This past Sunday was... challenging.
I always expect and hope that the onset of Advent will be peaceful and introspective and this year it was neither.
Declan had been up all night the night before. The pork chops I made for dinner turned out to be no bueno, even though I had just bought them the day before (I seared them off in my cast iron skillet, put them under the broiler to finish, pulled them out to rest and caught a whiff of just... Ick. So I sniffed closer and ick). Keira had a post-thrown-together-replacement-dinner meltdown so unbelievable I almost just put her to bed there and then, screaming and all, so we could start fresh in the morning. Plus I had to make it to church by 6:30 for a choir event and when I got there the parking lot was completely, entirely, overflowingly full because the 5:30 Mass was still in full swing.
So I parked as far away as I ever have, in some auxiliary parking lot belonging to the school, grumbling to myself about the distance and the cold and the rain. Because it was raining, didn't I mention that?
And then a lady from the choir, Doris*, pulled in next to me.
Let me tell you a little bit about Doris. She's probably 75 years old, and if you think I'm about to describe her as the kind of graceful older lady I want to be, you're wrong. I have only ever had interactions with this woman that left me determined never to be a black hole of relentless negativity. Because that is how she has always seemed to me.
On this Sunday evening, Doris climbed out of her car and said, "God is good to me!"
I am sure my mouth dropped open. Because I was in too bad a mood to school my face. Thankfully, she didn't see, and she went on to exclaim that she was so blessed to find a spot next to someone she knew, since she had to park so far away in the dark.
Smack in the face from God, via Doris of all people.
(Of course, the rest of what came out of her mouth during our trudge to the church was a litany of complaints, because Dorises gotta Doris.)
I couldn't stop thinking for the rest of the evening -- and the thirty-six or so hours since -- about how tricksy God is to send a message to remind me of my blessings, from the mouth of the only person in the vicinity from whom it would be so unexpected that I couldn't help but notice.
Well played, God.
*Not her real name, obviously.