LOST: One Ring, One Temper, One Weekend. FOUND: Faith.

We had plans this weekend, big plans.

The messy garage? It was going to sparkle and shine when we were done putting away the bikes and summer toys.

The messy basement? It was going to be the most organized storage/play/writing/exercise area EVER once we tackled the chaos.

Oh, and then Sunday, after church, we would have taken a big break and had some fun at the Reds game with some local Cincy bloggers. I had the tickets and everything.

Instead, my weekend looked more like this.



Oh, don't be envious my dear friends. There was no last-minute jetting off to a sandy beach for my family. My digging in the sand this weekend was much more menial and, after all is said and done, meaningful.

On Saturday, while Knute and a few of his teammates finished up their softball practice, Huck - who had gone with Knute to the practice for the sheer delight of hanging with his dad and the big dudes and unfettered access to the soft dirt of the bullpens (dig, dig, dig!) - lost one of Knute's teammates' wedding ring.

His platinum wedding ring.

Did I mention that the chief reason why Huck was thrilled to go to the softball field for Knute's practice was because the infield is like ONE GIANT SANDBOX?!!!

Oh yeah, you'd better believe it.

Our weekend evaporated into hours of digging, raking, and metal-detecting (there's a joint near me that rents them; if you've ever had the desire to act out that cheesy late night infomercial with the dude that finds like 27 rings for his wife with his handy-dandy Metal-O-Detecto, I can totally hook you up), punctuated with bouts of random questioning, door slamming, and tears (mine and Huck's).

It's a whopper of a tale, my friends.

I could tell you the white-hot fury version, wherein I find my missed calling as a CIA interrogator.

I could tell you the funny version, starting with how Saturday was National Pirate Day, and apparently a mass email was sent to little boys everywhere to get hustling with that buried treasure already! Arrrgghhh!!

But I'll just tell you the truth, the same way Huck did when we first asked him where the ring was.

The truth is that Knute spent over ten hours at that field this weekend, so determined was he to make right his son's mistake.

The truth is that our friend and his extended family were so gracious and forgiving of what Huck did.

The truth is that I have a temper and I need to learn to shut up and listen more.

The ring, which Huck eventually - after being questioned up and down and inside out by both myself and Knute - told us was buried in the dirt, instead turned up exactly where Huck had told us it was in the first place: on the steering column of Knute's teammate's Jeep.

Huck had found it in the cupholder and placed it on the steering column so our friend would find it; he was worried, you see, that it might get lost. (The irony in that statement is suffocating me.) By the time the ring was found, it had become lodged in the dashboard between the steering column and the odometer.

But we didn't know this until late Sunday, until well after Knute had come home covered in mud (because of course it had to rain, too).

He had looked at me, that man of mine, his face smeared with dirt and sweat, and said, "We just have to let it go, Mare. If it's meant to turn up, it will. All we can do now is keep praying."

He was right, of course. My white-hot fury had burned itself out early on during this ordeal; I might get madder than the proverbial wet hen, but I can't sustain that kind of anger for long. It's exhausting and counter-productive.

We had a quick dinner and then I grabbed my keys to head out to Kroger for dog food. Just as I was hugging the kids goodbye, the phone rang. Our friend had taken the dashboard of his jeep apart as he searched it one last time and there sat the ring, twinkling away.

I have never felt the weight of answered prayer hit me with such force.

There was a point late Saturday night where I found myself lying on the bathroom floor, talking to God. I pray for our well-being, and I pray for others, and I pray for all the usual beauty pageant question things like world peace, end to hunger, and freedom for all.

But I never, never, ask God directly for something specific.

I'm too afraid, you see, that despite all my prayers, He might not be listening to little old me.

So, as I lay there on that cool bathroom floor (Amy is right; it really is a good place to think), I finally asked God for something.

I asked God to bring back that ring.

And not because Knute and I didn't want to pay the replacement cost of the ring; we would have found a way to work it out I'm sure.

I asked God to bring back that ring because if you're lucky, you get married only one time in your life and the rings you give each aren't just pretty jewelry. They are symbols of your eternal commitment. I couldn't bear thinking that one of those had been lost at the (well-intentioned) hands of my son.

And He answered.

I won't lie to you; as thunderstruck as I was when that phone rang late Sunday night, as deeply humbled as I was by the realization I had doubted that Huck was telling the truth from the get-go, as lifted as I felt driving down the road to Kroger, the days have turned and I am still fundamentally me. I'm still kvetching about over-volunteering and the messy house and all the stupid little stuff that doesn't really matter.

But that mustard seed is planted, my friends.

And I can feel it's roots digging deep.

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