Tuesday was quite the adventure for us. I loaded up the four little kiddos and headed out early for an appointment in Springdale. I hate driving the van in gusty weather. I feel like the wind is trying to rip me right off the road. I wanted to get to the appointment in time, but I wasn't willing to drive too fast. And I also had to stop for gas. That would have been quicker, too, but my dear hubby forgot to put the debit card back in my wallet. Oh, well. So we got gas and continued along. Only problem is that I forgot where it was! So I called several friends, then information, and got there 20 minutes late after turning around twice. Ugh. But at least they kept my appt and they were nice about it.
So far so good, right? Of course, any time you come in for new appointments, the first half of the wait is just paperwork time. I have to say, all my kids were really good. Yes, even Trevor, amazingly enough. I think they were in a bit of shock around all of the other misbehaving, loud and crying children.
Appointments went A-okay, but we had to wait afterwards for more paperwork. Ethan started to get stressed from the noise (and one mom in particular who was not being very nice to her toddler...grrr...), so we decided to take a breather and walk out to the van to put our backpacks and stuff away, then we would hop back in for our papers. Okay, so I lift the back hatch, stick ALL of our stuff inside, and shut it. And it locked. It LOCKED. All the doors.
I just stood there for a second, letting that sink in. I'm in another town. I have four kids. My purse is in there, along with my cell phone, money, kids' jackets, snacks, you name it. Think. Think. THINK.
After trying ALL the doors, just to be sure, I walked back in and asked to use the phone. Thank goodness for nice strangers who let you make long-distance phone calls on their business line. My sister? No answer. Figures, she never answers. No offense, Julie. Her hubby? No answer? Okay, just suck it up and call Fred at work. Too bad my folks are still out of town.
Now it's a good thing I have the most wonderfully laid back husband in the world! After the initial "You did WHAT?!", he said he would have to finish up what he was working on (half an hour of work) before he could head home for the spare key, get gas, and drive to Springdale. Okay, that's maybe an hour and a half. But what choice did I have?
"I can do this." So we walked over to Good Will to look around. There just wasn't much else around. At first it was all fine and dandy. The kids walked and looked. Then Trevor got the bright idea to play hide-and-seek in the clothes racks. So out of the clothes we go! We went to the houseware (if you can call it that) and toy section. Oh, my, why do they put toys up on tall shelves? Little boys like to climb. And climb he did. So I sat my toddler on the floor with some toys and we did that for maybe...15 minutes. It just wasn't working out. Oliver wanted down, and there was no way I was putting him down on that nasty floor!! And he needed to nurse somewhere, preferably in a clean area. Thank goodness I breastfeed!! Had to put a plug in here about that! :-)
So we walked back into the blustering wind. Isabelle complained that she was getting blown away. Overall, though, they were being pretty cheerful about our "adventure." Then I spotted a bookstore. Yea! So we ran over there, while I gave instructions not to touch, fight, yell, push, etc. They are usually pretty good in stores, but it had been a loooong morning.
I knew something was up as soon as I walked in. What's CTR? Hmm....ah...there's the Bible. And, yep, there's the book of Mormon. What the...? I was in a Mormon bookstore, people. Hmmm...okay, so look around, but don't let the kids READ anything.
First of all, I got a real kick out of the stuff in there! Oh, yeah, who wants a pin the tie on the missionary game?? For real! SO funny!! And they had newborn onsies that looked like white shirts with ties. Heh heh. Some of the felt board stuff was just weird, though.
Luckily, a lady came and asked if she could help us. I explained that we were just browsing store, waiting for my husband to come with our keys. So she gave the kids a box of toys to play with, started Charlotte's Web for them, and offered us peanut butter sandwiches and juice (which I politely declined...the kids had just had raisins and they wouldn't starve.) She was SO nice. When I asked Trevor to lower his voice, she hurried back again, telling me that she had 6 kids and a little noise never hurt anyone. She said we could stay the whole time, stay warm, and get anything we wanted to eat. Again, let me say that she was SO nice.
Fred got there around 12:30, after searching in nearby stores. His boss let him off early, and he didn't have to take vacation, thank goodness. When we left the store, Trevor said he loved the nice lady. :-) Ahhh...
On the way home, we stopped at McDonald's, because we were getting quite hungry by that time. We get up early and eat breakfast very early in the mornings. If you know me, I almost never eat out. Ick. But you gotta have food, and it was the cheapest thing around (although certainly not the healthiest...again, I say ICK.)
On the drive home I couldn't help thinking about the kind woman who had immediately come to the aid of complete strangers. Not only was she civil to us, she offered us her very own possessions. Not unlike the good Samaritan. If that's not showing God's love... but wait... did she know God's love the way I do?
So, after the kids went to bed Tuesday night, I spent some time looking up Mormonism. (Maybe if all Christians were so kind and non-judgmental, people would go home and look up our faith, too!!) CTR stands for "Choose the Right." So it's like the Mormon version of our “WWJD”.
But is "choose the right" about trying to do good in your own power? Salvation through works? The more I read, the more upset I got. I read, read, read from Mormon sites, reputable Christian sites, and then looked in The Kingdom of the Cults (great book, check it out!). And it just made me so sad for this woman. God is LOVE, grace, mercy. Some "prophet" can't come along and undo all of that! And, let me tell you right now that I don't believe Joseph Smith. The number of people who are led astray... uhhh...makes your stomach sink, doesn't it?
But then I turned to how I act. Would I have been a face for Jesus under those circumstances? Would someone see something in me that made them keep thinking, wondering, hoping...? And maybe that woman is a child of God's. A mixed up child that He will someday bring closer to Him.
Anyway, it was a rough day, but I learned a lot (as always when I'm around the kids!) and had a lot to think about. It went very well, under the circumstances. The weather also plummeted (20s) after we were safely and snugly in our van. God is good.
If you've made it to the end of this post, congratulations!!