but it is GOD's plan that prevail"!!!! Proverbs 19:21
One of the verses that I am constantly reciting to myself. Inherently being a planner, I have to remind myself that planning is wise, has many benefits, almost necessary for someone wired like myself but LIKE ANYTHING can become an obsession, an idol, or even a religion if it is the key to my happiness, but most importantly if I am am not open to hearing GOD's prompting, unwilling to follow HIS will, HIS plans.
This week is easily my favorite week of the year...starting with my anniversary - it fell on Monday this year - and wrapping up with Christmas (on Friday). Brady was out of preschool this week, something I was excited about with this being his first year in preschool. I had secured a babysitter for Monday night so Chris and I could go out on a nice date to celebrate our 7th anniversary. This is a BIG deal because, without family in town, securing a babysitter and going out on a date are a really big deal for us! Being a planner I always strive to have all my shopping wrapped up by Thanksgiving so I can just sit back starting on Thanksgiving Day and soak up all the fun, festivities, family time, and reasons for the season.
So this past week was going to start with a weekend at home (after MUCH travel this fall) as a family of four enjoying being home, enjoying some festive Christmas activities, enjoying one another. Then on Monday we were going to start this much-anticipated week with a GREAT anniversary date as we roll into Christmas week.
So this was the plans in this "man's" heart..........but, apparently not the plan, not the WILL of my wonderful, almighty GOD!
Friday, while I was working at a gold party...the last of 6 I was working that week before a nice break leading up to Christmas week....Chris got the boys down for bed and suddenly - like a mack truck out of nowhere - BAM!!!! hit with the flu......fever, chills, body aches...the whole package deal. He laid himself down on the couch and that was it until Sunday night when he felt a smidgen better to join the family for our B'ham tradition of Zoolight Safari...then back to the couch. All the while I was hoping and praying he would be well enough to enjoy celebrating our anniversary. Monday he seemed another smidgen better. So maybe we won't spend the money for a nice dinner like we would probably have done because if you don't feel great, food is not the same. Maybe we can just go to a movie - that is not tiring, is relaxing, we are out of the house...just the two of us and we have only seen about 3 movies since Brady has been born (3 1/2 years old) because that is not something we can do with the kiddos.
Late morning while Evan is taking his morning nap (I was pretty much single parenting all weekend as to not expose the kiddos to Daddy's illness....please LORD no sick children for Christmas!) Brady and I head out to run a couple of errands with plans to be back for lunch and to be there when Evan woke up to feed him. Chris is home from work - taking a sick day - NOT a common thing for him! Brady and I are at NTB waiting for the tires to be rotated on the van when all of a sudden I start feeling HORRIBLE!!! Muscles, joints, BONES hurt....everything....I start getting chills.....NO!!!! I just made plans on the phone - while sitting in THIS same waiting room with my neighbor to meet up at the park after lunch as it is a beautifully mild, sunny day (actually reminded me a lot of 7 years prior, on the day I married my best friend). This will be fun for Brady...get outside, run around, take advantage of the beautiful sunny day while we have it and enjoy the day with Mommy and Evan as we start the first day of Christmas break. GREAT!!!! Am I really getting the flu on my anniversary and FOUR days before Christmas?!?!? My sweet baby Evan's FIRST Christmas??
The tires are finally done, I am all but crawling into the van, call Chris and cry telling him how horrible I feel...my teeth chattering so bad with fever that while talking I am biting my tongue...it is BLEEDING! So I get home crawl on the upstairs couch, take my temp. 101.5, try to fall asleep but the body aches won't let me and think about how my 7th anniversary date is not going to happen. Later I discover that my flu-like symptoms are the result of a severe case of mastitis, not the seasonal flu or H1N1 again. I have an antiobiotic called in to kill this bacterial infection in my breast.
So that evening Chris and I are counting the moments until are boys will be in their beds...not because we don't love them or because they are misbehaving but because we feel like we are GOING to DIE...maybe even want to! About 10 minutes after Brady is in the bed and I think I am at the peak of feeling bad, I begin vomitting...........30 times before the night is over.........SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?
What a pity party I had for myself....Happy Anniversary to Me! Merry Christmas to Me! What a miserable first Christmas for My Baby!
