I have had quite a few late nights lately. Usually they are my own doing. A book I literally cannot put down until I have read it through to the end. A movie I agreed to watch with Mark who didn't tell me it was 2 1/2 hours long. Catching up on episodes online.
Last night wasn't my fault.
As tired as I am today, I am actually glad last night was such a late night. I was out at 10:00 watering the plants, because I had forgotten to for a while and they really needed it. I happened to remember so out I went. As I watered I noticed that a friend of mine who lives a couple doors down, not Amanda, was working with big tarps in the front yard. The tarp moving is what caught my eye. They had laid it out to dry earlier that day. She has been going through a very rough time with her family and a husband that has some serious issues. (not a good guy...) Being 10:00 at night I was just going to head inside and talk to her in the morning.
But something told me no. Something told me I needed to go say hi right then. (I thought I was going over for just a sec and so didn't tell Mark. Big mistake.) We stood outside and chatted for a bit, I helped with some stuff she was doing, and then she invited me inside for a bit. (I still thought it would be quick so didn't call Mark to tell him.)
We ended up doing some serious talking. We talked about the church and about drawing closer to the Lord. We talked about how he only gives us trials that we can handle with his help. About doing the best that we can do, giving it our all, and then letting him carry us the rest of the way. Trusting him to take care of us and our needs.
We talked about her situation and she was able to tell me some things that she has needed to tell someone for a long time. Her family is far away and her other friends have moved. Amanda is on vacation. I am the only one that knows everything and is here to talk to. And I feel that's why the Lord asked me to go do that. She needed to tell things, and needed someone to listen. I couldn't offer suggestions. I couldn't make everything go away. But I could listen and talk. I am so grateful that I have learned to listen to those small whisperings, those random feelings that come out of nowhere. Sometimes I don't know why, but other times I can see what it was I was needed for.
At one point I looked at her clock and it said 12:00. Wow, that's a long time. Too late to call Mark and let him know where I am. Surely he has put the baby to bed by now and gone to sleep himself. (William being up late is a whole nother story about missed naps and very early morning waking for the day. With long naps at the wrong time.) So I kept talking because she wasn't done. Even though I was getting very tired and her eyes were looking a little red. Finally it was 1:15. Her stomach was starting to get upset and we had pretty much talked all we needed to that day. So I went on home, a little suprised to see some of our lights on. Like the outside light on the side of the house. You actually turn that one on with a switch, it's not automatic. It wasn't on before. The house was quiet, Mark must be in bed. Nope. I turn the corner to use the bathroom, and there is a huge black shape standing there. What on earth is he doing with his work coveralls on? Was he doing garden stuff with his planters at this time of night?
No, he was dressing warmly to scour the neighborhood because I hadn't come back from gardening. As soon as the baby went to bed. I don't know how long he was out waiting for me and searching different areas. I felt so bad for my sweetheart! I didn't imagine that he would do that! And he has to get up at 6 am for work! But he was worried about me, and couldn't think where I had gone. He had just come inside himself when I came home. We went to bed and he held me so tight, poor thing.
So I am very tired today, my eyes are all scratchy, and I am not in the most patient of moods. But it was all worth it. And I won't complain because I know Mark is even more tired than I am....