It all started on Sunday. I went to pick Avari up from Sunday school and was handed a piece of paper saying that she was chosen to play a sheep in the Christmas program, which just so happens to be this coming Sunday. This missive went on to explain that they would provide the costumes, but I need to have her dressed in all white. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong, very, very, very wrong (and I really could have added several additional "verys" but I think I've made the point).
Prior to "hitting the bricks" I turned to the web to do a little reconnaissance hoping to thereby limit the amount of actual searching to take place. I figured a few quick keystrokes and a click or two of the mouse would turn up the items I needed. Instead I spent close to 2 hours searching websites. I turned up one or two pair of white sweat pants, but these retailers wanted $15 for the pants and $15 to have them shipped in time to arrive for the play on Sunday. Now, there is no way on earth I'm going to pay $30 for a pair of white sweat pants that will in all likelihood be worn once.
So, instead, I spent the entire morning yesterday driving all over town to find white clothes. Now, the shirt came easily enough, but no one had white pants, tights, leggings. I frequented all the usual suspects, Walmart, Target, Penney's, Kohl's. I ended up driving to Pasadena (about 30 minutes from Baytown) to The Children's Place. Fortunately for me, they had just put out some new stock, which just so happened to include some really adorable white leggings. Needless to say, 4 hours and one grande peppermint mocha twist later, I had Avari's clothes. The best part was these uber-cute clothes were far superior to the over-priced sweats and less expensive, to boot.
Now, why would you care about my hunt for the great white whale, I mean, pants? You probably don't, but I had a lot of time to think yesterday while I was traipsing from store to store (thanks to my amazing mother-in-law who watched Avari for me). I ran into all sorts of people. I smiled a lot. I held a few doors open for harried mothers and the like. I wished Merry Christmas (not Happy Holidays) to everyone with whom I spoke. It was just refreshing to be out amongst people that I didn't know and sense my Father's love for them.
I also considered how much trouble I was going to in order to locate this rare commodity which is the white pant in winter. I wondered how that extensive effort would pay off if spent on other areas of my life. Sometimes I tend to get tunnel-vision about certain things and everything else gets a little neglected. Maybe I'm the Lone Ranger on that front, but somehow I think that most likely isn't the case.
My final realization of the day came from just having a little alone time in the car with a good CD and a long stretch of Fairmont Parkway. What was this earth-shattering revelation? Well, OK, you got me. It wasn't earth-shattering; it was probably obvious enough. Sometimes I just do not listen. Papa is speaking to me, but I don't hear. Oh, I pick up bits and pieces of the conversation, but operating that way causes me to have to make guesses about His true designs. It's sort of like me trying to follow a conversation in Spanish. I can pick up a word or two here and there, but I tend to get lost somewhere around the 15 second mark because I'm trying to piece things together in my head. I know enough Spanish to probably get me into trouble.
OK, this is the grand finale. Are you ready? Are you sure? Here it is: yesterday, I was reminded that I don't spend enough time and energy loving God and loving others (insert gasp here). Amazing how it so often comes back to His two great commands in Matthew 22:36-40, isn't it?
Looking on the bright side, gas is cheap, so these lessons weren't as costly as they might have been at $3.50/gallon. And, as a bonus, Avari got a couple of inexpensive, but adorable, outfits to enjoy. Isn't Papa just amazing?