So my earnest prayer became......please keep my boys well for Christmas, please help Chris and I feel well enough by Christmas Eve to be able to go the candlelight Christmas Eve service we always go to here in B'ham and out to dinner at the restaurant we have gone to each Christmas Eve we have had here and PLEASE let us feel well enough to truly enjoy the joy and excitement Christmas morning is going to bring to our sweet buddy, Brady. I even ranked the importance of these requests (1) keep the boys well (2) have Chris and I be well enough to enjoy Brady's joy Christmas morning (3) well enough to take our boys and our sinful selves to Christmas Eve candlelight service (4) well enough to enjoy a yummy Christmas Eve dinner at Surin West.
We spend the 23rd taking Evan to the pediatrician as he develops congestion and a cough....GREAT...this is what I planned...a sick baby for his very first Christmas!! He wasn't that bad sounding...no croup, no fever, etc. I normally would not have taken him to the dr. at this point...but this is not normally - this is two days before his VERY first Christmas...this is my sweet baby stuck in a house with a bunch of sick folks - Brady had a cough and congestion for about a week that was finally drying up. He is fine...a cough, congestion, nothing major - as we knew. Dr. Anderson did inform us that his gums are about to bust with teeth...very full! He wrote us a Rx for a steroid in case he got croupy and it was Christmas with the only option being the ER...thank you Dr. Anderson of eliminating that "what if?" for us...for me and my "this not how my Christmas week was supposed to look" self!
Christmas Eve we had to run around doing a few little errands - a lot of the ones I did not get to do on Monday after the tire rotation - so we did it as a team...pull the van up, I run out get a few things done with Chris driving around in the van with the kiddos; pull up the van and it is Chris' turn, etc. NOT how I PLANNED to spend my Christmas Eve but the first day we have been able to leave the house without feeling like we might collapse amongst everyone - and in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we probably would have been trampled with our poor innocent children standing by forced to witness this tragedy that would forever change the course of their lives! So as I am reciting my verse in my head, thinking about how this is not how I pictured our Christmas Eve, I am thankful that we are well enough to attend Christmas Eve services and - is that hunger for real food? - I think I am up for Surin West!!!
One of Chris' errands involved a run into Academy. So while he was in there and I am trying to drive around a fussy Evan - ready for his afternoon nap so sitting still in the parking lot was not working - and Brady in a very crowded parking lot that shares a LARGE shopping center with Walmart on Christmas Eve, with very CHRISTmas -spirited last minute shoppers (that last phrase is dripping with sarcasm) I decided to drive around to the back of the shopping centers....maybe no one is back there and I was very excited when I saw a large, empty open area so we drive back there and just as I decide to turn around to go back the way we came, I think why would I go back to where the unhappy crowds are so I turn the wheel again as I am thinking of "where to next?" now we have made a circle. I think this is a big enough area to turn circles, so I do it again...woo hooo, and again....woo hoo, and next thing you know I am turning doughnuts in the middle of the day behind Academy on Christmas Eve with my two boys in the back seat...one cooing, no idea what I am doing..just happy the car is moving and one - as I can see in my mirror....head angled to the side by the g-force, laughing with the biggest, happiest smile on his face. This is when I recite the verse to myself again and think my week has not looked AT ALL how I thought it would or even, for the most part, how I wanted it to look
but turning doughnuts behind Academy on Christmas Eve with that look of fun and excitement on Brady's face in the mirror - especially after being stuck inside the house all week with sick parents - was AWESOME and a Christmas Eve memory, not real significant on face value, that I will NEVER forget!!!
We worshipped at a beautiful candlelight service at Green Valley Baptist Church, pigged out (so good to eat really good food that first time after not wanting much) on a tasty meal at Surin West, drove around and looked at some more Christmas lights on the way home, and had a most joyous day watching Brady revel in Christmas, be sooo incredibly thankful (so much I can learn from my three-year-old), and smile serving others in need.
Evan was a bit sick, and a bit fussy at times as he had a hard time napping but I held him, comforted him and just thanked GOD for that sweet baby and that, relatively speaking, we are VERY BLESSED that he is healthy.
So my plans for this week.....I think Brady and I will make some New Year's cookies while he is out for his second week of Christmas break since I bought all the stuff with PLANS to make Christmas cookies with him last week, I will recite my verse and keep my heart and mind open to HIS plans....as they will PREVAIL; I will try to secure a babysitter for Chris and I to celebrate our anniversary a little bit late, and I will
thank GOD for doughnuts on Christmas Eve!