Friday, November 8, 2013

Four Special Women with Courage

A Dear Friend and Teacher

I have this dear friend who happens to teach the strings classes in the county here.  She broke the sad news that there was a problem with getting my younger kids, Jordan and Mariah, to be accepted in the violin class because they are home-schooled- even though by law they had every right to be there.  We both agreed it was unfair, but She suggested that I leave that battle alone (let it go) and let the Lord work things out.  Oooh that was a tough one for me... but I did it, and I was impressed that she had the courage to tell me to "let it go."  I left it alone even though every bit of me wanted to talk to the person responsible and fight for my children's rights.  (Sometimes it IS necessary to fight an unfair system, but other times it's a valuable gift to be able to let things go.)

A couple of weeks later, she called me to say that not only were my kids accepted into the program, but they would also have the opportunity to borrow donated violins just their size.  Jordan received his last week, and Mariah just received hers last night!  (It took a little longer to find one as small as her.)

We have been so ecstatic!  We did not have enough money to buy them violins or even rent them.  It was a year ago that Jordan requested either a violin or a guitar for his birthday.  He couldn't decide between the two, and I made him choose.  Now, a year later, he's faithfully practicing both!  What a blessing to have this dear friend who had the courage to follow the Spirit who told her that this was a battle to "LET GO."  God solved it much better than I ever could have.

This woman is beloved by all.  When this sweet woman shows up at the school to teach her class, the children flock to her!  She is loved and shows love and passion for what she does.  Her passion and wisdom are blessings to me.

A New Friend & Disney World Employee

At the beginning of the school year, I parked my big van by a woman standing along the fence waiting for her child to finish soccer tryouts.  She had the biggest smile I've ever seen.  We chatted about soccer and our children.

As we chatted, lots of cars drove by and waved at her.  EVERYBODY seemed to know her.   She told me she worked at Disney World, and then offered to give me her three personal tickets.  I thanked her greatly but had to turn her down because we wouldn't be able to afford tickets for the rest of the family.  Maybe later??  :-)  I'm sure lots of people ask her for her free tickets, but she said she just felt like she wanted to offer them to our family.  Even though we couldn't partake of the free tickets at that time, I felt so special that she would even offer them to us.

I kept thinking about her but hadn't seen her since September.  I had an impression to invite her for dinner.  I was scared because we didn't really know each other that well.  I had her phone number and sent her a text.  She and her family accepted our invitation and actually came for dinner on Monday night!  I couldn't believe it!  We had the most wonderful time laughing and talking.  The missionaries even showed up out of the blue to eat a piece of pizza and meet our guests on their way to their next appointment.  It was an evening that we all needed.

Making Balloons & Remembering God's Army

On Wednesday, I made balloon animals for about 75 middle school choir kids to help at their fall party.  I had a LONG line of kids waiting for balloons.  I made hats, teddybears hugging hearts, monkeys, and many more for the anxious kids.  While I twisted balloons vigorously, an older woman pulled her chair up beside mine.

She began sharing some really special details about her life.  Although she is nearing 70 years old, she adopted her three grandchildren a couple of years ago.  The youngest is now four years old.  She has had two hip replacements, a knee replacement, and was awaiting a second knee replacement.... and she has a 4-year old on top of it all?  Picturing her responsibilities at her age and physical capabilities I felt exhausted for her!

I listened to her for quite some time, and then she said something that spoke directly to my heart:  "You never know what blessings are waiting just around the corner."  She added, "God has an army on your side."  I'm a passionate individual, so that "army" meant a great deal to me.

I couldn't help but tear up.  She did too.  Giving her a hug I said, "You can't make the Balloon Lady cry!!"

Obviously touched as well, this woman said, "You never know why we meet certain people... why I pulled my chair up to talk to you just now."  We uplifted each other in our loving words.  I could feel her goodness within my heart.  We embraced again, and then I continued to make the balloons... making sure she received a little motorcycle balloon for her 4-year old at home. :-)

I've thought about that "Army" several times since our conversation.  I can only assume the best will come when we put faith in God's army.

Drawn to You

Last night, my boys had a band concert on the stage in the school's cafeteria.  Abe had just left on a trip to Utah to sing.  At that time, it was just me and the kids.  During the concert, 3-year old Juliana dumped my whole diaper bag all over the floor by mistake.  (This is no ordinary diaper bag... this bag is FULL of almost every detail of my life. :-))  Trying to not disturb the concert, I sent Mariah under the table to gather all my belongings.

While Mariah cleaned that up, I kept sticking granola pieces in baby Jayden's mouth to keep him from talking.  Within minutes after the diaper bag mess was cleaned up, Jayden took one huge swipe at the bag of granola, and it dumped out all over the floor.

This time Jordan and Mariah were sent under the table to clean up the mess for me while I contained Jayden.  Still trying to keep baby Jayden quiet, I pulled out all the stops...  Yes- I bribed him... I gave him chocolate.

Baby Jayden had a big fall the day before, so his lip was HUGE and hanging low.  I was giving him small pieces of chocolate because he couldn't keep large pieced of food in his mouth without drooling everywhere.  For one quick second, I reached over to  help Juliana when Jayden all of a sudden grabbed the WHOLE chocolate bar and quickly stuck it in his mouth.

Yep!  Chocolate drooled all down my bright, solid-colored, tangerine skirt.

After the concert was over, I stayed in my seat longer than anybody else because I was still in "recovery mode" trying to clean up our many messes.  I was exhausted.

While I wiped myself down, my friend with the huge smile who came for dinner on Monday came to give me a huge hug.  Then, a different lady came across the empty room to talk to me.  She said she had seen me at several functions and felt drawn to me.  I didn't even recognize her, but she named all the places she had seen me.  Laughing, I told her about all of our fiascos during the concert.  She laughed too and said, "Maybe that's why I'm drawn to you because you're so real."  I was grateful I wasn't expected to be perfect to be loved by her.

We chatted for a moment.  She told me about her children; then we hugged and felt mutually uplifted as mothers by our short interaction.

I pondered on this.  Why do people feel "drawn" to others.  I believe there are no coincidences in the people that we encounter.   God has LOTS of reasons that I will never understand for why we are connected to certain people.  Some of those reasons show themselves immediately.  Some are revealed years down the road.  From my limited perspective, I felt blessed by these lovely women this week because these four women had the courage to leave their comfort zone:

** to courageously advise a friend to LET GO,
           *so that my children's lives could be blessed by the art of music.
** to offer free Disney World tickets to a complete stranger,
          *so that a sweet friendship could begin.
** to scoot a chair right next to a stranger who looked very busy tying balloons,
          *so that inspired words could be shared.
** to cross the entire cafeteria to approach a stranger that they were drawn to,
          *so that we could be mutually uplifted as mothers.

Coincidences???  I think not.  I don't believe ANY of our interactions are coincidences.  I count them as miraculous encounters... some miracles are yet to be seen and others are already taking place.  I'm thankful for the Holy Ghost who speaks to our hearts and minds that which will bless us and those around us the very most... for we are ALL God's children.