You Never Know.

I'm sure I'm not the only planner out there.

And although I'm not Type A, I do like to have a plan for our time in the United States.

I'm very thorough. VERY.

I make a list of every person I want to see, and I create a pencil schedule of when I will see each person.

I plan all of our doctors appointments and shopping trips.

I make detailed lists of what has to be purchased where and for how much.

I'm so thorough, in fact, I also plan where the trouble is going to happen.

I don't create it, but I estimate when, where, and why it is likely to occur.

I come up with action plans to deal with any issues that may arise.

Maybe I'm more Type A than I think.

This year was the best trip to Illinois we've had since moving away 5 years ago.  (How can it only be 5 years?  It seems like a lifetime has occurred since we left the home State.)

The issues I had foreseen were nowhere to be found.  Maybe they didn't make the flight out of Panama?  Regardless, I was beyond pleased with the trip.

We also had an amazing, amazing time in Georgia.  It is always so wonderful to reconnect with people who are so important to our life.

I didn't plan for many issues in Georgia, and the ones I did consider ended up being some of the biggest blessings of the trip.  I love how God fixes my issues to be blessings when there aren't really any issues!  He's just great like that.

I did have 2 conversations that I didn't plan.

And they sent me reeling. 

After the first, I sent an 8-word plea to my most-trusted prayer warrior.  She started pounding heaven on my behalf, and I felt it immediately. 

Where the first conversation left me in a stupor, the second conversation broke my heart.  Not because of what was said, but because of how I had mislead. 

The Lord spent the rest of the trip further breaking my heart in an attempt to open my eyes.

And open my eyes He did.

I am overwhelmed with an awareness that I didn't have 5 years ago when we left Illinois.  Or 16 months ago when we left Georgia.

What did the Lord show me? 

(and, just as a warning, I should have known this all along.)

Carson David is an amazing kid.  And I've spent too many years typecasting him as the difficult one.

To be certain, CD isn't easy to parent.  He's mouthy and opinionated and short fused and stubborn.  (Sounds like his momma!)

The Lord showed me that CD is also smart and confident and humble and friendly and sincere.

Sincere.  That's the one the Lord unloaded on my heart.

For all this child's personality flaws... STOP.  I'm not finishing that sentence because it is wrong.

His personality was created by the Creator of the Universe to be used for His eternal purpose.  It is not flawed.  Carson's personality is maturing into what the Lord needs him to be on this earth.  To say he has personality flaws is like calling immature seeds flawed.  Give them time to grow up and produce fruit!

Back to what I was saying, the Lord gave me a different set of glasses to view who Carson is.  And what he is in sincere.  He'll tell you when he's happy.  And sad.  And angry.  And hurting.  (That also sounds like his momma- he gets the b-ball skill from his daddy!)

I was sitting on the plane revisiting our 3-week vacation through these new lenses, and I saw a new child.  Actually, I got to see my child through his Savior's eyes. 

-I saw Carson playing with his friend in the swimming pool.  I saw Carson standing in awe of his friend's swimming ability with no need to diminish his friend's talent.  I heard him tell his friend what an awesome swimmer he was.  Period.  He didn't mention his abilities or talents to try to level the field.  He just complimented his friend's skill.

-I saw him dutifully learn choreography during Music Week and love every minute of it because he got to be part of the group.  I saw him beam with pride as he watched his sister perform her special portion of the musical.  He never desired to be the center of attention, and her success was victory to him.

-I heard him tell me that instead of getting me up to run early one morning, he had let me sleep because I looked so comfortable.  He thought maybe I needed the sleep.  Another time, I heard him call for me as I stepped out the door to run.  He wanted to go with me so we could do this together.

-I saw, again, him run up to the stage to get his 4th-place trophy.  He never once complained because it wasn't 1st-3rd.  He never asked me how many people he beat.  He never degraded the people who did finish ahead of him.  He relished that moment.  And the trophy sits proudly on his dresser.

It's strange how memories impact you differently than they do in the moment.  I suppose that's the gift of distance. 

I remember being at the Lincoln Presidential Museum.  We were waiting for a little movie to start.

Carson doesn't like movies.  (Yep, that comes from momma, too.)

He was sitting three people down the bench from me.  For the entire movie, I heard him saying, "I'm scared."

At the time, I was irritated.  Seriously, it's a 4-minute movie at a Presidential museum.  This isn't Nightmare on Elm Street.  Time to buck up, buttercup.

But, I see even that differently now.

He was willing to sit through the movie without trying to run off.  He was just letting us know how he was feeling.

Maybe that is the right way to handle those emotions.  Nothing wrong with admitting you are scared to do something. 

Especially if you do it, out of obedience, in spite of the fear.

Keep working on us both, Lord.  I think You're getting through!-


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