Wednesday, September 18, 2013

(Divine) Summer Plans

During the spring sometime I was visiting in Utah and enjoying baby Kate so much and feeling bad for the triplets that they weren’t going to get to see her again until August.  And then these little thoughts crept into my mind. 

Josh doesn’t have a plane ticket to Utah for EFY yet.
It would cost the same amount to drive him out.
The triplets and I could spend the week hanging out with Kate.

And that was pretty much all it took to convince me that we should accompany Josh to Utah in June.  A short time later my siblings decided we could squeeze a family reunion in there too and so we planned that as well.  It was going to be a great way to start our summer.

Then Mahon and Cindy Lynn both got some really bad bug.  Bad enough to keep Mahon home from work for a day or two, and bad enough to worry Cindy Lynn.  Her lungs hadn’t been too great by the end of her pregnancy, and she was worried that this tenacious virus would be something she couldn’t shake on her own.  Now Cindy Lynn is a pro at hospitalizations for IV antibiotics for just this kind of thing, but this time there was a new complication. 



Cindy Lynn’s hope was that if she needed to go into the hospital she would be able to take Kate with her, but she hypothesized that she would need to have another adult with her the whole time to help out with Kate.  As we talked about it on the phone that day, I realized something—she was talking about going into the hospital “next week,” and I was going to be in Utah—next week.  I told her that I could come help her one day during the family reunion, and that I would be able to help her 3 days the next week. 

And so it went.  (Except for the fact that I was a little slower than usual due to falling down my dad’s deck stairs the first night I was there. )  We arrived in Utah at the brutal hour of 2AM (we will NOT do that again!) and were up before 9 the next morning headed to my dad’s and then I went on to the hospital.  After our reunion days the kids went down to Genola to stay with their cousins and I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the hospital with Cindy Lynn and Kate and then drove them back home after her unexpected early discharge.

The truth of the matter (sad and shallow as it so often is) is that I wasn’t thrilled about spending 4 of my days in the hospital.  It really doesn’t make sense when the whole reason for coming to Utah was to see Kate, but there you have it—emotions often don’t make logical sense.  What was surprising though was how much I enjoyed it.  Cindy Lynn and I sat around and talked and played with Kate.  We ate treats from the hospital cafeteria.  I got cranky Kate to take a nap every now and then.  IMG_6470
Someone asked what movies we’d watched and I realized that we hadn’t even turned the tv on once.  Sometimes we worked on our computers.  Sometimes we talked about what we’d just read.  The pool boy came in every now and then and offered us water.  It was peaceful and I completely enjoyed myself. 

Every night I went and stayed at a different place.  I got to hang out with my baby brother Jeremy and his family.

I got to spend 2 evenings with Russ’s awesome sister Marilyn.  We had a fun and thoroughly exhausting family reunion.  The whole experience, while tiring, was wonderful.

I don’t even remember at what point the thought occurred to me, “Isn’t it convenient and a crazy coincidence that we just happened to be planning a trip to Utah for the exact time when Cindy Lynn was going to be in the hospital?”  Except that in the same moment I knew it wasn’t.  A coincidence, anyway.

For a long time last year I thought about Elder Eyring’s challenge from the October 2007 conference to record each day the ways we saw the hand of the Lord touch our lives.  The idea had come into my head that there were probably many (many) things in my life all the time that were there because the Lord was touching me or blessing me or affecting me in some way.  I had prayed for many days that I might see some of these ways so that I was more aware of His working in my life. 

I remain convinced that I am mostly blind to the hand of God in my life.  I haven’t yet had a moment that identifies something that looks like a garden-variety happening as something directly connected to God.  But I knew, very clearly, that just like the idea to have Alisyn and her kids drive home with us from Utah was actually a tender mercy from the Lord, this plan that had seemed like my good idea to get more time with baby Kate was actually His plan to allow me to help Cindy Lynn at a time when she would really need me. 

And I am grateful.


PS—a few random pictures for you.  One morning on my way up to the hospital I saw something I never expected to see.  Something that made me grateful once again for the purse cam…


Yes, you’re seeing it right.  There was a porta-potty flying through the air at the end of the crane!

The hospital had valet parking, something I’ve never used before but with my sprained ankle was a real blessing.  Though the one night I left the hospital after they were closed and I had to go find my van myself I was wondering just how good of a thing valet parking really was…



  1. I've often wondered how many thing happen as a direct result of god's hand in my life... Such an interesting question. I think about feeding my kids: they might say thank you if they enjoy the taste of the food, but they don't see the planning and list making and shopping and cooking and even the extent of the clean up that is involved. Not to mention the health benefits and comfort they feel at simply not ever, ever being truly starving.

  2. Well I sure appreciated you being there!!! I felt bad that Kate was so cranky that week though. :( I am really hoping we can avoid an admission this winter.

    I feel like I most often see the Lord's hand working directly in my life when it comes to helping other people. I don't usually see His hand working in my life for MY personal and individual good until I look at things far in retrospect, if that makes sense. Like - last year was a biggie for me, in that it was clear to see that Heavenly Father orchestrated just what I needed to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. But that was all about a year in the making, and it wasn't until I actually was pregnant at the end of that year that I could look back and see how He had aligned things so perfectly.