The week started off rough. Tears on Sunday night, then a confrontation and more tears on Monday morning, first thing. Had it not been for that confrontation, though, a chain of phone calls from some amazing friends I have would have never been kicked off, and I would have never heard words of appreciation and thanks and support that I needed to hear.

Had it not been for a huge pile of laundry and my husband doing outside chores on the farm Tuesday evening, I would have never hung out laundry in the evening, which prompted me to reflect on confession and motivated me to go to work the next day and make the appointment.

On Thursday evening, after having gone to confession that afternoon, I pulled in my drive to the biggest and best surprise I’ve had in a while. My brother-in-law was here, whipping my back garden into shape, making it manageable and beautiful and weed-free with brand-new landscaping – his gift to us. He was lucky I was on the phone, or else I would have started crying and run to hug him (which would have been very weird, because I have never really (a) cried in front of him before and (b) we don’t hug). It felt like God reaching out to me somehow and saying, “See? I’m in control.” It felt like God smacking me on the back for going to confession, although I think my husband’s probably right that God doesn’t work that way. It still felt ironic on that end, with the confession I had been putting off for so long having just happened.

As I was doing bills just last night (financial worry caused the tears on Sunday, and have been given to God all week long), there were a few unexpected financial blessings, worries that dissipated thanks to God taking care of things.

And if I had not gone to confession on Thursday, I would not be ready for the challenge today will bring. I am going to see my parents and my stepmother’s family. Strangely, I am calm this morning, and I am not anticipating the negative comments and put-downs that are inevitable on topics ranging from my husband being a part-time student to my mothering abilities. Oddly, I’m not edgy or nervous this morning about how the long drive will go with a toddler who has always hated car rides, what they’ll say to offend my easygoing husband, what events will cause me to bluster on the ride home. It’s only by the grace of God that I’m not in my usual state, and I’ll take it!

Just recently, someone told me that it takes practice to see all the windows and doors that God leaves open for you. I think it also takes practice to recognize all the blessings he showers down on us too. Sometimes, they seem insignificant until you look back on them. In my life, God seems to use the small things much more than the huge, flashing, neon things. I’ve been trying to get better at naming them and thanking him for them, because, after an analysis of weeks like this, they’re what get me through!