On Friday, we decided to ride our bikes to school. Jameson started kindergarten that week and it was the first day all week that didn't have the sun blaring down in scorching heat. So we got our gear together (the littlies riding in my bike trailer) and rode our bikes to school. Livin' the dream! :) He left his little two-wheeler outside with the pile of bicycles from other kids and went in with an excited grin. I have been so happy with the way he's transitioned to this new way of life. Actually, yesterday his uncle asked him about how starting kindergarten felt and told him he saw his picture from his first day of school and he replied with, "Oh, that was back when I was little." :) A week ago. Kindergarten really makes you grow up, I guess.
Anyway, in the afternoon, it started drizzling. I knew it might be a little rainy that day but I would take riding my bike in the rain far over riding my bike in the scorching sun! So I didn't let it bother me too much. I left early to be sure I was there on time and rode in a slight drizzle. But as soon as I got to the school, it came down in buckets. We took shelter in between the front doors until it let up right before the bell rang for Jameson to get out of school. (Good thing I left early, right?) We then headed back for home. By this time, Jimmy had texted me letting me know he got home early. I texted back asking if he wanted to rescue us, but he missed the text somehow. In any case, we didn't need rescuing, we were being watched over. As soon as we made it home, strapped the younger littlies out of the bike trailer and got in the house, it came down again just as it had before.
Well, I've been reading this book lately, Embracing Coincidence by Carol Lynn Pearson, in which she relays many small stories of ways the Lord can touch her life or teach her little lessons or give her reminders every day in just little synchronicities or coincidences. Since I'd been reading her cute little stories, I thought this was one example in my own life of a tender mercy shown to me by the Lord. I think these things are often taken for granted. So many things happen every day without our noticing. I decided to notice more often. So I began paying attention more carefully after that.
We were leaving for the long holiday weekend to go visit my sister. So we got everything ready and headed out about 5:30. On the way out of town we saw a big hawk dive down in front of the car. It was beautiful and daring. Simply breathtaking. I took note of it. Later as we were nearing the freeway, it happened again! Another hawk, a little larger then the first, dove down in front of the car in almost the exact fashion. I thought, wow. That's quite the synchronicity. But I wasn't sure what the message behind these hawks might be. Perhaps they were reminders for me to watch the road and drive carefully. That thought felt boring to me, so I kept trying to think up some other reason these hawks were putting on their show. Because then after we were on the freeway, we were stuck in traffic (and of course I didn't stress out about it- remember my last post?) because of an accident up ahead and there it was! A third hawk was flying along to the left of our car in the stop and go traffic. It would sore to a great height and just hover there in the air as though it were suspended on a string. I sat in awe to watch it and was grateful for the moment to be stuck in traffic at a standstill so we could watch the hawk do its tricks. Still, I wasn't sure what kind of message I could gain from this beautiful synchronicity, so I kept paying attention.
The rest of the trip went on normally. We stopped to get sandwiches from Arby's for dinner, and continued on. Before we knew it, the sun had gone down and we were getting off the freeway. I went to the allotted corner and turned to drive down the little road out into the countryside next to the town. My sister lived a short way out of town. There's a little blue building along the way which has longtime memories for me. My grandparents also live down this road an have for generations. The little blue building is the electric building where my grandfather worked and I remember always pointing it out in my childhood when we were excited that we were nearly there after the long roadtrip.
As I was approaching the blue building, I suddenly felt a small panicky feeling inside that told me I was driving too fast. I was still in "freeway mode" and had begun to speed so I looked down at the speedometer and began to slow carefully. But in the next moment, I looked up and noticed a long trail of lights to my right a short distance away. I was approaching the intersection where the blue building stood on the corner and a semi truck was coming fast on the road perpendicular to mine. The feeling increased as I realized this truck was not slowing! He was approaching his stop sign with as much speed as I was approaching my throughway. I had already begun to slow, but I had no idea how I would be able to stop. I know I made some kind of explanation as we neared the intersection but I can't remember what it was. I only remember coming to a halt just in time to see the semi whip it's way past in front of us, and I still have no idea how I stopped in time.
I was melted to the seat with my heart throbbing in my toes and my throat choking on air. Somehow, we were still alive and unharmed. I inched at about 25 to 30 miles per hour the rest of the way, thanking the Lord we were ok.
In the moment, I could only think about the moment. But afterward I was given more understanding. In an event like this, every second counts. If I hadn't noticed I was speeding and slowed down to begin with, it would have been too late. My entire little family was in that vehicle and any other result...well, the very thought makes me cringe away and I cannot imagine.
I am so grateful for the awareness of the Lord in my life. I know it wasn't just me. The story doesn't end here.
Yesterday as we were getting ready to leave my sister's and head home, my youngest littlie and baby boy nudged a 4 by 6 mirror and it felt right on him, shattering to pieces. I was calm, but my sister felt it necessary to take him in to be checked for glass and I agreed that it would be the best thing to do. He only ended up with a few superficial scratches on his head, face, and hand. They appear almost like cat scratches, but finer. There was one wider mark on his head that they ex-rayed to be sure there was no glass and all was well. We noticed later that he had been next to the coffee table and must have fell flat down and so the mirror hit the table first and broke there to shower him with bits of glass. He he had been between the table and the mirror, it would have been much worse. Again, I am so grateful it was the way it was.
My sister told me stories, and I'm sure anyone reading this has their own, of people who have died in random ways. Getting caught in just the right way between two solid objects or hit in just the right spot to be fatal. So it goes both ways. We talk about how sometimes these sad circumstances that end in deaths are just such flukes it's incredible. However, we are so fragile in this life! The fluke isn't that any of us die, it is that we are all still alive! That's the fluke! In every day of our lives, in every moment, there are things that could kill us. We are fragile beings in this world that are faced with close calls at every tern. That may seem to sound kind of paranoid, but it's not. Because I know the reason why I am still alive. I know the reason why we are all kept alive in this world. And that reason is because there is someone all-knowing and all-loving who is watching over us. When it is our time to go, it will be our time.
I know my time wasn't yesterday. I don't know when my time may be. So for the moment, I am going to live in this fragile life in a way that I know I will be proud of and in a way I won't have regrets. I'm going to forgive a little quicker. I'm going to allow a little more. I'm going to smile longer. I'm going to hold my children closer. Because every moment is a blessing. And I am so grateful for the Lord's protection in these moments.