It's been another seven days in which things didn't unfold as I would have guessed.
I knew I would be off Friday, and I thought I'd spend most of that time in Texas. But a late night (early morning) at work contributed to a late start Friday morning. As it turned out, I was still in Norman when first a little bit of hail and then a big bit of tornado threat bore down on the town sometime after 4 p.m.
The tornado missed my area, but while I was regaining my bearings after exiting the closet, I got a call from work. I thought maybe they were checking on my safety or needed me to report on some of the damage closer to downtown. But no, I was being told I was a winner in a national headline contest for copy editors. That was totally unexpected but very cool news!
In Texas, surprises included a large tree branch down in front of a house that I got to help take care of Friday and Saturday. I ended up agreeing to do some general yard work or Sunday as well.
Saturday included lots of good time with family, including at my aunt Amma Belle's (my Dad's sister) party for her 90th birthday. It also included a trip to see Uncle Bill, whose condition a week before had given me somewhat of a scare. It was good to see him doing so much better, able to talk and in obvious good spirits and humor, despite still having a long way to go toward restored health.
After being gone all weekend, Monday was busier than usual, and I actually got done more than seemed possible.
But Tuesday was back to nothing beyond the most basic tasks, as I gave myself time to rest and relax. That ended for a moment about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, when, as I was turning my car off at home in the garage, the ignition lock came out with the key. I learned another benefit of my iPhone and Facebook, as I was able to "share" this strange occurrence without having to awaken my husband!
Wednesday night found me a tad apprehensive about teh blog deadline on Thursday, since I knew I also needed and/or wanted to get car ignition fixed, wash hair, wash clothes and walk. I thought of my options, then said a little prayer and went to bed.
And now it's another April 19, a day that always brings so many memories. The Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, ended 168 lives and changed so many more, including mine, in profound and subtle ways. I didn't watch TV today as they read all the names, but I do remember and reflect and recommit to be grateful for the blessings of each day, which include how God uses His people to overcome evil and tragedy with good.
Wednesday's Upper Room Scripture and devotional message were about Daily Courage, a thought that stayed with me as I thought of some of those changes -- differences -- that have occurred since April 1995.
The Scripture: Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.- Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Among the writer's thoughts was this quote from a poster: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow. ’ ” (words of Mary Anne Radmacher)
The writer, Lisa Stackpole of Wisconsin, also wrote: Whatever our circumstances, we can take heart from God’s words to Joshua: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Whether our daily challenge is a stressful job, a stubborn child, or the struggle to recover from an illness or addiction, God is with us. We can turn to God for the courage to try again tomorrow.
I need that kind of courage in a world that is different every day. I thank God for giving it to me as I trust in Him.