The car smelled like McDonald's chicken nuggets and Walmart donut holes. Micaela cried in the back seat, having thrown her toy on the floor...again...and wanting it back. Adela rested her tired head against the window, her eyes glassy and feverish. I gripped the steering wheel until my knuckles were white.
If I had run a marathon or worked cattle all day, I wouldn't have been as tired as I was last Sunday after going to urgent care with the girls. The best place to go was an hour away. We spend three hours there, another hour waiting for our prescriptions, and then drove home again. It was miserable, but Adela, who had been sick all weekend, developed sores on the back of her throat. Feverish and in so much pain, I didn't want to make her wait until Monday. Besides, I needed to get Micaela checked out, too. She still won't tell me when she is feeling bad.
Honestly, while in the actual doctor's office, both the girls did great. It was the waiting that was so hard. I left the house completely unprepared to keep us entertained. We sang songs, played games, and kept our masks on. The minutes dragged on. I could have brought out my phone and let them watch a show or two, but knowing that Micaela would have a complete meltdown the moment I had to put the device away again, I kept it in my purse. I kept listening to the sound of footsteps, hoping our turn would come, but the waiting room had been busy and I knew it would take time.
The next morning, when I wrote about the experience in my journal, I got an idea. Why not stick a few simple items like a bag of cheap balloon, coloring books, and pipe cleaners into the diaper bag along with a list of activities we can do with the materials? A day like Sunday happens only once or twice a year, but that doesn't mean I can't be proactive and plan for it. I can also plan better self-care than donut holes...maybe.
We all go through things that are stressful and difficult. Usually, we have two options afterward: decide to be a victim to circumstances or take proactive action to learn from the experience while making a better plan for next time. Who knows, perhaps God allowed that day to wake me up to this need because He knows I'll be doing this again soon.
God's precious provision and care is evident daily in my life. Adela is already doing great and back in school. Micaela and I didn't get her bug which is a miracle in itself, and I am still learning and growing under God's gentle guidance and love.
Is there something you went through recently that didn't go as well as you wished? What proactive steps could you take to improve that experience next time. Can you make a plan?
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"...and God was already there with me."