Saturday, August 9, 2008

I was lost...

Two good slams and my feet were pounding the pavement. There is no need to go into detail, but I was so mad I could barely see straight. I wasn't sure what else to do. I suppose I just hit my limit, or didn't get enough sleep, or wasn't walking in the spirit. Whatever you want to call it, now I was walking up the road with no place to go.

I thought, "I don't have my keys or money...where am I going to go to cool off?" What I really wanted to do was sit under a tree and cry until Jesus came to get me. I spoke with God a little bit, but I think I was a little mad at Him, or too embarassed to speak honestly, even if He is the lover of my soul. As I reached the top of the hill, I started to feel a bit better, but still didn't want to turn back. I turned the corner and thank goodness, Hazel was on her porch.

I met Miss Hazel close to two years ago. She is in her late 70's and has lived in that house for the majority of those years. I think close to 50. It's one of my favorite houses on the block. Her husband's grandfather built it, or bought it...and they paid a ridiculous sum of money for it. Although it may not have been ridiculous at the time. I love visiting with Hazel. The kids run around her yard and she smiles and talks about her kids, or her grandkids, we just chat. She always calls me "honey" and asks me to stay. Whenever I leave she says, "Don't be so long next time." She has a beautiful southern draw that I could listen to all day.

"What did you do when you were so mad you couldn't see straight?" I yelled from the street. She didn't quite hear me, so as I got closer I repeated myself. A smile spread across her face and she said, "Come sit down, honey, watch the water I just watered my flowers." I started on my tirade on how all I wanted was for Julia to put on her cover-up so we could go swimming. All I want is a little respect. All I want is for Mike to speak up BEFORE I make the decision...when I ask for his opinion. All I wanted was to sleep in. Me. Me. Me...that's all I wanted. She went in and got a book that she just started reading and read the cover to me. It was lovely, The Savior Next Door by Max Lucado. I just looked at her and said, "This is just so hard." She replied with such a sweet sympathy, "I know it is, honey, I'm crying with you." Seriously, this is hard stuff. I must say "Please Forgive Me" 10 times a day, and that's not saying it everytime I SHOULD!

I ranted and laughed and cried. Hazel listened, and shared, and encouraged. She shared some of her "war stories" and she shared how she has ministered to her neighbor in the Name of Jesus. She shared with me some things about her husband who has been gone for at least 25-30 years. She reminded me that my children are not going to be perfect...EVER. She said that they will respect me, but that they are going to make mistakes. I know that, but I did need to hear that.

After we had chatted for probably 30-40 minutes my family found me. I smiled as I saw Mike pushing our three kids around the corner to Hazel's. She said, "You are trying so hard. You have a beautiful family." I was full of pride as I looked at the 4 people that I share my life with. There they were looking for me. I screamed, slammed the doors, didn't tell Mike where I was going...or why...and there they were, coming to find me.

"Mommy we were looking for you!" Julia said with her sweet little voice. (Not the voice that she used just 40 minutes earlier) "Well, Hazel, it looks like I've been found." She looked at me and laughed and said, "Well, Praise God for that."

I agree. Praise God that I was lost, and then was found. The prodigal heading home. I looked at Julia and asked for forgiveness. Of course it was granted, apologized to Mike for leaving the way I did, and we walked on home. My home is a place of grace. I know that because today the grace that was extended was extended to me. It sure is good to be home.


The Family Senter said...

i have had one of these very same weekends!
Praise God for his grace and constant relentless pursuit of his children!
thanks for your realness!

Linda said...

Wow...this is one that I will come back to again and again...because I too often forget...and this will remind me.

and hey...I'm coming back to the southeast in December/January!!! We're headed to Ft. Jackson!!!!

Heather said...

I wish Hazel lived near me! Great post.. real life in it's flesh.

The McLain Family said...

Hey Ali! I totally understand that kind of a day. I am so thankful for a home full of grace. Also I love Miss Hazel. I have a woman like that in my life and I love just talking with her. What great wisdom you have just down the street!

Jaime said...

I love your honesty... and I so have been there, needing to cool off. it's so hard when you give so much of yourself that that leaves little time left for me (balance is always necessary), that's great you have a wise friend to turn to. I love the insight the elderly can give us! You have a beautiful family, too!

Sheryl said...

I found your blog at Jennefer's at Smooth Stone Academy. The GA part jumped out at me and I always like to find other homeschoolers from GA. We are about 30 minutes south of Atlanta so still a ways from ya'll but I wanted to say hey.

Enjoyed reading parts of your blog.