This year, Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving. As my sister, Cara, so eloquently reviewed with us on Thanksgiving Day, Hanukkah is the day that the Jews remember that mighty miracle when a one day supply of oil lasted 8 days. Thus the temple was kept clean and consecrated. Thanksgiving is the time we reflect and rejoice in our blessings and miracles as well. So, I was disappointed in myself on Thursday, when my sister asked if anyone wanted to share a miracle from their own life, with the family. I can not count the number of times I see a tender mercy of the Lord, a miracle in my own life. They are small and numerous and commented on and then, I do offer a prayer of gratitude in my heart or on my knees. But, I don't write them down and I don't seem to remember them so well. I do know they happen. And they keep happening.
Even the very next day.
I went to Ollies, with Ken, Cody, Renae (Jocelyn's SIL) and Christy (Jocelyn's MIL). Think Big Lots. I wasn't interested in very much but I did find a few stocking stuffers. I am pretty sure 16 year old Cody must have been bored off his gourd. When he expressed a desire to try The Claw machine, I stopped, and dug out 50 cents. (Although, I would never give my kids 50 cents to blow on such a machine! lol Sam Kennedy is a whiz at then...and I wanted to be that swell Aunt b/c it is so rare that that I can spend time with my nephew and nieces.)
We waited for the other ladies to make their purchases, Ken pulled the car around...and we started back for the Christensen's for dinner. After I while, I went to check my phone, which had buzzed and had been ignored during the shopping trip. But, to my dismay...No phone. And I knew, in my heart... NO PHONE. I dug through my purse, through my pockets. Christy called my number. No ring. Renae called the store and in her ever calm voice inquired about a Samsung phone...with a white case. I, in the background, spazzing out...it has a pig sticker on it! It has a pig sticker on it! She then added ever so calmly, there are stickers on the back. And yes..they had the phone.
Ken dropped off the three shoppers and we went back, knowing we would miss dinner. I went inside...and with in a few minutes was reunited with the phone. A Thanksgiving Miracle!! I just figured it had dropped out of my pocket when I was digging for those two quarters for Cody. All is well that ends well..right? (Even better, dinner was delayed. We walked back in during the prayer and got to enjoy food and family!)
So, today is Fast Sunday...and a day to bear testimony of Heavenly Father, his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. I did get up and wished everyone a Happy Thanksgivukkah. Gave my testimony...that while sometimes I think "I know Heavenly Father loves me, but does he really care?" Well, in those moments of doubt, I do Him such a great disservice. For all the miracles in my life are small and tiny and special to just me, Dawn. (etc, etc.)
After church, I told my friend that I am always looking for those huge, wow moments...and they never seem to come. But boy, do I have the small and steady comfort of knowing that I am known and cared for. I know I needed to be grateful for that...no matter how small.
Never knowing what would come next.
Fast forward ...we get home from church. I have a few craft projects whose pictures need to be sent in tonight. I was able to snap a few pictures on Tuesday before we left for Pennsylvania, but I wasn't sure if they even turned out well. It was so dark, but I thought I might take a few more before starting the promised cinnamon roll lesson to a little girl down the street. My camera, which had been in my purse or my laptop bag ALL WEEK...was no where. And once again, I knew, just KNEW, I didn't have that camera. Once again, I was flustered and upset. No camera, no pictures, no natural lightening, no time. Silly and dumb and so not important...but important to my little life. I had come home just after midnight last night...and unpacked and washed 2 loads before I even went to sleep. I never saw that camera...
And then the memory...of the store clerk asking Renae, "Did you lose anything else?"
Gulp...why would they ask me that? I even said that out loud in the car. What an odd question! Umm...yes...hind sight is 20/20.... The camera was gone.
So, I tried to think, tried to pray, tried to figure where I could have put it last night...so very late at night. Looked through the car, half heartedly b/c I knew it wouldn't be there. Since we stopped by for a 3 hour delay on our way home, I called my Mom to see if perhaps my purse had dumped out on her bench and the camera had fallen out. No. Not the case.
Meanwhile, Ken was pestering me for this SD Card that I was borrowing from him. I needed to take a few pix off of it...but it sort of just floated around my purse for a couple of months. Exasperated by his sudden insistence...and having already I explained it 4 times that I had the extra SD card, I need my camera...I got out the other SD card from my purse and tossed it onto the table.
Ken looked at it...and said, "That is your card." I looked at it. He was right. It was MY SD card...the one with the pictures from Tuesday. Thursday, my mom's camera battery died. So I put her SD card into my camera for picture taking. And...I when I gave it back to her, I must have put Ken's card into my camera.
I had the card with the pictures I needed that night.
So, I dug out the receipt...and called Ollie's, the store.
"Was a purple camera turned in on Friday?"
Insert some elevator music.
"What color did you say it was?"
"Yes, we have the camera."
Big Miracle. Especially considering all the little components along the way.
I honestly have no idea how both the camera and phone fell out. I am so grateful for the honest person or clerk who turned them in. Grateful that all the way down the line someone was honest. Grateful Renae is calm and quick witted. I'm grateful for the SD card here in my hands with the pix I need for commitment I made. Thankful to a sister who will drag her mother in law and a couple of kids to Ollies tomorrow to pick up my purple camera. And grateful that I have a stronger testimony that Heavenly Father loves me and cares. He really cares. Even if it is silly and unimportant.
On Thursday, when I could not pull ONE miracle from my recent life...one of those many I so quickly thank for and forget...I was determined to start a gratitude journal. To write down those things that illustrate to me that I am known and loved and cared about. Here is the first entry. You can trust that there will be many, many more entries.