Monday, November 3, 2014

Joy Comes in the Morning

Yesterday was a BEAR of a day. The hours and the dishes seemed to go on forever. By the end I was just exhausted.  I didn't even have enough energy to bake anything.  And I had been looking forward to it all day.  Not only was I tired, I was irritable and frustrated.  Though instead of pushing it, I listened to my body and went to bed early.

Now, today was a whole other story.  My daughter Alex had an appointment to see the eye doctor. She and I headed out early enough to swing by my mother's house for just a few minutes.  My mother and I talked, while Alex played in my mom's yard. Then we were off to see the doctor.

We were the doctor's first appointment of the day. Alex did an amazing job. She even managed to give her doctor a wonderful laugh when she referred to the  tiny "birthday cake with candles" picture as "a stack of pancakes with steam coming out." Alex even chose some really cute frames that left me with some bold ideas about my next pair of eyeglasses.

All done with Alex's appointment, we did a little grocery shopping at Kroger, which happens to be in the same building as the optometrist's office.  As we were walking down the aisle heading toward the back of Kroger, I saw my grandmother Mary.  Well, not exactly,  since she passed away in 2000, the same year (but before) my Alex was born. So she didn't have a chance to meet any of my children on this side of creation.

But there was an elderly woman who, from behind, looked just like my Granny.  She was leaning over into the meat bin, propping herself with her left arm just like I remember my grandmother doing. My heart fluttered and smiled all at once.  I tell you I was stopped in stride. I said nothing. And Alex just looked at me, trying I'm sure to figure out why we were neither moving nor picking up anything from the aisle.  The only words I can use to explain that moment are PURE JOY.

In the 14 years since I've seen Grandma Mary, I've never seen anyone else who actually looked so much like her that it gave me pause. Another aisle, a minute later, a minute too soon and this moment may not have existed at all. Then to top it all off, in the car after we had loaded the groceries, my daughter started to talk about just how much Nana (my mom) looks like her Mom (my grandma) and how she thinks they could be twins. I was just amazed. In the store, I hadn't even mentioned anything to Alex and she just casually starts a conversation about my grandmother.

The LORD does speak to us and issues out little doses of joy like much-needed medicine. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes a little. Always the proper amount. Enough to encourage us in the moment. HIS ways are mysterious, varied and undeniable.  HE loves us and reaches out, giving us hope in the most uncertain times.  HE orders our steps. And I pray to always be spiritually open for whatever the LORD wants to say. If I had to speak to all the ways I KNOW that the LORD our Father in heaven is real, I could go on and on indefinitely.  And today would definitely make the list.