Friday, November 13, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

Recently when my 4 year old was sick I was reminded of a time a few years ago when her 7 year old brother was sick. I had written a story about how God had used this to teach me a valuable lesson.

When I can get the kids on the school bus and to day care I consider my mornings to be a success. With four kids to feed and get dressed, mornings are always chaotic at my house. One wants cereal for breakfast, one wants eggs and one wants anything that no one else wants or we do not have. Getting out the door with everyone dressed and my sanity intact is always a miracle.

One morning I was "patting myself on the back" for managing to deliver the kids to their appointed destinations on time. I even had a few minutes to spare so I decided to stop at the neighborhood cafe for a much needed cup of coffee. As i was savoring the delicious coffee, I began to plan my my day. I could shampoo my carpets, clean the overstuffed closets, and maybe do a load or two of laundry. I had just finished my coffee and plans for the day when my cell phone began to ring.
Isn't technology wonderful?

The voice of the day care director, in one sentence, changed my entire plans for the day. "Christian has a fever and you will need to pick him up." "Sure, I'm on my way," I stammered gulping the last of my coffee. I paid my check and headed for my car. As I pu my keys in the ignition I thought of all my ambitious plans for the day. Oh well, I thought as I pulled out into the street and headed for the short drive to day care. I can pick up Christian and settle him down to watch his favorite cartoons and get some chores marked off my ever-growing "to do" list.

When I arrived at day care I spotted Christian in a corner with the saddest expression on his face. Ms. Sherry, his teacher, explained that he did not act as though he were sick. However, when a child has a fever he needs to go home. "I understand," I told her as I bent down to give Christian a hug. "Do you hurt anywhere?" I asked him. Tears began rolling down his face as he hugged me and said, "No Nanny, I just want to go home."

We got in the car and headed for home. I felt so sorry for him that I stopped at his favorite restaurant, McDonald's and got him a kid's meal and milk shake. As he enjoyed his meal we talked--I mean really talked--about everything. We talked about his friends at day care and what he was learning. When I talked to him I actually felt as though he were really interested in what I had to say (unlike my husband sometimes). I haven't felt that good about a conversation in a long time. I know what has been said about a "little child shall lead them" but today I actually learned about the pleasure of enjoying a conversation with someone.

When we arrived home I asked him if he would like to go to bed and watch TV. "No,Nanny, I want to make cookies with you." So we made cookies and laughed and talked some more. "This is fun," he said to me with flour on his face. He looked so precious I had to laugh and say, "You know these cookies are done, we need to taste test before we let the rest of the family eat any of these. Do you feel like having some milk and cookies?" "Sure," he said. After enjoying some milk and cookies, I checked his temperature. It had gone down some but he still had a small fever.

"Why don't you go in your room and let me put you in bed and turn your cartoons on for you?" Without another word he went into his room and got into bed. I turned on his favorite cartoon channel and kissed him. Before ten minutes went by he was sound asleep. I went into the kitchen and washed up the dishes and threw in a load of towels to wash. I then went into the living room and sat in my rocking chair for a rest. I looked at my to-do list and realized that I could not get my list done and laid it to the side.

When Christian awoke he wanted me to color with him. This is what we were doing when Tori came bounding through the door. She ran to Chriatain and gave him a hug. I explained to her that he had a fever and had to leave day care early. He excitedly showed her the cookies we made and the pictures that we had colored. I looked at the clock and realized it was time to pick up Nikolas and Alyssa. "Take care of Christian for me." I called to Tori as I ran out the door.

On the way to the day care I realized that I had not planned dinner so a quick stop at the market was in order. Hurriedly picking up a pack of chicken and a few additional things for dinner I jogged to the closest checkout. As luck would have it, I got behind a woman that had more items in her cart than money to pay for them. I impatiently waited for her to decide what she could do without. Finally, it was my turn. As I paid for my few groceries, I began to think of how I had spent my day. It was not exactly how I had planned it. I left the store with a smile on my face. Finally, I was again on my way to the daycare.

After retrieving the other two kids and assuring Christian's teacher that he was fine, I again headed for home. After I had prepared dinner and put the kids to bed, I sat down and reflected on my day. Guess what happened to my to-do list? Absolutely nothing! Sure I could have shampooed the carpets and cleaned closets but what would that have accomplished compared to the way I had spent my day? I had spent the day making memories with my grandchild. Memories I know I will never forget and memories that I think Christian will always remember.

There on my couch alone in the dark and with the TV on in the background, I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. I realized that although I had big plans of my own for the day, He had His own plans for me. Without God's intervention I would have missed out on experiencing the greatest day of my life. After checking Christian's temperature and giving all my precious grandchildren goodnight kisses, I stood and watched each one of them. Do you know what I did next? I thanked God for each and every one of them. I had not cleaned carpets today but I had done something more important. I had spent the day with of God's angels.

True satisfaction in life comes from walking with God everday in all areas of our life--even in our day to day to-do lists.