't judge me!

This past Saturday, Blake was busy for the day and I really wanted to pick up a few things from our local Safeway.  I figured at least they have those nice compact carts with the cool green car on the front that aren't a mile long and hard to steer.  The cool cart with the green car was entertaining for about 5 minutes before they started fighting and asking to be let out to walk.  "I knew I shouldn't haven't subjected myself to this torture" I thought to myself. But I pressed on to fulfill my short list while reminding them of the treat that awaited if we could just get it done.  Finally I made it to the checkout line and not the one that is sugar-free because after all, I had made chocolate promises. As I was waiting to pay, I looked to my right to see Ann, the home health nurse that cared for me in the days after my first surgery checking out at the next register.  Do I say hello? Will she remember me?  Will the kids even allow such a thing?  I decided that I must.

Before I could even finish reminding her of who I was (the last time I saw her I had longer hair and was most likely in my pajamas), she smiled and said “Kara, you look great!  How are you?”  We hugged in the parking lot and I told her how much I appreciated how she cared for me during those incredibly difficult weeks.  If there had been more time and my kids hadn’t been screaming at me, I would have told her how I have passed on the wonderful tips she gave me as part of the kits we give to ladies that go through the surgery.  As I drove home in mostly silence since the kids were consuming their chocolate rewards, I became pretty emotional.  I was reminded yet again of God’s faithfulness almost one year ago and found the date to be no coincidence.  On Tuesday, August 23th of last year just two days before my scheduled mastectomy the mid-Atlantic region experienced its first ever earthquake.  On August 27th just two days following my scheduled mastectomy, Hurricane Irene came through and left us in the dark for 4 days. In spite of all that, here I am a year later celebrating my good health with my nurse, Ann in the Safeway parking lot during one of those dreaded visits to the grocery store with my kids, a visit I would normally choose not to take. 

When was the last time God used the most unlikely of circumstances to remind you of His faithfulness?