God sometimes does things to remind you of just how much He does for you. He puts people in your life to point out the change in you and your life; He provides you with perfect parking spots at Wal Mart; He gives you a quarter on the floor in front of a gum ball machine.
Today God woke me up with the dawn, which rarely ever happens. I’m still trying to get out of my college sleeping cycle of staying up until three or four in the morning and instead going to bed at eleven or twelve…let’s just say I’m a work in progress. Anyway, though it would’ve been very easy for me to just fall back asleep, I knew if I did so, I wouldn’t be ready to leave for the wrestling tournament. Wrestling started at nine. Dad and the other wrestlers left at six. We were scheduled to leave the house at eight.
I got up (which was an act touched by God, because there’s no way I would’ve been able to get up that early on my own), did my devotions, took a shower, dressed, and, noticing I had more time than I thought, spent some more time with God. I wrote to Him for a while. I prayed for Karly and for Charlene. I prayed for Sam and Maria. I prayed for all of my city people along with my sticks people. As I prayed for them, I realized just how much I miss all of my city friends, all of the people at IBC. I wonder how they’d like it if they all came and visited where I live since I’ve come to live on their turf? Hm. I feel like that would be an entire story in itself. 🙂
Mom and I leave before eight and we stop for breakfast on the road. We had a great talk on the ride over, about Stephen and about our family, about college and about our personal Bible studies, about what we’re learning and how we’ve grown along with what God has done and what we see Him doing in our lives.
When we arrived at Windsor, I was prepared to stay the entire day (until about seven or eight o’clock, maybe later), which is common for the second day of a tournament. I brought The Magician’s Nephew along with my entire collection (which is one big book) of The Chronicles of Narnia. But when I sat down in the bleachers, I realized we had only two wrestlers in the tournament, and if they lost their matches, it would cut the day awfully short.
I sat there reading, but when I looked up to watch our wrestlers, I almost wished I would’ve just kept reading 😦
It was as if they had never wrestled before. Normally I consider myself to be a relatively optimistic person…granted, like everyone else, I have my days where I wake up and just don’t want to join the living. But, generally, I do try to look for the good in every situation.
Unfortunately, there was very little good for me to find in this one. It was like their heads were somewhere else, their thoughts occupied by other things. There was no motivation or determination; there was nothing. Though I’ll always support them, our wrestlers just weren’t wrestlers today. The rest of the tournament, disregarding our team’s matches, was a tad bit interesting.
At one point, there was a match between the Fuzzy Caterpillars and the Honey Bees (I don’t actually remember the names of the teams, so I came up with my own). The Fuzzy Caterpillar’s wrestler pushed the Honey Bee onto his back on the mat and flung himself on him, using this shove as an excuse for a take down. But anybody who knows anything about wrestling knows that this wasn’t a take down; it wasn’t even a real move. The problem? The referee gave the Fuzzy Caterpillar two points for the “take down.” The Honey Bee’s Coach erupted and the entire gymnasium seemed to flock to the sides of the mat. Since this particular match was a semi-final (the match before a wrestler could compete for third and fourth place and fifth and sixth place) at the toughest tournament of the season, save the Class Tourney and MAC Tourney, there were two referees present, agreeing or disagreeing on calls, keeping one another accountable, and the majority of the audience was observing this match closely. Well, the referees couldn’t even agree on the call for a moment. While there was a disagreement among most of the people present, the Honey Bee did something no wrestler should ever do:
He threw his headgear.
As a wrestler, you do NOT throw your headgear. You keep your cool, check your emotions, and wrestle, regardless of how you feel. But this wrestler didn’t do that. If he had kept his cool and not thrown his headgear, the score, after the call was agreed upon and Fuzzy Caterpillar was given the two points for the illegitimate take down, would’ve been tied. But because Honey Bee couldn’t keep his stinger in check, Fuzzy Caterpillar got another point, and won the match.
Later, when I was walking out of the gym to the bathroom, I found myself walking behind the Honey Bee Coach. I observed as I walked the Fuzzy Caterpillar Coach coming towards us. I had a very bad feeling. Surely enough Honey Bee Coach shouldered Fuzzy Caterpillar Coach hard in the chest, pushing him over spectators and onto the mat next to us. Honey Bee Coach then stormed out of the gym with his assistant coach along with two other followers trailing behind him. As I went to the restroom, I heard and saw the Honey Bee Coach and his drones venting and gossiping. High school drama, exhibited in two grown men.
We ended up coming home at noon, Mom and Dad leaving the moment we arrived. Gracie and Jimmy were on edge and had been given a list of things to do while our parents were gone. I stole away to my room to sneak in a nap and some writing before I had to do any refereeing myself. My peace lasted about twenty minutes before I had to go downstairs and put Gracie and Jimmy in chairs, facing opposite walls of the dining room. I was told that nobody likes me because I’m an idiot, that I’m bossy, and that I should be at college and never come home again.
Ahhh, the sweet sounds of home 🙂
About two hours later, after everything had cooled down, the three of us were on the living room floor, drinking hot chocolate, playing Skip-Bo, and cracking jokes. That’s one of the great things about siblings: no matter how many nasty things you say to one another, no matter how many times you scream, yell, fight, and challenge one another, you know that, when it comes right down to it, you love each other and will always bounce back.
Around 5:30pm, my Aunt Joan called over and asked if I wanted to have dinner with her. Obviously my answer was yes because she was making baked ziti and ziti is awesome. I went over at six and had a great time. She and I along with my Uncle Jay had a great conversation about my cousin Tyler, about college, about guys, and about life in general. We also talked about New York City and how they were planning on coming to visit me in the spring. Now THAT would be an adventure 😀
About two hours later, I returned to my house, joining Mom and Jimmy in front of the television to watch A Princess For Christmas. It’s totally hopeless romantic material: this girl is trying to take care of her deceased sister’s children, randomly gets invited to go to England for Christmas by the kids’ Duke Grandfather, goes, falls in love with her used-to-be brother-in-law (who has the title of a prince from his mother’s side, is totally rich, dashingly handsome, and a heart of gold, of course), ends up getting married to him and living in this fantastic castle forever and ever and someone please just hand me a box of tissues.
Movies like this frustrate me, mostly because half of me wants to be practical and strict and firm in the thought that love, marriage, life, just doesn’t work that way. But then, when I think about some of the stories I write, when I think about what Jesus did for me (because, how insanely crazy was that?), along with everything He still does for me on a daily basis, I really want to and possibly do believe happy endings like these actually happen. But I try not to let out my hopeless romantic side too much…because sometimes, by talking about it too often, you feel more hopeless than you do romantic.
Regardless of how my romantic ending will occur or if it will occur, I know that the end to my day was perfect. I was spending time with the people I love, surrounded by familiarity, and comforted by the fact that, at the end of my life, whenever that may be, I will be given something I don’t deserve: eternity with God. At the end of everything I’m going to heaven. So even if no fairytale thing ever happens, I can see that it’s just a bonus: the greatest fairytale of all, one that, in fact, isn’t a fairytale, but rather very real, has already happened to me. I am loved by a Prince, the Prince of Peace. I do have a happy ending; every day I experience the fruits of a happy ending that is also a beginning 🙂
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live.” –Ecclesiastes 3:11,12 ESV