Relax – To remit or abate in attention, assiduity or labor. Relaxing is not something I do well. I remain in “think or do” mode most of my waking hours. Rarely am I sitting still. If you do happen to catch me sitting still, don’t be fooled; my mind is running full steam, planning, pondering, and sometimes even plotting. Lately my inability to relax has focused around the dreaded four letter word, prom. Our only daughter is going to her first prom and that means tears. Tears because she is growing up, and tears because I have to spend money, lots of money. The dress has to be perfect, completed by fancy matching shoes, magnificently styled hair, brilliantly painted nails, dazzling jewelry, professional photos, and a snappy boutonnière for her date. Add the stress of sticking to a budget, and you have the recipe to send a border line obsessive compulsive personality like mine, into emotional upheaval.
Denial does not work well, but that is what I had been attempting to do, pretend this whole prom event was not really going to happen. My daughter shares her mother’s charming trait of knowing exactly what she wants along with the same unwillingness to deviate from said desire. Can you imagine the two of us shopping together? Beware. Unwilling to foray into this adventure alone I sought moral support from my mother and sister in law. Bravely scouring numerous stores in Dallas, we were forced to admit defeat and return home empty handed, leaving me to continue the search alone. I did, however, seek Divine assistance. On one of my morning runs I had a chat with Jesus, asking him to help us find the perfect dress for her, without traipsing all over the vast state of Texas, and without breaking my wallet. After such a prayer, I should have been at peace, trusting that my heavenly Father who loves both my daughter and I, had the situation under control, but I wasn’t.
Shopping day arrived and with it an uber case of the crankies. Try as I might, I could not get out from under the oppressive black cloud that threatened to ruin the day. I prayed for direction on where to shop and felt like we needed to go to Austin. For most people a trip to Austin means jumping in the car and going. I am an exception to that rule. Traffic makes me nervous, I don’t know east from west and I cannot read a map. Most people use Google maps or MapQuest, not me. All of my maps are custom designed by my husband. I’m not kidding. My husband looks up the destination and then creates a custom arrival and departure map, just for me. Only this day, my husband was at work and couldn’t help me. Looking at the on-line directions overwhelmed me. What should I do? Knowing a trip to Austin would provide the dress we sought, I decided to put on my big girl panties and venture into the great unknown, AKA as driving without a map. Guess what? We made it without even a single wrong turn. Yea me! My determination to succeed seemed to change my perspective, suddenly I found myself excited and ready to conquer the world of prom couture.
Our first stop overflowed with dresses in every style, color, and size imaginable. One lone dress stuck Brittany’s fancy. We left empty handed but still determined to succeed. Our next stop wielded a two hundred percent chance of increased probability for procuring a dress, she entered the fitting room with THREE dresses. Elation filled her face as she opened the door to reveal her first potential find. We put two dresses on hold and decided to try one other store before making a final decision. Both of dresses on hold were on sale for about 25% off. The third location was having a HUGE sale. We found an identical dress but this one, which we purchased, was 60% off, leaving plenty of room in the budget for shoes. As God would have it, there was a shoe store located right between the two dress stores. We found the perfect pair of shoes, also on sale. At the end of the day we had purchased a dress and shoes for 50% of the allocated dress budget, leaving extra money for hair and nails. Ah, the sweet feeling of success.
Now, some may say the universe conspired to create a karmic set of circumstances allowing all of these events to unfold so beautifully. But I know the truth. I serve a God who loves me incredibly, and cares about every aspect of my being, right down to my daughter’s prom dress and matching shoes!