(Edited: Picture finally added below.)
It was not a good start to the day. The church was having it's annual Christmas festival and the 4th-6th grade musical-expression group I lead was scheduled to present a routine. Ray is in this group.
We needed to be at the church by 9:30...because that's what time I, the leader, said we needed to be there. Did we get there on time? Noooo. Why not? Because MY daughter couldn't find her uniform shirt. Didn't she promise me a couple of weeks ago that she had seen the shirt in her room and that she knew for sure for sure exactly where it was for when we needed it today? YES she did. Could I have ordered her ANOTHER shirt a couple of weeks ago if she could NOT find her shirt from last year? YES I could. But did she tell me there was no need to order another because she had definitely seen hers and it was fine? Yes, she did. But could she find that shirt this morning???? No she could not!
I don't know if Ray cried this morning but before we were even halfway to church, I cried enough for both of us. Mostly hormones? Probably, but there was definitely a lot of anger in those tears. I was angry at myself for trusting Ray to know that her shirt is OK. I was angry that I put so much responsibility on my children when I could put more on myself. I was angry that Ray takes after me and is a procrastinator and didn't set out her clothes the night before (we could have borrowed a shirt if we had realized this problem last night.) I was angry at Ray for lying to me saying she had 'for sure for sure' seen her shirt and all was a-ok. I was angry that we were going to be late for a time that I scheduled and expected others to fulfill. I was angry angry angry and couldn't catch my breath. Thankfully, Henry was driving so I could attend to composing myself and correcting my makeup. It was rough.
And the performances didn't go so well. I'm usually pretty firm with the kids about being disciplined for this great ministry but who was I to discipline and lead today? I was late, I was a wreck, and my daughter wasn't in uniform. So the sugar-high kids who had too many minutes to goof off before my arrival, didn't get the tongue-lashing I was so tempted to throw out at them. They were in a silly mood and I didn't get it out of them. They were care-free about the program and I wasn't capable of bringing the necessary sincerity to the group.
And in my opinion, it definitely showed in the performances.
Yes, others said it was beautiful and wonderful but I knew it could have been better. I knew I could do better.
And the day continued...
My sour mood sweetened a little bit when we finally got away from the festival. We ate lunch at the Trippes and had a little down time. But the slow time wasn't very long because we had another big job still ahead.
The job? Getting Henry another vehicle. His poor white van is still in our driveway but it's no longer very functional. We're hoping to get a few bucks for it (for parts if nothing else) but she's definitely seen better days. That old Caravan was purchased by us 6 years ago and was 6 years old already when we got her. She's been a good vehicle most of that time and a good-enough vehicle until just recently. We've known for the past several months that her time was drawing to a close. Now the curtain has fallen.
So our next adventure required all 6 of us to go through the wonderfully fun process of purchasing another vehicle. It's a "GOOD DEAL" vehicle but older and nothing fancy -- at all. It took about 2 hours to do all that lovely paperwork that is necessary, and for those 2 hours, the children were ANGELS! Seriously! I was very proud and felt so much better about my parenting skills by the end of that trip. (Yes, I sadly equate my ability to parent with the behavior of my kids. Bad behavior = Bad Mommy. Good behavior = Good Mommy.)
The kids felt rewarded by being able to ride home with Daddy in the "new" car. I'm so glad that made them happy because that's all we had to offer at the time.
And then we pressed our luck.
When we pulled into the driveway, Henry and I decided that we should go ahead and return the truck that his sister had loaned to us for this past week. Even though she said she didn't need it back for a few more days, we knew we'd be better to go ahead and get it back to her today while our schedule was open.
So we packed the kids into the van again for a 35-mile trip (one-way) to return their Aunt & Uncle's truck. Poor kids. And they were hoping we'd be putting up our Christmas tree today when we got home.
And would you believe that they were ANGELS AGAIN!?
So we took them to Chick-Fil-A for supper. The visit to CFA has become a much bigger treat than it used to be. Back in the day, we used to go to CFA once a week or more. Since homeschooling however, we've cut that back to about once a month. So tonight's dinner was a nice surprise. And the kids deserved it.
They're finally all asleep now (since about 9:30) and I'm realizing my desperate need for some shut-eye, too.
Here's Henry's new ride.
God's blessing is amazing and oh-so-undeserved. How Sweet It Is.