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Sunday, April 4, 2010

A few Easter shots. The photos in this post loaded in reverse order. A good thing to know!

Yes- it's an Easter egg hunt at our church, and's a Halloween bucket you see. This is what happens when Mom has no clue where any Easter item currently resides and has been gone the week prior to Easter.
As if that would make any difference. :)

Here is T. in her newly aquired pose- arms crossed. It is properly interpreted as follows: "I'll do it myself!"

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The amazing ways God works...

A little over a week ago I was at home continuing about my daily routine much as I am doing now. Just taking one day at a time- trying to keep up on laundry, feeding the family, and all the other daily chores that can become monotonous. I then received an e-mail one morning sent very late the previous night by my parents. My uncle, who was well advanced in age and had been ailing, had passed away.

It was very important to me to be at the funeral for my aunt's sake as she has cared for and loved me and my family so faithfully over the years. My aunt has been a continual presence in my life ever since I can remember and she has been ever present in the life of my children and husband- never failing even once to send a birthday card to any one of us.

I put in a call to my father-in-law inquiring if he might by chance have a spare frequent flier ticket that he would be willing to pass on to me thus allowing me (and my under 2yo daughter) to fly to the funeral. I was in luck as he said he did have one and graciously gave it to me. The first of several blessings.

No more than 2 days later I was to fly with my daughter T. My husband drove us with our other 2 young children in tow 3 hours to the airport and dropped us off about 7AM. Just after my daughter and I had cleared security I saw one of the car seats that becomes a stroller and thought how cool they are...then... I panicked. I had forgotten the car seat in the van and my husband had taken off already for the return home! I called him and after a nerve-wrecking half hour or so I retrieved the car seat from him and sprinted towards security...again. I was very fortunate to make it through quickly enough to allow just enough time to grab some food to take aboard the flight. The 1st flight was not crowded and I was thrilled to have a row to ourselves as T had never flown before...and I was tired. :)

From Houston our flight to LAX was to be full. They announced that it was to be a totally full flight- and I inwardly groaned. Since it is impossible to exit a tin can hurtling 100's of miles an hour at 35,000 feet or more- I was praying for seat-mates who would tolerate T. well. Just as I finished sending up the bullet prayer a gentleman asked if I minded if he sat in the aisle seat. Then a woman came and sat in the middle seat...for about 2 seconds and then she moved. Then the crew announced that we were departing. But what had happened to the full flight with several on 'standby'? I did not know nor did I care- T had her own seat! I was ecstatic! Later upon passing us by- a flight attendant remarked that I had lucked out because 2 people had decided to take a later flight. Our seat-mate turned out to be quite pleasant and helped to entertain T. when needed. It was fantastic. The Lord heard my plea and answered above and beyond what I had hoped for.

Upon landing I was picked up by a good friend I had not seen since we left NYC. She now lived in L.A. with her husband and was expecting her 1st child. We stayed the night with her and it was a joy to visit and meet her husband and see where she lived. They then graciously drove me to where my uncle's funeral was- which was a couple hours drive.

I had not seen my family for about 3 years and they had not met T. While the funeral was a sober and sad event, it had the silver lining of not only seeing my aunt and immediate family- but of rooming with and visiting a lot with my cousin whom I had not seen in years. It was such a blessing and a joy getting to know her on a much deeper level and to talk into the wee hours!

The day after the funeral another friend of mine, Angi, who just happened to be in L.A. picked me up from the funeral location and drove me back (another couple of hours) to where she was staying with a friend of hers. She had 'put out there' that it might work out for me to be a second driver for her on her return trip home to Mississippi. I decided to take her up on the offer which as she tells really wound up being a big help to her. I spent one day running around L.A. with her and her 2 son's as her eldest son had some appointments on their final day in CA. The next morning we loaded up in her car and began driving home.

It took two days to travel from L.A. to my house with 2 moms, a 15yo, a 2yo and a 1.5yo in tow. It got a bit wild at times. :) It got a bit crazy- but it was all good. It was exhausting, but well worth it for the experience... and the company.

I am still in total awe at how the Lord took mourning and turned it into joy by reuniting old friends, allowing new bonds with family, and even throwing in some crazy adventure all out of the simple desire to be present and minister to my aunt at a time of great sorrow.

The Lord is good...all the time.