You know, sometimes I look up and realize the good Lord has been tapping me on the shoulder for a while, and I haven't been paying attention. It's so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the holidays and forget to breathe, especially when you have a week like I just had. I love my job, but I have several big projects going right now, so every day last week was a kick your butt kind of day. I was exhausted by Wednesday, and still had so much to get done. I was sliding into every stop on two wheels and rushing through one task just to get to another. It was crazy. Early in the week a school teacher called me about doing a presentation to first graders, and even though I really didn't have time for it, I said yes because I make it a policy to never say no to a school unless I absolutely have to. Two days later I arrived at the school at 8am just as I was instructed in order to set up for an 8:30am program. The secretary gave me an uh-oh look, and it took all of ten seconds to realize the school had overbooked, and a larger assembly was scheduled for 8:30am with the entire student body. Frankly, I was too tired to object so when given the choice to delay my program or reschedule I chose to wait because I just didn't have it in me to make another trip to the school the following day. I wasn't really excited about cooling my heels for a half hour because I had so much I could have been doing at work. I went to the car for some money and headed toward the cafeteria to see what was offered for breakfast just to kill time.
Along the way I saw a little girl I knew, and we had a really sweet and funny conversation about her head cold and how her granny had made her hot chocolate that morning and she felt "all better". I stood in line in the cafeteria behind a little girl who hated the smell so much she held her nose the whole time. Another laugh. We snaked our way to the head of the line, and the lunch lady smiled really big and offered me a sausage biscuit. Now, if I had not been so rushed before I left the house I would have eaten my normal dry breakfast of oatmeal and flax seed. Hmmm. Now, I had the opportunity to eat something much more decadent. I accepted it gratefully, and looked around for some gravy. When I reached the cashier, she refused to let me pay, so I ate for free. I was the only grown up eating breakfast, so I grabbed a chair that put me verrrrry low to the ground, and plopped down in the middle of some fourth graders. More smiles. We had great conversation, and when we finished we all headed to the gym for the assembly. It was interesting watching the children be so excited about visitors and seeing how well behaved they were. It made me wonder at what point in my life I had forgotten to be that excited about a new day...every day. The assembly ran long, leaving me with no set up time for my presentation, but by then it didn't matter. I simply shortened my program. The first graders were great listeners, they asked questions that made me smile and all said "thank you" as a group. I loaded up my stuff and left the school about an hour later than I had planned. And you know what? It was okay. Really. The secretary apologized profusely for the mix-up, but I said, "thank you, I needed that". She didn't understand that I got more out of that visit than the kids got from me. I was a better person when I left then when I arrived. As I started the car I smiled because God had given me a little time-out. Just when I needed it, he presented me with a situation that at first glance appeared to be another one of last week's problems but was really a blessing. I had an opportunity to stop and breathe, to eat breakfast with some little folks that made me smile and to get some much needed perspective before I started the next three busy days. I wonder how long He had been tapping me on the shoulder last week before I finally turned around?
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