Remember a long time ago when I was trying to find my Christmas presents for my dad, and I checked and re-checked a place I had already looked before? Then I prayed and I found it?
Well, it happened again tonight.
I should preface this by saying that my little red Emtec 4 GB jump drive has my whole teaching life on it. I've been having the thought repeatedly that I needed to back up my little drive before it crashed or before I lost it.
So earlier today I was working on a lesson plan before going to my grandma's house. Then I shut my computer and put it to sleep. I threw it on top of my clothes in my laundry basket to take it down to my car.
On my way out the door I noticed a large amount of trash on our doorstep that needed to be taken to the dumpster. So I did a spectacular balancing act holding my blue flimsy laundry basket full of clothes, a bottle of liquid Tide, dryer sheets, and my huge laptop, extended battery, and plug all in my left arm while trying to grab a large box and full bag of trash with my right hand. I got down the first flight of stairs and on to the second flight when I felt everything slipping.
So I set all my stuff down and readjusted. I put my laptop under some clothes so it wouldn't be on top and ready to slip off so easily. I grabbed everything, walked out of my hallway to the north and headed down the sidewalk to my car.
I set everything down on the sidewalk, and I unlocked my car. I put my laundry basket and all its items within on the backseat of my car. Then I walked with the trash over to the dumpster.
I drove to my grandma's up in Lehi, took my laptop out and put it on the couch, got my laundry started, and sat down to work on my lesson plans. I suddenly felt my head get burning hot as I looked down and saw that my red Emtec jump drive was no longer attached to the USB port on my computer. "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" I was thinking as I retraced my steps mentally and thought of all of the ways and places it could have come off.
I ran out to my car really quickly and frantically looked all over the seat, digging my hands into the depths of my car cushioning. Then I ran downstairs and stopped the washing machine and threw out and shook out all of my clothes. Then I shook them out as I threw them back IN to the washer. It wasn't in there, thank goodness. I was starting to get a little upset at this time, sweating from stress and crying out of total loss of everything I had created to make my life run more smoothly. I knelt down at the bottom of my grandma's stairs and said a quick prayer to please help me calm down and to please help me find my jump drive because it's so important to me, begging Him to please not let this happen to me. I ran back upstairs and out to my car AGAIN thinking maybe I hadn't looked hard enough. I sat in my car totally upset. My uncle Dave came out to look with me. I really appreciated his concern. We found nothing.
I went back inside and calmed myself down. I sat on the couch and tried to think of what I could do. I still had four files open on my computer: my unit goals/map, one lesson plan, my lesson schedule for the week, and my document full of online ideas for Walk Two Moons. "Well, I'll just go from here," I thought. "I could be starting from nothing, but I've got something, so I'll just use this and plan my lessons."
I called my home teacher to see if he was at home and could retrace my steps for me. He wasn't home. I called my friend Karli. My ever-reliable and loving friend Karli. She retraced my steps for me and went out to the sidewalk and texted me back saying she hadn't found anything. She told me, "Well, it's not on your stairs or out by the sidewalks, so it should just be in your apartment! Don't worry." I thanked her and said I owed her one, but I felt stressed.
Suddenly, a feeling of total calmness just washed over me. I heard a voice say, "Janae, it's in the grass. Karli didn't find it because she looked on the sidewalk. You crossed the grass."
"OK," I thought. "It's going to be OK."
I texted my roommates letting them know that I had lost this all-important electronic device and to keep their eyes open for me. One roommate told me by text that she hadn't seen it. I felt disappointed, but again, the calm feeling and steady voice that said, "Janae, it's in the grass. You'll find it when you get home. Be still, and work."
"OK," I thought again. "I'll find it when I get home."
I sat at that couch and finished a lesson plan. I ate dinner and felt completely fine--enough to share a funny story about my eighth grade class from the other day.
When I finished dinner, I sat down and did the rest of my lesson plans for the week. I was done with this whole week's plans by 7:30. I got my laundry and left my grandma's to try to beat the darkness so I could look for my drive myself.
I pulled in, and unfortunately the flashlight in my car was broken. So I got all my stuff and ran upstairs. I set everything down and grabbed my red flashlight out of the kitchen drawer.
I slowly retraced my steps, going down each step on my stairway really slowly. I walked out on the sidewalk toward my car, flashing my light on the left side and the right side, onto the edges of the walk where it meets the grass. I noticed that the grass was wet and hoped that my jump drive hadn't gotten wet if it got sprinklers on it. But other than that, I didn't see anything and wondered if my flashlight would be sufficient enough for me to see it.
"Of course it will. It's bright red. It will reflect your light," I told myself. I kept looking. I got down on my knees and shone the light under my car and the car next to it. I was starting to despair a little but didn't panic.
I got up and remembered the first counsel that I had heard earlier, "Janae, it's in the grass." So I walked back toward my apartment, crossing the grass this time. I took two steps and there on the grass in front of me, reflecting my light, was my red Emtec jump drive. I grabbed it anxiously and ran back up to my apartment.
I pulled out my rice and a small tupperware container to dry out my glorious wet lifesaver overnight before trying to test it out.
So there it sits on my dresser, waiting to be tested tomorrow. And if it doesn't work? Well, I probably should have heeded the promptings to back up my things.
And... At least He helped me find it.
I love prayer.