Today was lovely.
Because the kids don't wake us up but go upstairs to see their grandparents first thing in the morning, I often don't know what they are about until I get up to make them breakfast. This morning I found there was no need. I walked into the kitchen to see them crowded around a carton of ice cream.
I couldn't get mad, it was too funny. They must have gotten the ice cream bone from me.
I received a text before I went upstairs from Jeffrey. He had left his lunch home. We made arrangements for me to bring it to him. Until then, though, I declared it to be a lazy day. I didn't sleep well and my head was hurting. We got to stay in our jammies until nearly noon when I remembered I had to get Jeffrey's lunch to him.
And this is where the miracles that happened today began to unfold. Well, really, they began when Jeffrey left his lunch home. It was all a part of the plan.
Back before Christmas Jeffrey and I had to take the seats out of the van in order to move some things from here to other destinations. He had put the back seats in the back of his car and had been driving around with them there ever since.
Today, while we were meeting up to exchange hugs (I didn't get one before he left for work) and his lunch, he decided we may as well transfer the seats back to the van.
And then he went back to work. And then the kids and I went out to play.
We had a lot of fun playing at the Children's Museum for the majority of the afternoon.
And then I was tired and wanted to go home. I mentioned it four or five times before I was able to get the kids to agree.
As we were driving away from the museum, I remembered that I had been meaning to stop by Deseret Book for a couple of months now, to pick up a copy of the Conference Ensign. I normally don't take the kids with me as I am not fond of the "you break it you bought it" rule, and have had to pay for broken things before. In fact, I hadn't been by to get a copy yet since I nearly always have the kids with me when I am out and about. But almost without thinking, I drove around the block and back, so I could go to Deseret Book. The kids had been really good, so I was going to risk it. I was feeling exceptionally brave and optimistic.
A stop time animation movie was playing in the back of the store, so I deposited the kids there and wandered around, looking for the magazine section. It was right by the door we had come in. I laughed at myself for missing it. I quickly found what I was looking for, and turned back to get my kids.
And then I saw someone walk through the door. She looked familiar. I couldn't quite see her face, but I thought it was my cousin. I called out her name and she didn't hear me. I walked around to her side so I could see her face, and it was my cousin! Evidently at that moment she was having a very bad day. She was in need of help and not quite sure what to do. I feel so honored and blessed that I was able to be there, at that particular store, far away from my house and my town, and my Deseret Book, just at the moment when she needed help. I have no doubt the people in the store would have done all they could to help her, but really, the fact that we are family really melted my heart by the love Heavenly Father has for each of us. I would much rather be helped out by a cousin when I am having a bad day, or a bad moment in a day, than by a kind stranger. Because we had just put the seats back in the car, I was able to give her a ride, which would have been much more difficult (and uncomfortable for her!) had Jeffrey not insisted we put them in right then, during his lunch. As I look back on my day and how the events played out, I am increasingly in awe of the tender loving care Heavenly Father took to ensure I was there, at the right place, at the right time to help my dear cousin. I can only imagine her relief to find someone she knows and trusts in a moment of confusion and frustration. But more than anything, witnessing first hand the tender mercies in our lives, and the care and attention to detail Heavenly Father uses when guiding our lives truly has me humbled.
Today was a good day.
Without helping my cousin it would have gone down as one of my favorite days ever, but with helping her, it was like adding the whip cream to the pumpkin pie. It just completed it.
The kids and I talked about it on the drive home. Keith was a little sad that our plans had been interrupted. We were going to play with trains, next. I explained to him that what we did instead of playing with the trains was a million times better. It was such a sweet teaching moment for me. To teach about service and the pure love of Christ. I am sure my cousin was grateful for the help, but I feel like I benefited far more than she did. I was able to teach my children, letting them help through experience. And besides, I love my cousin! I love that everything worked out so well.
Recognizing tender mercies in life is really a humbling experience.
Seeing God's love, knowing it is eternal and unconditional, and for everyone just makes my heart burst. I often think of the scripture found in Matthew 6:28
"28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
Lilies are one of my favorite flowers because of that scripture. They are a constant reminder to me that Heavenly Father is in charge, and love me more than them, and will always provide. Always. Somehow. In unexpected ways.
Today was attestation of that if I ever saw it.