Monday, November 28, 2016

I've Got This

Today is my 24th wedding anniversary but those who do not know me may easily be unaware that I have been without the affections of my husband since a few weeks before our 15th. Since then I have steeped myself in prayer awaiting restoration.

This morning was just like any other Monday morning and as I noted the date, I was a little surprised to discover it was THE day. With great relief, I was pleased to feel nothing about it. I proceeded through my morning routine, marveling from time to time at my utter lack of emotion about the day. I was, however, strangely hungry for a particular menu item at an old favorite restaurant in Texas (where I no longer reside), Pancho's Mexican Buffet.

For a brief moment, I considered driving the hour to my nearest city for
lunch at the Olive Garden (we would usually go to an Italian or Mexican restaurant for dinner on our anniversary) but I decided it was too a long drive for lunch alone in a nice restaurant. How sad would that be? I would just go to my normal Monday lunch spot where I at least know the servers.

I walked into my Monday lunch spot and announced myself as usual, looked at the server chart to see who was in which section as usual, told the hostess which table I would be sitting at and seated myself as usual. I was ready for a normal Monday, but that’s when something very abnormal happened.

As I passed the bar to get to my table, the bartender announced to me, “Barbecue ribs, buttered potatoes, garlic bread and a salad.” (Nobody else was in the room.) My ears perked up and I made her repeat herself. She never does this for me because I never sit at the bar, but she was telling me the special of the week – and it was Texas food!

A few minutes later, I sat eating my plate of barbecue and thinking about how, if I were still home in Texas, I would probably be eating barbecue for lunch. Of course, it would be better barbecue… but barbecue nonetheless. It occurred to me that it was as if God was saying to me, “No worries. I’ve got this.”

I felt touched and warmed by the lunch special that was what my mother might call a “happy accident.” Still, I missed the Tiramisu I would probably have had for dessert if I had gone to the city. I determined that I would go to my local Walmart grocery after lunch and look for a cupcake. That would be good enough, I decided.

When I walked into the grocery side of Walmart, I saw the display of $5, $10 and $15 bouquets near the entrance to the produce section and, although carnations are not my favorites, I decided I would pick up a $5 bouquet for myself. I looked through the flowers for the most pleasing color combination and started to pull out a bunch of carnations when a different bunch, not carnations, caught my eye. I checked the price: $5. Again, “I’ve got this,” rested on my heart.

I then proceeded to the bakery to find my cupcake. I would have been happy with a slice of cake, too, but I wanted white cake, not chocolate. Unfortunately, there did not appear to be any cupcakes in with the muffins and the only slices of cake I saw in the center section were… chocolate, double chocolate, red velvet, carrot. There was no white cake. I moved to the glass case, hoping there were different pieces of cake there, and saw single-serve, plastic encased slices of tiramisu! I smiled, knowing and again feeling the words, “I’ve got this.”

At this point, I felt content. The message had been received but I walked into Walmart to see if I could find a little something “solid” to keep as an anniversary gift for myself. I thought $5, maybe up to $10, would be okay to spend on a pinky ring or piece of jewelry for myself and I headed to that section. I did not see any $10 rings, so I proceeded to the cheap earrings section but then, just like I probably would have done if my husband were with me, I reflected that I really do not need any more jewelry.

I decided to go look (again) at fabric. I have been looking for red fabric for a dress I want to make but have not found any I like that is affordable for me. On my way to the fabric section, I passed the scented candles and picked one up that I liked. I figured that if I didn’t find any fabric I liked (I was not expecting to since I have recently checked without success), the glass container could serve as something to commemorate the day.

I continued on to the fabric section where I walked directly to a bolt of red fabric that is perfect for my dress. I checked the price to find it was $1.50 per yard. As I need 5 yards, the total price would be $7.50 – not $5 but just in the middle of my $5 to $10 budget! It was the perfect anniversary gift. I was so pleased that I picked up a box of candies for myself (another thing I have not done in years).

But that is not all. After I checked out with my purchases, I looked at my receipt to count up what I had spent on red thread, new needles and pins and other miscellany. That is when I saw the price of my fabric rang up at not $1.50 a yard but $1 per yard – for a total of $5, the exact amount I had originally budgeted for my anniversary memento. Again, I knew I was being told, “Don’t worry. I remember and I’ve got this.”

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