Last Wednesday began like any other day. The alarm went off at 6:40am and our morning routine began. The first set of kids were showered, fed and dressed. I packed lunches and backpacks and drove them off to school. It is a routine I could perform in my sleep.
I came home and started the same routine all over again. This time with our junior high daughter. Her morning started earlier than normal thanks to her monthly orthodontics appointment before school but even that was routine.
We left the orthodontics, picked up her friend and blasted Taylor Swift’s song, Shake It Off on the way to drop them off at school. My life is the epitome of a suburbanite. Up until that point it had been just a day in the life of another housewife. See what I did there? …Moving on.
Then something completely and utterly out of the ordinary happened. Not only did I go on a job interview but I was hired as an independent contractor for the first time in over eight years. EIGHT YEARS!
I mentioned in the post Who I Am Right Now I was looking for part-time work. I was looking for the improbable situation. You know one I could work either from home or when my kids are at school with the flexibility to put my family first. What’s that saying? With God all things are possible.
I didn’t even seek out this position. It was offered to me. The pay is well above sufficient for the amount of work I am required to do. Work I can do from home at my leisure and I started immediately. Praise God!
Mr. C and I went out for a quick-lunch to celebrate before the after school routine began. After school snacks, homework and the never-ending paperwork that requires a parental signature were tended to. I freshened up and headed out for a new adventure and a long night.
I met my daughter at school with her softball bag. It was the second day of 8th grade junior high softball try-outs for the competitive team. She could only stay for forty-five minutes. With the coach fully aware of her situation he had her take her turn at bat first. You guys! She shined.
We left as the other girls continued on with try-outs. As we were in route she shoved in a snack and did a quick change in the car while I made it clear she did her job. She did more than hold her own at try-outs and she should be proud no matter the outcome. Today we learned out of the 19 girls who tried out, she was one of the 13 girls who made the competitive team!
We arrived at our destination and piled into a school bus filled with 8th grade girls and their mothers. We were headed to Arizona State University for the Hispanic Mother Daughter (college-prep) Program. Six hundred mother/daughter pairs from the Metro-Phoenix area applied for this program and only a hundred were accepted, including us.
More significantly it was a program I had participated in when I was her age with my aunt because you know my mom up and left and I needed a fill-in. The same aunt who battled pancreatic cancer for two years before dying a few weeks before I turned sixteen. Oh and if the day wasn’t emotional enough it was also pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. I was an emotional mess on the inside.
We unloaded the school buses and I watched as many of the girls looked around with awe-struck wonder. It had been the first time they had seen a university. I was that girl many years ago but my daughter was not. In fact she was very familiar with the area. She has been exposed to the neighboring theater, attended ASU football and softball games and runs a 4.2 mile race honoring Pat Tillman each year if her schedules permits it.
When I finally returned home after a long night, after everyone was tucked in and I was up alone I was able to reflect on the entire day. I found myself rejoice fully sobbing.
My daughter and I were given separate personality test that night. Our results were nearly identical. I spent my life trying not to be my mother and that night I say next to my daughter who beamed with pride knowing we were so much alike. I. Can’t. Even.
There are so many things that have been taken away from me. My mother left, my aunt died of cancer, my dad died of end stage liver disease and I miscarried, to name a few. With all of these things that have been taken away, I have gained so much more in terms of personal growth.
I have been given the chance to right the wrong, so to speak. Without those life experiences I would not be the person I am today. I know the importance of modeling a healthy marriage, a real one not a fake perfect one. One that puts love above all else. As a mom, I wouldn’t necessarily say I wouldn’t love my children. I would say because of my experiences I know the importance of a hug, of teaching them their worth in the Lord or in opening their eyes to all the possibilities that life has ahead of them. I still have no clue what I am really doing but I do know what not to do!
I know the Lord is not done taking away. Pruning will forever be a part of life but the growth that results because of it is far better than the life that once was.
How has God pruned your life for the better?