We all know that saying, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans."
When I was a junior in college, I found myself treading through a low point in my life and was feeling pretty darn sorry for myself and the choices I had made. I remember feeling stuck and stagnant and like everything and everyone was moving forward too fast and without me. Then one day this epiphany washed over me.
I would join the Peace Corps.
I fell in love with idea of being able to run far, far away from my life and my troubles and to be able to do it in the name of a good cause - something noble. I would run to someplace like Micronesia or Vanuatu and help build schools, plant gardens, or teach children how to sew. In my spare time I would write long letters home to my mother telling her about my exciting adventures and asking her to send me paperback books and construction paper. It was a two year commitment, but I planned to spend a lifetime away from everything that was familiar. I had a plan.
Then, from somewhere deep inside, I heard a giggle.
That Christmas I met the man that changed my life. He was kind and patient and good. He allowed me to just be me and even though I told him I wasn't sticking around, that I would be gone for good within two years, he stayed. I ranted and raved and painted our kitchen the deep blue of ripe blueberries, and he still stayed. When I yelled and accused him of crazy things and set his beloved Jeep on fire, he got upset, but he still stayed.
And when I finally graduated from college, he asked me to marry him. And you know what? I said yes and I stayed. And I am so glad I did.
My husband and I worked hard at building a nice little life. We moved to a small town and spent the next ten years building our family, rejoicing in new friendships, and finding our careers. My husband and I would sit in the evenings with our coffee and speculate on which of the Webber boys our daughter would marry, the neighborhood yards Dalton would mow the summer he turned 10, the rise and fall of the river that ran through town, and when construction on the main road would ever end.
It was a simple life, but it was oh so sweet in it's simplicity. I knew that this would be the place where we would grow old. We would sit on our front porch and watch the ebb and flow of our little town, knowing that we were deeply rooted. And I was happy with that - I wanted to stay.
Then, one night in July, from somewhere deep inside, I heard another giggle. Only this time it was more like a chuckle. Or maybe it was a guffaw.
When my husband was offered the promotion that would move us from Texas to Massachusetts, my immediate reaction was, we can't do that - it's not in the plan! But here we are, a little over a year after our move, and we are so happy. It's true that we miss our friends and family. And it's true that this is a whole new way of life for us. But all in all, we love it here. We have been blessed with wonderful new friends and here lately the house has been full with visits from our family. We have come to appreciate the change in the seasons and the traditions that go along with those changes (Apple picking in the Fall! Sledding in the Winter snow! Gardening in the Spring! The beach in the Summer!). I am glad we came here.
But as life goes on and the seasons change, the body gets older. Last month I went to see my doctor because I was fairly certain that the great change of life was around the corner. I had the classic symptoms of perimenopause. Although facing my age was difficult, I knew that we were done with having children (Dalton is 9 and Sabrina is 7), and this was a new stage of life I would just need to accept. After long discussions with my husband and with my doctor, we came up with a plan. We would try birth control for two years and then re-evaluate. All I needed to do was wait for that magical time of the month to visit so that I could start on the medication.
It wasn't perfect, but it was a plan.
So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. And late at night, while the rest of the house was sleeping, I started hearing that now familiar laughter.
Last week when I went back to the doctor, I wasn't too surprised when she gave me the news - I'm pregnant! At 38, I am venturing once again into the world of diapers and binkies and spit up (as well as slobbery baby kisses, total adoration, and that sweet earthy smell of a new child). We are thrilled that we have been so abundantly blessed and I am thankful that my husband can see the humor in it all.
If God had a Facebook, I am pretty sure his status would be "LOL!!!!"
But isn't that the beauty of life? The unexpected - the crazy stuff we never see coming? Isn't it the the detour from the main road that makes the trip something to write about? Isn't it the surprise that makes this adventure so worth the price?