a couple weeks ago i experienced quite the flashback into what seemed like another life... my boy 'P' had to play in a double-header one evening, so after the first game we had about an hour or so to kill and get some dinner. and the consensus from my fast-food deprived family was, of course, something greasy
and potentially not even real food, so we compromised and went to wendy's instead of the other place with a large 'M' out front.
as the big kids played with 'K' while my Man and i got some burgers & fries (i opted for their chicken sandwich, yum!) and we all sat down to our dinner. we ate and chatted: "K, don't take the straw out of that cup again!," "lil' Girlie, please eat something besides the fries," and "P, are you sure you should inhale that double-cheeseburger so fast? you have another game soon... that would not look good coming back up..."
the Posse finished up their bites and since we were the only ones in the place, we allowed 'K' to run a little wild and put the big kids in charge of playing with him. and as i sat talking with my Man with the sounds of laughter and squeals of joy in the background, my mind raced 14 years back in time to December 14 of 1996...
i changed my clothes as least 5 times that evening, and when the doorbell rang i grabbed my purse and jacket, and opened the front door to see the handsome smile of my date (a.k.a. my Man). we were going to a movie (our very first official date) and he asked if i'd like to grab a bite to eat first. sure! and the place where we had been grabbing a bite for the last six months was wendy's, so that's where we ended up. we laughed as we sat down about how really unromantic this was, but i told him i didn't care (and i didn't). we ate, talked, talked some more (we both smoked then and back then you could actually smoke inside the restaurant, weird, huh?! so we sat there talking, smoking and getting free refills for probably an hour... thank goodness that bad habit is long gone!!) and then it was off to the movie!!
i won't satisfy your curiousity about the details of the remainder of our evening, but the movie was great, the Christmas lights were a beautiful backdrop to a chilly winter drive, and i did get an amazing kiss at the door at the close of the evening...
okay, as i quickly brought myself back into the present, along with the help of "mmmoooommm! 'K' won't stop pushing me!! and he's spitting, too!", i looked at my husband and giggled with a huge smile on my face.
curious what was prompting this glow of laughter, he asked me what i was thinking... so i shared.
i told him that "as we are sitting here in a wendy's, in late December, 14 years from our first real date, this just feels a little surreal. did you ever think that night that this was how it was going to end up?" and i then motioned to our babes running rampant around the tables. "could you have ever dreamed that we'd be who we are, with these kiddos, living the lives we have?" he laughed as he recounted aloud to me some of his favorite memories from that night, and firmly said "no, he never dreamed our lives would have become this. but this is so much better!"
we loaded up our posse into the tahoe, and headed back for 'P's second game, while listening to them laughing in the back seats, i kept looking at my Man on the drive back to the gym and thought to myself how amazing he is and how incredibly blessed i am to have such a great man as my Man! and i couldn't agree more... this life we share and are building, by God's grace, is so much better than what we had planned out for ourselves.
have you ever pondered what could have been? what happened to the dreams you once held so dear? do you feel like where you are is better than what you have planned?
i wonder sometimes when i run into past friends from high school or college, if i turned out like they had thought i would... i know that when i hear about former friends or distant family and what is going on in their life, i've somtimes thought "wow, i never saw them doing that for a career, or that's a shame, they had so much potential." i know, i know, that's probably wrong to admit; i'm not trying to judge anyone, i guess i just saw something different for that person. is that bad?
i know for sure if the friends i had during my first summer after high school could see me now, they may be relieved and maybe shocked... i look back on all the partying i did and selish living i held to, and well i'm ashamed of how we all acted. i also think to myself that if my kiddos ever act like that, it will be the last thing they do!! :)
i am so glad that God brought me and my Man to a place in our life where we had a choice: continue to live for the world and keep suffering (while pretending to really be having a 'good time') or find real life in surrendering our hearts and minds and our future to Him.
i never thought we'd have the three most precious and outstanding kids that the Lord ever created, and i never thought i'd want more (please don't read anything into that, no we're not expecting, at least i don't think :)), i never hoped to be a stay at home mama with an urge to organize and clean 'til my hearts content, i never thought i'd teach toddlers on sunday mornings to sing Jesus Loves Me instead being the one in big church leading the singing, i never knew how much i could love my husband and submitting to his leadership for our family, i never believed i'd still live in the same place i was born, i never thought i'd have gone into the career field that i did.... i could go on, but here's the point (again for those in the back!!):
i praise the Lord daily for my blessings and my trials. that He saw fit to pick me up out the miry clay, clean me off, take my poorly laid plans and revise every single one to create this amazing life, bigger and better than i could have ever planned for myself (John 10.10,the message)!!
what say you?....