We don't even have a very full calendar this year with the boys still at school until the weekend before Christmas, and only two or three parties to attend. But, as a Catholic mother, I want to try to pull out every little sparkle of meaning and light that I can from Advent. As a homeschooler, I want to fit in all the depth of the history of the season, along with every meaningful craft I can find (on top of our regular studies!). As a child of American Christmas customs, I feel obligated to fill every Christmas package as perfectly and as full as I can. With a smile on my face and a jingle bell on my hat.
And so I went out yesterday afternoon, in a flurry to fulfill the requirements of all of these "obligations. " I had to stop at the library to drop off some movies we'd borrowed. I had to pop in at the post office. I had to meet all my brothers and sisters to celebrate my parents' anniversary at dinner (Which deserves more than a sidenote here! But I'll post on that as soon as I find some pictures!). Then I had to go grocery shopping, crafts shopping, and gift shopping, all before coming home to pack up and prepare the family for Dad and me to be gone for the weekend.
We're making the trip over to the western slope this weekend to get the rest of our stuff from the old house, weather permitting or not!
So, as I said, I was in a flurry. First stop, the library. Ran in, said "howdy" to the library ladies, rechecked one movie, dropped off the others. Zipped back out to the van to make the next stop. Car wouldn't start. Agh! I had so much to do! I couldn't even walk home because I had stupidly worn my clogs instead of my boots! Dan was 45 minutes away at work. I repeat: AGH! Here I was, my own motor racing a hundred miles an hour, and I was stranded! My list of to-dos fluttering away in the cold night sky.
So, I called the children, told them where I was. They said, "Yeah? So? Like how does this affect us?" Called my wonderful husband, explained the problem. He said he'd be there as soon as he could, and not to worry; it was probably the starter. Called my Mom to tell her I might be late or not be able to make it. She said not to worry. She'd be happy to see me if I could still make it, but she certainly understood if I couldn't.
Well, there I was; I'd done all I could do, after trying to start the car so many times that it was probably flooded. So, what now?
I might as well get in from the cold. I picked up my purse, and went into the library. It was warm and smelled of books. There was the quiet chatter of children typing on a computer in the corner. An old friend looked up to smile at me. The irritation started to ebb away. I found a corner where there was a display of Christmas books and settled in a comfy chair. One of the titles was The Christmas Box Miracle, a book that I'd heard about but had never had time to read.
I opened it and read in the introduction: "Only in understanding and accepting our divine life purpose can we view the world as it really is and free ourselves from the pursuit of the "perfect life" as painted by Madison Avenue and other paradigm engineers, and pursue instead the perfect life experience ~ a divine education ~ so we can evolve as spiritual beings."
OK. Duh. I knew that. Or did I?
The author (Richard Paul Evans) goes on to say, "... I believe there are specific moments in each life given us to influence our life paths ~ a cosmic pull of a lever that switches the tracks beneath us."
Yeah. Know about those. We have just experienced one of those "track switches" in our recent move back to the farm due to a series of events out of our control ~ and in His control. When you have that big a change, you can't help but notice it, and its easy to know Who to credit. Even if you're not crazy about the accomodations He's chosen for you on the train, you know to trust Him.
These BIG things hold lessons you can't miss.
It's those little lessons you tend to miss. I have trouble bearing in mind and benefitting from the fact that His lessons are constant. Along with the occasional big "track switch" He is always working on us with little "switches" or "glitches" to help us perfect ourselves ~ to get us ready for the big switches, most likely. Now, if I could just recognize those little switches when they come along and grin and bear them, instead of getting all irritated...
My car not starting at the library was a very minor glitch. At least I thought at first that it was a glitch. Until I realized, after a few minutes of reading, by my self, no child at my elbow, in the peace of the library that it was not a glitch at all. It was a gift. A little early Christmas present from God.
He was saying, "Slow down, Lisa. Take a break. Relax. Here, dear, read this."
I'll tell you how I like the book when I'm finished.
BTW: Please, if you think of it and have a moment, pray for those of us who may be traveling in the Colorado snow (or anywhere!) this weekend. (You on your way, Nutmeg?) I hear the weather is supposed to clear up, but it's snowing now, and we have no choice but to make the trip. We're bringing our Guardian Angels and rosaries along, for sure!