As I sat down to start this post, I think I was stopped about five hundred times. Okay, maybe it was just five. Still, it seems like it took forever to get started! Once I got up to get Richie a puzzle. Another time I got up to redirect Ryan. Another to keep Mae from going to our room. Another to get milk. Yet another to tell Ryan to sit or get off the couch. Then I get a cup of coffee, sit down, touch my fingers to the keyboard, and I hear Richie laughing... but it's the ringtone of him laughing as a baby. Yes, dear... 4:15 is a fine time to be home. I love you too.
The best part of all that is that in between some of those things I started to type different things each time. My version of writer's block, I guess. Nothing seemed right. Then I sat down after all these interruptions and it turns out the best start was in the midst of the mess! Each time I got up, I had to either bless or redirect. Richie wanted a puzzle. That was in his best interest, so I granted his wish by handing him a puzzle. Mae reached up onto the table and almost grabbed my coffee cup, causing me to move the cup out of her reach. Each reaction by me was completely out of love. However, both reactions resulted in different expressions from my kids. Richie was excited! He bubbled over with "Thank you, Mommy!" Maelynn, on the other hand, cried as if I'd broken her heart forever.
God redirects us, too. The difference is that in our redirections, the weeping and mourning or joyful celebration may last a lot longer than a minute or two. He's redirected Eric and I as a family several times in just the eight years we've known each other. Each time has been necessary and for our good. I say that from the faith that God loves us and cares for us according to His will and purpose, for not every redirection was met with excitement. Most of them we can look back on and see the bullet that would have smacked us right between the eyes, like the time after we moved to Groesbeck that we didn't have electricity. It was right before I had Richie, and a very long story short, if we'd had electricity we couldn't have paid for it. Texas summers are expensive. As it stood, our landlord paid the bill. Losing who would have been Ryan's first sibling, however, still is hard to accept.
All of these times have been brushstrokes in the painting of God's plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that there is a plan for our lives, and it is for our good. Romans 8:28 reminds us that all things work for our good. When Ryan was a baby, as the anniversary of a significant, painful redirection approached, Eric and I realized that as we go through things such as these, we gain another notch on our faith belt. We step up another step, a little more secure in our footing as we realize that God really didn't bring us this far to let us perish! His parents shared, too, times when God brought them through things as encouragement to us. So that night at that little rent house on Kelly street in Fairfield, we made up our own holiday, to be celebrated on the anniversary of the day Eric lost his job with no just cause when I was 7 months pregnant with Ryan. That year, we celebrated our first Providence Day.
On February 25th of every year, we celebrate the way God protects us and carries out His plan for those He loves. The plan is that as our children grow, they will use their knowledge of the things we've been brought through as a bolster for their own faith in their own hard times. Even though we know that our kids will have their own times when God has to say "no" and turn them the other direction, that remembering what Mom and Dad went through will help them rest in the peace that surpasses understanding. It's the peace that leads us every day through countless things like back surgery, Autism, sickness, piles of bills... everything ranging from mild inconvenience to pray-for-us-this-is-scary. And this isn't to say we don't thank God on a regular basis for His care. Providence Day is just a time when we make a point to recount the stories so that the amazing things God has done for us will not be forgotten! This is our Ebenezer stone (1 Samuel 7:12)... our celebration of how He's never failed us.
Oh, look at that... Eric's home, and it's time to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ( Thessalonians 5:18)
Care to join us?