Of course I believe what Romans says about God working all things together for the good of those who love Him, but some days that is more obvious than others. Today it was so blessedly obvious.
It started out as another MIFS Day. We had school pictures at Whitesburg today, and since Allie is in 3rd grade through Whitesburg homeschool, she had her picture taken, which she did wonderfully. Maggie was also scheduled to get her picture made because she is a member of Bright Lights, the preschool version of homeschool at Whitesburg. Like I said, Allie did wonderfully. When it came time for Maggie to sit on the stool and have her picture taken, she had an absolute FIT. I mean, I really thought she had been taken over by an unseen evil force. She kicked, she headbutted, she screamed, she. . . absolutely refused to sit on the stool and have her picture made. Absolutely refused. Never have I been more perplexed about how to handle a situation. I'm not used to stubborn, strong-willed children who literally laugh at spankings. Never have I been angrier at a child, and never have I been more embarrassed. We left without getting her picture made because there was a line forming and people were watching the fiasco. I felt like a complete failure as a parent and had no idea what to do with my child.
For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to go to Target after that (????). We did need several things and honestly, Momma needed to get some ice cream. Target has a wonderful Belgian Chocolate flavor. So we spent an hour in Target, getting birthday gifts for two of Allie's friends having parties this weekend, odds and ends we were out of in the cupboard, medicine for Allie's stuffy nose, and my chocolate ice cream. We were headed for the checkout when Maggie looked down at her bottom and said, "Uh oh." Yep. She had pee-peed in the cart. Not just the cart, but the baby bag too. It had been underneath the cart and was now sopping wet. I picked it up to inspect it, at which time I realized I didn't have my wallet. I had no way to pay for the full cart of groceries and birthday gifts we had spent an hour picking out. Worse yet, no way to pay for my chocolate ice cream. I wanted to cry. It wasn't even noon yet and I had already experienced an MIFS Day.
We went home, ate lunch (sans chocolate ice cream :( ), then I put the babies down for a nap while Allie and I finished the school we had started hours ago. Thank the Lord, we actually ended up having a very productive school day. Brian helped me get some paperwork done that was weighing me down, we went back to Target and go the ice cream (score!), and all was well.
One of the things I had been praying about lately was clothes for the kids. Since Brian started his new business, we haven't had a lot of breathing room in the budget, and for some reason these kids just keep growing and needing things. :) I've also had a tough time getting clothes for Allie's age that are modest and don't look like she's 18. I knew there were some kids consignment sales coming up, but I didn't sign up to volunteer at any of them and I was so afraid that by the time I could get to one, everything would be picked over. I actually specifically prayed that God would hold some items for my kids that would be the right size and the right price. I gave it to God, somehow thinking that was "a lot to ask for a God who's trying to control the universe and do much more important things." (why are we suprised when He answers our prayers??) Anyway, when we got to church tonight, another homeschooling mom whom I ADORE walked right up to me and said, "Kids Market is open to the public tomorrow, but I have a ticket for a guest of a worker to go tonight and be one of the first to walk through. Would you be interested?" ?!?!?!?!?!?! I just about started dancing right there. YES I was interested! I could not believe it. God made a way for me to go BEFORE the public could even go, and I wasn't even a worker! It was totally His grace, not anything I did! So Brian gave me a very gracious budget and after church I went to the sale. I walked up and down the aisles asking God to direct me to the right clothes, at the right prices. And He did exactly that! In under an hour I had found several nice dresses for each of the girls, including some Strasburg jumpers for $5 and $6! I walked out of there feeling graciously and lovingly cared for by a GOOD God.
Along the way of my seemingly difficult day, God placed people in my path who were just so encouraging and uplifting. I thought back to when I walked out of the studio with a screaming Maggie, and how several of the women had nodded and said they completely understood. Although I was embarrassed, it wasn't because they were casting judgement. They were gracious and understanding. On my first trip to Target, I had put several things in the cart that really weren't necessary, but I had been hungry/upset/emotional. God gave me a second time around to buy only the things I really needed, when I wasn't so emotional. God really did work all things together for my good today. And He over and abundantly answered my specific prayers. He really is a good God.