We woke up to a muggy Michigan morning.
The temperature was rising not only outside but in the house as well.
Jonah can't stand the golf attire I pick out and Ayla has been through 3 outfits and the crocodile tears are rolling and my voice is raising and my patience is long lost.
I know that later I will be consumed with guilt but am caught up in the moment.
We finally get out the door and on our way to drop Ayla off to preschool.
Clouds rolled in and I wondered if the day called for rain. (I never watch the news or weather forecast)
Nevertheless we make our way to the boys' golf lessons.
Jonah is concerned...like his mama, he is not one to enjoy and marvel in the excitement of any kind of storm.
We arrive and the instructor tells me that he has them for 2 hours, rain or no rain. They will take shelter if necessary.
And I think about that cherished 2 hours and how excited I am to shop at Target and Meijer, kidless.
And while I am unpacking the groceries after my visit to both, guilt overtakes me as I gaze out the window.
I grab the keys and jump in the van.
I push back the panic as I peer through the windshield at the shifting sky.
My rubber tires roll over the blacktop drive of the public course, lightening blazing in the distance.
I spot the boys running up to the van, golf bags draped over their shoulders with metal clubs clanking together hanging out just waiting to absorb a good jolt of lightening.
Once again I push back the panic and thank the Lord as the boys jump into the van and I safely tuck the bags in the hatch.
Water pours hard and fast and the wind whips the van around on the road.
I hide my fear from the boys as we head home and say a silent prayer for our safety.
Jonah's face has no sign of fret. I whisper a "thank you Lord" up to the heavens.
I had promised them that we would stop for free Slurpees (7-11-11) and felt bad going back on my oath, storm or no storm.
We pull into 7-11 and jump out drenching ourselves in the downpour.
The clerks look at us like we are crazy and I respond,
"We REALLY wanted our free Slurpees!"
Rain soaks us again completely as we run back and hop in our seats.
We have to make one more stop to pick up Ayla. By the time we pull under the carport the rain lightens, of course.
I buckle her in and pass back her free pina colada.
She smiles and I think to myself how she has no idea what I went through to get it for her.
And my heart swells with love for my precious children who are all safely belted into their seats, bellies filling with sugared ice.
And I utter another prayer of thanks to my God who keeps me safe in all of life's storms.
And I think of how I should commune with Him like this all of the time, not just when I'm pushing back the panic.
I ponder on the fact that I should praise Him during each and every smooth sunny ride of my life.
And I make yet another resolution to try harder to do this as I pull into the driveway.
We walk up into our house and I look out the back window.
My patio umbrella was left up and the wind swept it up cracked off the top. The table was blown over on it's side and glass lays in a million pieces on top of brick and mulch.
And I am reminded that not only should I have communion with Him during the storm, I need to be grateful for it as well.
And how hard it is to be grateful when my table-top is broken into pieces and my life feels like it is too.
When I feel like a horrible mama for yelling and being so impatient with the ones I love the most.
And I am reminded of the book that I read a few months ago.
Of her words, "eucharisteo always precedes the miracle" http://onethousandgifts.com/the-book
How "thanksgiving during the trials, when most difficult" always comes ahead of divine intervention.
And I utter a prayer of thanks for when I am weak...
And when "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Rom.7:15)
And these broken pieces of my flesh, my humanity...they cut and hurt. I hate them yet I continue to pick them up and use them over and over. Because I am weak.
That is when "His grace is sufficient for me for his power is made perfect in my weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)
And I thank Him again even though it is through clenched teeth (I liked that table and umbrella and how am I going to clean up all of those pieces?...) because He takes my brokenness and glues it all back together through His grace and love.