Isn't it funny how words can stick? I first heard the word "Serendipity" in grade school. I even remember the teacher's definition to us. She said, "Serendipity is when you find something that you weren't looking for." Then we went on to read a story where the main character discovers something he/she wasn't looking for. I can't remember the story, only the word. Serendipity. More recent connections in my brain link me to the movie staring John Cusack and the dessert shop in New York famous for chocolatey sweets.
If I think too hard on it, which I'm prone to do, I wonder if serendipity is just as the definition implies, or if it is just another piece of God's master plan. Do we really stumble upon things or has God directed our paths with intention? I'm not sure of the answer. Either way, I've had two serendipitous discoveries in the past week or so and I'd like to share them with you.
Exactly 17 days ago, the day before Josie was born, I was blog surfing and landed on the blog of an old high school friend. She had dedicated her entire post to the budding photography career of another dear friend, Tracy Schupp Enoch. Tracy and I were extremely close friends in high school, drifted slightly in college, and now we simply enjoy crossing paths on random visits back home. I liked the look of Tracy's photos and called her right away to see if she was interested in capturing Josie's debut. I wasn't aware at the time that Josie would be arriving the very next day. We tried to work it out but with such short notice, and two girls of her own, it just couldn't happen. What did happen was an hour long conversation and the rekindling of a special friendship. Like the old saying goes, "With the good ones you can just pick right back up like you never left off." Now I am super excited because Tracy is making a visit in March to photograph me and my girls; I can't wait to see the way she captures the love and life of the Cauley girls.
My second serendipitous discovery happened in the midst of chaos. Let me start with a little back story. You know how sometimes you admire someone from afar? You may like this person's sense of style or their sense of humor. Whatever it may be, something about them intrigues you and you want to get to know them. You think in your head, "I bet we would be friends." The exact way so many of my own friends feel about the object of our blog stalking, Kelle Hampton. Well I have had that same thought about a member of our church. I think she is "neat." That may sound elementary, but it's true. I like the way she dresses, her singing voice makes me cry, and mostly because she makes her ideas happen. Ok, current story.
Saturday morning I was startled awake by Harper's entrance into our bedroom. "Mommy, my throat hurts," she croaked. We were settled in at Green Clinic by 9am with a fever of 101.7. Lovely. Doc advised me to either get Harper out of the house or get Josie out of the house. Apparently if an infant gets fever they have to treat it like a life threatening illness - hospitalization, spinal tap, the works. Not what you want to imagine for a 10 day old baby. About the time she explained all of this to me, on top of including Cystic Fibrosis and Harper in the same sentence, my milk for Josie's next feeding let down, my blood sugar dipped, and I couldn't contain the water works. I am pretty sure I made the ugly cry face right there in the exam room. When I pulled into my drive way 20 minutes later, breasts throbbing with pressure, the girl - the one I've wanted to be friends with for the past year - was knocking on my front door with a vat of taco soup and two tubs of ice cream stretching the limits of the plastic bag containing them. Woman after my own heart. Apparently she could read the desperation written across my face. "Do you need anything? Can I do something to help?" she asked. With deflated shoulders, red rimmed eyes, and a voice thick with worry I managed to get out, "Do you know anyone with a guest house?"
I took a leap of faith, choosing to trust the kindness of strangers. Three hours and a few back roads later I pulled up at her family's deer camp. If you are reading this from Louisiana you know that deer camps aren't like camps at all, more like a second home in the woods with a few ATV's out back. She and her mother welcomed us into their cozy, clean camp. I shared bits and pieces of the past year with them to supply insight as to why I appeared so frazzled on my doorstep a few hours prior. Shortly both women returned home and I was left alone, so Josie and I napped for about an hour on a comfortable bed belonging to a man I'd never seen. A man who loves to hunt. A man with a generous wife and a kind daughter.
Not only did the kind family offer refuge for Josie and myself, the daughter returned after a quick trip into town bearing gifts comparable to frankincense and myrrh - a Dawg House burger, M&M's, and a gallon of Ozarka. The best part - get this! - she stayed with me! Initially it felt like an awkward first date as standard questions rallied between us. Things got deep when I referenced the skin hugging volleyball shorts of my past. She asked what every single non-volleyball friend has asked since I graduated from Tech, "Why did ya'll wear those shorts into the student center?" It is the single most-asked question I get when new friends and colleagues discover that I was one of, "those girls." The answer, for all twenty of you that read this blog regularly, is that we didn't know any different. We had to wear those "biker shorts" for at least 5 hours a day for weights, work-outs, and practice. Our lives were dictated by our commitment to the sport and if a girl only has 30 minutes to grab food then it just isn't worth changing into something else. Plus, most of us thought that if our t-shirt was untucked then we weren't showing too much. Swear!
Needless to say, we talked until midnight and I fell asleep excited at the prospect of having a new friend. Both discoveries, an old friend and possibly a new one, were made in the midst of tumultuous life waves. It makes me wonder if I've missed countless other blessings when life has rocked my boat. Am I clinging so tightly to the railing with my eyes willed shut that I have missed snippets of treasure God has offered to me? Or maybe over the past year I have learned that God is steering my boat, or rather, He is my boat! And if I would trust Him to deliver me safely then I could loosen my grip and open my eyes. Yes! I think that is exactly right! I can only imagine how much of the journey I have missed because I was trying to steer a vessel that I am not qualified to operate. Once again, a serendipitous discovery. I thought this post was going to be about two girls that both love toting a camera and here He is, in the midst of it all. The root of my discoveries and the source of my blessings. Oh happy day!
So tell me, what have you discovered lately?