Do you ever wonder if you’ve made the right choices? If you prioritise the right things? I often spend time thinking about how much things haven’t lived up to my expectations and, worse, how often I’ve fallen short of my own expectations.
I think that, if I didn’t keep myself busy, I could waste a lot of time wallowing in a pit of self-pity. Not that there is much for me to pity about my life. But days can get pretty monotonous…
Change my toddler
Change a nappy
Put a toddler down to sleep
Do my quiet time
Pick up a toddler
Make biscotti (for a side-line business, not for fun!)
Play with toddler (if things are going “according to plan”!)
Put a toddler down to sleep
Bath a toddler
Do some other random house work
And then repeat. Every day. There are some days when I wake up and feel a little depressed that I don’t have time to do different things, nor the money to do something out-of-the-ordinary.
There are times when I wonder whether I’ve made the right choice to stay at home. Does my daughter actually even get any of my time? Would she be better off playing with other kiddies all day than trying to get my attention and grasping at my legs crying, “Mum!”? Do I ever even look her in the eye or actually spend time playing with her without folding washing, tidying her room…etc, at the same time?
Is it worth the financial strain to stay at home? Is it worth not being able to go out for a coffee with my husband, buy gifts for others, save or afford school and not wonder where we’ll get the money for groceries next week? Would it be worth getting a part-time job?
But then, in the midst of my worrying, God just encourages me. We’ve been under huge financial pressure before. We know the drill. And, praise the Lord, I hope I have learnt something from my past experiences. I live in peace about our decision most of the time, whereas before, it would have consumed every waking hour.
I’ve realised that blessings come in small, seemingly insignificant ways. Some people may not even see these things as blessings. But I do. An amazing special on milk at the shops. A gift of meat from a parent or friend who just happened to buy us some at the butchery. A meal at a friend’s house. Just the right ingredients in the house to make something for a bring-and-share. My husband taking off his socks the right way so I don’t lose a precious ten minutes turning them back to the way they should be. My mom coming to look after my daughter so I can prepare supper without feeling awful that she’s on the kitchen floor for the 5th time that day. My neighbour watching my daughter and her son play in the mud so that I can pack biscotti. My husband washing the nappies instead of my doing it. Being able to read my Bible before my daughter wakes up. Being able to read my Bible and pray before she stirs. Being able to drink a cup of normal tea, not Rooibos (I’m limiting myself during pregnancy) without a toddler or a cat on my lap. Having a happy, cheerful child who is able to entertain herself for more than fifteen minutes.
It’s the small things…
This last Friday, it was a host of small things that made my day incredible!
We are alternating gynae visits with GP visits during this pregnancy. My regular GP is not covered by my medical aid. And I love my GP, but, beggars can’t be choosers so I just thought I’d have to go with someone else who is covered. After a few conversations, I learnt of a GP in our village who does scans!! What?!? I didn’t even know that happened. So we decide to see her if she falls within a certain price range. Because then, we get a scan and a consult. Well, it’s a God-thing.
I call to clarify the cost of the consult only to discover the consult is covered by our medical aid! In disbelief, I ask how much extra we’ll need to pay for the scan. No, she can’t charge for a scan because of some rules changing. So basically, the co-payment is a 5th of what I expected to pay. I quietly whisper a prayer of thanks.
We arrive at the rooms and I am relieved to see that our baby is still alive and well, kicking and heart beating. The doctor is lovely. And our daughter is with my mom, so no tired toddler there to get “over it” like last time. As we leave and go to pay the co-payment and the price for the urine test (which was clear, so no meds and no extra payments), the receptionist turns to the doctor as she says that we’re covered by medical aid.
“So it’s just the co-payment?” she inquires.
“No, don’t worry about it,” she responds, and walks out.
I am speechless. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know our financial situation. But God does. As we drive elsewhere, I just have this sense that even though money is tight, God keeps providing. Even when the chances are almost nil that something or a service won’t cost anything, He blows my mind. And in that moment, I feel such assurance that we’ve made the right decision.
We decide to go to the dam to swim and have a picnic that afternoon. I am feeling slightly irresponsible that we’re choosing to go to a place where we’ll have to pay an entrance fee when there are other free places to go. I tell my husband if it’s more than R20.00, we’re finding somewhere else. As we get to the gate and the guard comes to our window, my husband asks how much the entrance fee is.
“Per car?” asks my hubby.
“Per person…” he answers.
I am about to tell my husband to start reversing when he continues,
“…But, it’s ‘Mahala Friday’ so there’s no entrance fee.”
Well, blow me down! How the heck is this possible?!? Well, apparently during September, every Friday (only one day a week, mind you, and this happened to be the last) it’s been free because it’s Heritage month.
I told the guy I could kiss him!
As I lie on the grass after lunch, my heart overflows with joy as a watch my husband hold my daughter’s tiny hands as she toddles in the water. When I’m at home, I’m often thinking of all the things I could be doing to catch up on something. Here, out enjoying God’s creation, I am struck by just how blessed my life is. We are only a few metres away from the spot we had a swim and a braai the day my husband asked me to be his girlfriend 13 years ago. I am blown away that here I lie, watching my family – a life I had only dreamt about years ago. A life I never imagined I would actually happen. And I was, very thankful to be so blessed and to be watching a dream of mine play out in reality right in front of my very eyes.
When we arrive home, my daughter has a long enough sleep for my husband and I to watch a series!! ONE AND A HALF EPISODES! Unbelievable!
As I’m preparing dinner, I glance out of the window and look at the sky. A few moments earlier, my daughter had a pink glow on her cheeks. Now I knew why! The most breath-taking colours were painted across the expanse of the heavens as the sun was setting. I actually asked God out loud if He has fun doing this, every night!
Later on that evening, my dad messages and asks if I want some chandeliers for my lounge and dining room. I thank God yet again that day. This is something I’ve wanted for ages! Something I can’t afford. Christmas has arrived early!
It’s in moments like these that God humbles me. He shows me that He provides for our most basic needs. He shows me how He sees the desires of my heart. He assures me in the things that matter. And then, He just sometimes spoils me just because He’s God and He can! What an amazingly compassionate and loving Father I have.
It’s the small things!Tags: blessings, gifts, God, happy days, life, small things