I got a text from my 2nd daughter Haley letting me know she had been evacuated from her base due to Hurricane Matthew and she was on her way home. I had really been hoping she could come in while her big sister and new brother in law were visiting but she couldn’t get leave. So her visit was certainly unexpected and a very welcome surprise!
Later on that night, shortly after I went to bed my oldest daughter peeked her head in and said, “do you smell that?” Sniffing the air, I acknowledged I could smell the faintest aroma of something burnt…however when she opened my bedroom door to go investigate I was sure I recognized that smell. SKUNK.
She returned pretty quickly to inform me that her husband’s dog had annoyed a skunk passing through our back yard. We had warned them not to go out in the dark without a light due to the fact that our back yard was a skunk path for a community of skunks that we see quite frequently. It never occurred to me to warn the dog.
Sophie is a very energetic Visla and she probably thought that “pointing” at a skunk might be fun…
Ironically, since the weather had turned cool, we thought it would be nice to have all the windows open to fill our house with fresh air.
My son in law and my oldest son headed off to get some remedies for the poor now stinky and whining dog. Knowing that they had it under control I drifted off to sleep with the essence of skunk butt hanging in the air like the smog in Beijing! This was an unexpected and unpleasant, but still humorous surprise!
I woke up at 5 a.m. to a much fainter trace of the skunk perfume, however it was still noticeable. I headed downstairs to grab a cup of coffee and feed the cats. When I opened the door to my pantry, I did a double take. Whaaaaaaaaa?????
For a moment I was sure someone had murdered an octopus in there. It looked like a giant puddle of ink…or blood.
Someone had carelessly replaced the lid on a brand new bottle of blackstrap molasses on the shelf in the pantry. Somehow that bottle overturned allowing the thick, sticky goop to run down through the wire shelving, packages of food and other miscellaneous items scattered on the shelves and finally pooling on the linoleum floor.
As far as I could remember I hadn’t even opened that bottle of molasses and who in the world would use them besides me? How on earth did this happen? I still don’t know but it certainly was unexpected!
Upon looking at the mess, my husband reminded me not to waste an energy block cleaning it up but instead to delegate it to one of the children. After he left for work, I cleaned it up because frankly I could only imagine how any one of my children would have cleaned it up … I could imagine every time I walked into my pantry having my feet glued to the floor and being unable to free myself!
As I laughed at the chain of events in the last 12 hours I reflected on how typical this is of motherhood. Beginning with my very first pregnancy, that ended in miscarriage, I learned one thing that seems to be true for all mothers. Even if they read What to Expect When You’re Expecting...having been a mom for 25 years I have learned one thing well… that is:
always expect the unexpected
There is no book that has ever been written that could possibly cover all the scenarios that we moms have been through and for what waits ahead. We simply have to wait and see. I could write an entire book about unexpected things that I have gone through with my six children!
Mom’s learn early on to roll with the punches, am I right? There is ONE sure thing that I have learned:
God is in control.
Just in case you are still in the process of learning to expect the unexpected, here are a few verses that may help!
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
1 Peter 5:6-7,10
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you… And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”