It has been a rainy day, and my morning started off with me getting soaked trying to get our puppy to go outside. He’s half golden retriever. Aren’t they supposed to love water?
After I got the kids and Bri off to school and work with long, tight hugs before they left, I got in the car and drove through torrential downpours to the hospital for my radioactive iodine dosing. On the interstate, I got stuck behind tractor trailers who for 10 minutes blocked both lanes because neither one would pass the other (I do not exaggerate here). I muttered about the drivers who didn’t have their lights on and the ones who tailgated me, just as trapped as I was behind the big rigs.
When I arrived at the hospital, the closest parking space was six rows back and just as I was pulling up to it, another car pulled into it. I went around and found one on the other side. As I pulled into that one, the courtesy shuttle stopped and waited. I grabbed my phone, a tissue and my purse, pulled the hood up on my raincoat and jumped out of the car just as the courtesy shuttle moved on. Seriously?! The guy waved me into my space! More than a little disgruntled, I walked to the hospital and arrived, dripping, at the radiology department.
After a few minor inconveniences, I was ushered back to the little room where the lady in gloves held my pill in a lead cup. Does anyone else find this more than mildly disturbing?
I decided to drive home a different route and skip the interstate. Not allowed to eat for two hours, but told to drink as much as I could, I stopped at a Starbucks for a white mocha with a pump of raspberry. It’s piping hot smoothness warmed me inside, and I turned up the radio. I decided the long way home was in order, and as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Duran Duran and Bon Jovi (yes, I know, eclectic mix) belted out tunes, I drove past the health center where I worked to put myself through college. I drove past the community college I attended, past my parents’ best friends’ home (did you hear me honk, Karen?), and past the little gas station that friends used to own and introduced me to BLT pizza (we ordered those for our youth leaders’ meetings umpteen times).
Even with the gray skies and raindrops, the fire of autumn burned all around. I marveled at the beauty of this place where I live, and at one point, as I bawled my eyes out listening to Andy Grammar sing, “We always find our way back home,” I laughed and said (or rather croaked), “I get to live here!”
I have always loved this place I call home. I love that my parents still live in the same house I grew up in, just 30 minutes away. I love that my brother and his family are 30 minutes in another direction. I have never wanted to live anywhere else.
I am married to a dreamer and a wanderer, and I have had the privilege of going places I never thought I would. He’s taught me the beauty of travel, and I’ve marveled at the Grand Canyon, London, the Pacific Ocean, Lake Powell, the Hoover Dam, and beyond. I am thankful to have seen and experienced all of these and more, but if I had never gone, I’d still be just as content.
Because I. get. to. live. here.
As I drove over swollen creeks and past pumpkin patches, as I looked at harvested fields prepped for the coming winter and mountains flaming with color, I thanked God again and again for this life.
Yes, this is hard. I am sequestered from my family–not even my puppy can be around me. But y’all, I have so much. So very, very much to be thankful for. These are all gifts.
What started out as such a hard morning has turned beautiful.
Yes, I’m stuck up in my room away from my loves. I have a headache and am very fatigued. But I am still folding their laundry, and texting back and forth with my Brian, and reading good books and blogs, and catching up on Facebook, and watching movies, and painting my fingernails, and listening to the children chatter downstairs, and smelling delicious food a friend prepared for us. Tomorrow my sweet Mama is coming up to keep me company and bringing lunch, and we’ll watch a movie together (“I’ll just sit far away from you,” she said), and she’ll help with the kiddos when they get home from school.
So many gifts, y’all.
This is what our God does.
He takes the hard and makes it beautiful.
I am so very blessed.
Thank You, Lord, that in the bitterness of suffering and the impatience of waiting, I breathe the sweet breath of Paradise with which You fill my days. Only You can give the eyes to see beyond the muck and mire. Only You can fill each breath with sweetness, for if I breathe in my own strength, I only smell and feel the curse. My days are already written in Your book, and my life is in Your hands. Only You can give me life to live, breath to breathe. Thank You for this life. Each moment of it. Even this hard. You have shown me Your beauty.
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