Sometimes you run out of time. Run out of time to apologize. Run out of time to spend with someone. Run out of time to say something (pleeeeease do not start singing THAT song though, pretty please?).
Today, I was given three hours I didn’t have with my hubby. To our human eyes, it was due to someone else’s mistake that his 7:30am flight reservation had been cancelled and luckily he was able to get on a 10:20am flight the same morning. Now, we all got up at about 5am after going to bed around midnight. We lost some sleep for no apparent reason when he checked his luggage for the new flight and we all headed back home “to kill some time” before coming back and trying again to send him off.
But you see, this was not time to kill. This was time God knew I needed with my husband before he boarded a plane to serve our country. This week has been ridonkulous (I have an English degree so I legally can make up my own words FYI) at our home. Work had been long, exhausting, and over-extended for him all week leading up to today. I knew to protect our time this week, to not over book in anticipation for his leave from our little home for a few weeks. But somehow things creeped in and stole my time.
Average full school day at home and swim practice starting off good Monday. Full day home school co-op, drama class, dinner to friend, bible study at my house Tuesday. MOPS, wait for repair man all afternoon who didn’t end up coming until 4:30, bit later than the 1:00 scheduled, Wednesday. Drop off dog to be groomed at 7am, three hours at recording session, drop off oldest for study meet up, attend library seminar on gaming in eduction, guitar lessons, soccer practice Thursday. Sleep in (yeah), take my oldest to see Divergent at earliest showing feasible (you will understand if you have a teen girl in your house), then also take your other two younger kids to see a movie at the same time you don’t even want to see because you’re still too freaked to just drop your 13-year-old off at the movies (really, Muppets sequel? sigh), attempt to feed and clean, swim practice, learn how to clean the pool, kids want Taco Bell instead of pizza night, drive to yo quiero Taco Bell, then finally get to go to dinner with the hubs, come home and watch The Middle (thank you Mary for the tip, hilarious), then go to bed Friday before very early flight this morning.
Now, as you look through that week you might notice there was little margin, very…okay none. My heart intent was to protect this week so that we would have time with dad before he left. Time to make sure he had everything he needed before departing. Time to know we love him and will miss him. Well, needless to say come Friday afternoon he was not feeling very loved or valued as we came and went out the revolving garage door of our home. He packed, got a hair cut, returned stuff to Home Depot, cleared yard debris from a finished backyard project (our new retaining wall is awesome thanks to him), cleaned the pool, replaced several light bulbs in and outside the house, changed all the air filters…you get the idea.
Late last night I could tell his nerves were on edge as we snarked at each other throughout the evening. I realized I shouldn’t have taken my daughter to see the movie that day, she could have waited. Her dad is more important than a movie. I certainly should not have spent $27 to see a movie that was barely a DVD rental, not theater experience necessary (knowing this I tortured my children by not buying a single concession…and they hadn’t eaten lunch, mom of the year moment) all while my husband was getting ready to leave the very next day. Swim practice could have been missed, heck the kids would have enjoyed that change, in retrospect. But, come this morning at 5am it was time to get up, get breakfast, coffee, load up and out the door to go to the airport. I had apologized when we went to sleep, but I needed time to make it right. Time that no longer existed.
Thankfully, my God knew this. He knew my heart’s desire earlier in the week when I asked my ladies small group to pray that I protect our time and value the time before he left. He knew that I had turned down several other commitments that week noting his upcoming departure. He knew I made a mistake, okay actually several mistakes. But, since He is a God of grace and mercy, He gave me time I didn’t have.
Thank you random Army person who was responsible for our apparent pointless early wake up and two trips to the airport. I know that you, whoever you are, will likely get chewed out for this little oops, but thank you. We got to go home, relax, and make-up. All things that simply needed time.
As we loaded up our trusted mini-van for our deja-vu trip back to the airport, our souls were at more peace than the short few hours earlier in the dark. My girls stayed home this time and our youngest son came along to send him off. Because not only did we need peace in our hearts for separation, but for the VERY flat tire we were gifted as we rolled into the parking garage the second time today. Yup, rolled down the window to take our little parking garage ticket, and szzzszzzszz through the window we hear. Totally flat. Thankful for more margin, more grace. We got there early enough that, in peace mind you, my hubs was able to teach his son how to change a tire, quickly but taught. Other than having totally black hands for his day of travel, we successfully had on a spare and we sent him off to security.
But the peace from God’s gift of time also sustained us through…him going through security with the rather valuable hourly parking ticket in his pocket, for which I needed to leave without paying a fortune for the lost ticket fee. More peace. Quick phone call. Quick jog back into the airport. Nice TSA employee to make the transfer of highly valuable piece of paper and even a quick wave goodbye again to our Army soldier.
All this to simply say, I am thankful for the few extra hours I got with my husband today. We all face hours and days where we wished we could go back, do over, add minutes and hours to…but usually it simply doesn’t happen. Today I was taught what my husband needs to feel loved and appreciated, and news flash it is not a crazy busy, revolving door family that makes him feel like we can make do without him. Because we cannot. He is the rock of our family and we need to make sure he knows it, all of the time.
How do you make those important to you feel appreciated?
How have you made things right when time ran out?
Who in your life do you need to make sure you don’t run out of time with to make them feel loved and valuable?
When have you been given something you didn’t see coming that ended up being exactly what you needed?
Since my God gives abundantly, this all happened today with the built-in, pre-determined wait time I would have at the tire shop this morning to write this exact post. More time indeed.