An Unexpected Circumstance
One of the things I love most about living where we do is Dillon’s school. Right now there are 9 kids in this school that teaches grades Pre-School through 5th Grade. The teacher and her husband are amazing and I love this close knit community. Our mail lady is also one of Dillon’s classmates’ grandma, and is also on the school board, and so on. Everyone is connected!
We’re trying to be frugal, and so instead of shelling out $200 for a trampoline place for Dillon’s 7th birthday party, Dillon’s teacher & our mail lady graciously offered to let us use the school. I created his silly wrestling invites (last minute…oops) and handed them out to his classmates this week. I bumped into one of the other moms, and invited her and her son, but accidentally told her it was on Saturday. A few days later, as I was driving away after dropping Dillon off at school I saw her outside her house.
I had met her over the holidays in passing at the Christmas play but I didn’t know her very well. I pulled over to apologize for my blonde moment and update her. She graciously told me no problem but then told me her son’s birthday party was also the same day, and she would just push her son’s birthday party back and the kids could come over to his party after Dillon’s.
My first thought was respect and amazement that she was so chill, so willing to do this for Dillon. My second thought was, how fun would it be to have two birthday parties at the same time?! I threw the idea of having her son’s bday party with us at the school–they have the same classmates, so why not?
She agreed and we quickly decided how we wanted to do it–low key, cake & ice cream, a little game I had in mind, and with the main objective of celebrating Kaiden & Dillon first and to have fun second.
As I drove away I couldn’t help thinking, “What are the odds, in a school of 9 kids, that we would have two kids with birthdays two days in row, and set up their birthday parties for the same day and the same time?!”
Sometimes things happen in such a way they simply can’t be a coincidence, that there simply must be a reason. Maybe it’s divine intervention, God’s providence, his way of working behind the scenes to fulfill some purpose. Whatever it may be, it’s an opportunity. “We know God causes all things to work together for good who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” or as the Message translation says, “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Romans 8:28).
Worry & Anxiety…
While I found comfort in this, I was still feeling a little anxious about co-hosting a party with people I don’t know very well, how to keep things going smoothly, etc.
I went to church last night, and before I went I prayed to God that he would amplify any message he had to me. I’m afraid I’ll miss his whispers. But then, feeling a little guilty of asking him to do all the work, I backtracked and prayed that God would quiet the noise in my head and in my spirit so I could be more open to his whispers.
As worship ended and this pastor from Australia, Mark Conner, started speaking of worry and anxiety, I could have laughed. Well played, God. If this wasn’t shouting, repeating the message I’d been hearing in whispers over the past week in my soul, by bringing a pastor all the way from Australia to Montana to repeat his whisper, I don’t know what was! Pastor Mark talked of worry, a common problem of mine and laid out a solution with the acronym of ‘STOP’.
S-Specify your worries–what are you worrying about? For me, I have to write them out. If I don’t, they just swirl in my mind like a windstorm. By writing my thoughts out, it’s like releasing the leaves and debris swirling around my mind.
T-Take action on your worries. What can I do about it? This was my favorite part of his sermon:
How can you turn your problems into solutions? And use the worry–change it from a negative thing to a positive thing–let it motivate you to action. Which leads to O…
O-Offer up a prayer to God. Don’t sit there and ruminate on your circumstances…pray, listen, and do something about it!
P-Place your trust in God. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight…”
After the sermon was over, someone asked about worry and anxiety in social circumstances, and he had the most amazing advice about charisma. “Charisma is walking into a room & instead of saying, ‘Here I am!’, saying, “There YOU are!'” Almost everyone is feeling a little social anxiety, feeling a little nervous when they’re around people they don’t know very well. But when I’m in these circumstances, the people I love and admire most are the ones who go out of their way to make me feel better, who actively engage with me, even just with a smile and a hello.
So there was my answer…get out of my own head and stop worrying about everything, and just be present and engage with others. Stop worrying about it and focus on celebrating Kaiden and Dillon.
Amazing sermon…I’ll post a link as soon as it’s uploaded!