Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Plain Pursuit

Today was one of those days that force you to make a choice: laugh or cry.

I had my annual exam that all women dread, and while I was waiting for the doctor to come in and sitting there wearing nothing but a open-backed gown and my vulnerability, I heard my phone start playing my ringtone for Molly. I hopped off of the table sideways, keeping my backside facing the wall, picked up the phone and said, "I can't talk now. I'm naked in the doctor's office waiting for my Pap smear." She choked out an "Okay."

I waited another 15 minutes on the table, plenty of time to push back all of my cuticles, clean under my fingernails, pray to God for courage and telling Him that I was trusting everything into His hands...twice, and inspect my pedicure.

When the doctor finally arrived, he brought with him a female student doctor. I okayed having her in the room, but I didn't realize that she was going to do most of the actual examination herself. Let's just say that student doctor + speculum = OUCH! Several painful seconds later, the doctor took over, and I was able to breathe again.

But I walked out of the appointment with a smile on my face. Why? Because he said that the lump in my breast was nothing to worry about.

School supply shopping at Wal-Mart must be one of the inner rings of Hell! Both kids I shopped for required solid color folders, but Wal-Mart doesn't sell solid color folders! Instead, they sell folders with skulls and roses that say, "Love Kills Slowly." Seriously! (I don't care how cool Ed Hardy tattoos are, there's no way my first grader is carrying a folder to school that says that!) And the entire store was out of glue sticks! I walked out and hour and a half later and $80 poorer with a smile on my face. Why? Because the lump was nothing to worry about!

I've been on an emotional roller-coaster for the last few weeks between my Uncle Howard's illness, and then getting John's diagnosis. When I discovered a lump, I could hardly breathe. I called the doctor and made the appointment and then started praying. After my thousandth nervous breakdown in front of Jesse, I was forced to explain, but I didn't want to worry anyone else in the family in hopes that it wouldn't be anything at all. And praise God! It wasn't! It's funny how its discovery colored my entire life with fear for two weeks. And a clean diagnosis released me to breathe again. It ensured that no matter what happened today, I could laugh it off.

It's another lesson I'm learning this summer: to trust it all to God all the time and stop living in fear of the maybes.

Plain Pursuit by Beth Wiseman is the second book in the Daughters of the Promise series, following Plain Perfect. Lillian, from the first book, has settled into the Amish life with new husband Samuel, stepson David, and daughter Anna. When her Englischer friend Carley needs a place to stay for a few weeks and find some peace, Lillian invites her to stay with her family. Carley's working on an article for her newspaper about the Amish lifestyle, but she runs into some roadblocks after meeting Dr. Noah. Noah treats David after a strange fall that leads to a serious diagnosis for the boy, but because of Noah's history with the Plain People, he can't continue to treat David. Carley's investigative instincts tell her that there's a story here, but finding it may put her friendship with Lillian at risk. Wiseman presents a well-rounded view of the Amish people, focusing in this book on shunning or meiding which can be difficult for non-Amish to understand. Noah and Carley are both forced to consider how their actions impact those around them. Wiseman's series is a terrific entry in the growing Amish genre, and readers will appreciate the recipes she includes in the back of each book.

This is another book in the growing stack that will go to the lucky reader who can guess the exact minute of my birth on August 28, 1973. Make you best guess, and email it to me, make sure you specify am or pm! The contest ends on Thursday night at 10 pm.