Unexpected

unexpectedSometimes the unexpected is good,

like flowers blooming between two rocks.

Sometimes they are funny,

like when the toddler at the next table decides to feed his ice cream to his Daddy.

Ever seen a grown man with ice cream in one ear?

The funniest things in other people’s lives are not normally so funny in our own.
As a child I remember my mother telling me,
“You’re too uptight! You need to learn to laugh at yourself more!”
Sometimes I still need to laugh at myself more.
Last week I had what felt like a melt-down and looking back, there was more humor in it than I could see.
We had a lovely Baccalaureate for our graduates and those from the Charter School and I had nothing but compliments on how well it all went, how much everyone enjoyed it and I smiled.
Why?
Because from my perspective I was just happy it was over.
I had been stretched to the max that day.
I had purchased tulle to go down the main aisle in two colors, fresh potted plants to go in front of the podium, and plastic table clothes in two colors for the cake and punch tables. I had arranged with a friend to go by her house and cut her yellow roses for a bouquet for the cake table.
It began with me not being on time.
I got to my friend’s house harried because my rose clippers had gone missing and all I had was a pair of scissors.
The rain from the night before had really beat-up the poor plants but I was able to find several and with the help of my friend’s hubby (and his clippers) to gather enough to make a lovely bouquet.
I get there and find that my potted plants are dripping water, so I leave them outside in the hope that they will dry out before I need to set them on the carpet.
I move the tables and open the table clothes to find that the black ones are nothing like the nice shinny kind I bought last year, instead they resemble large garage bags, only with enough wrinkles in them to make me wonder if they had been balled up and then placed in the plastic.
Then it occurs to me that I asked my sweet nine year old to help with the table clothes, in his effort to unfold them he had wrinkled them.
So I smooth them out and over lay the yellow table cloth which is the nice shinny kind! (without wrinkles)
Deep breath—
I start to put the tulle down the aisle only to find I bought half as much as needed.
So I put one color down one side and one down the other.
As I am trying to make bows for the front of the aisle I asked my sweet hubby (who had turned up minutes before to help) to get me my roll of wire out of the art drawer in my classroom.
He went and came back with string.
“No wire”
So I look for myself and guess what!
No wire
Okay, deep breath—
The flowers had relinquished their piddling, so I wrap their pots in the tiny scraps of tulle left  and place them before the podium.
Things are going better so I decide it is time to tackle the flowers.
I have a glass vase but no wire means no way of putting together the roses in bunches so they would look full and do not flop around.
I realize I don’t even have any florist tape or stakes and these flowers are climbing roses where lots of little blooms shoot out of every side of the stem.
However, God is gracious.
I was able to make something like a bouquet.
My mother didn’t know it but saved me by sending a small batch of cuttings from an old English rose that day. It had wonderfully scented blooms. Even if the bouquet didn’t look as nice as I wanted it to, it smelled wonderful!
At this juncture my husband wanders over to inform me that the program for the Baccalaureate still won’t print.
Early that morning I had been printing them and suddenly the printer had stopped working. Thinking I had gotten it too hot or something I shut it down and asked my husband to get them printed later.
So, I looked at the time and noticed that I had only minutes to change and about five to try to get the printer to work.
I started with the printer, which refused.
Okay, no problem—
Smiling I changed into my dress and heels and went to tell the principle about the programs.
He said we would just have to go with the ones we had as the second printer wouldn’t print either.
No idea why, just won’t work at all.
Okay, breathe—
We head back to where our graduates and families are strolling in and I realize I forgot to section off the seats for the grads. So I stand there instead, smiling and saying, “please don’t sit here, it is reserved for the graduates”.
Thankfully one of my kids was able to bring me the ribbon for the purpose and I was able to go about other tasks.
Things began to feel like they were coming together smoothly, (finally) and I had a chance to stretch yet again. We needed to make a last minute change to the schedule of the evening. I had left out a place in the program for our pastor. He was not the one giving the sermon but he did want to speak with the graduates.
Thankfully no one seemed to mind that his name did not appear on the schedule. Nor would I have had him skip what he had to say.
Instead of speaking from the platform he went to each student, shook their hand and spoke words of encouragement into their lives individually. There was hardly a dry eye in the entire building.
So upon looking backward I can say it is still tough not to feel embarrassed.
How? How could I make sooo many mistakes with one single event? Where was my brain that I forgot so many things that I needed?
But then I take a step back.
Yes, I made many mistakes.
Is there any use in me looking backward and feeling angry or frustrated with myself?
Not really.
I can look back and point to how God stepped in despite all my errors. I can rejoice that people were blessed and encouraged.
I can even laugh a bit at myself.
Maybe next year I’ll ask the principle to assign the Baccalaureate to someone else!!!

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