Road Paint, Failures and Reminders for Life

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I were on our way to her cello lesson.  As usual, we were in a hurry when I noticed up ahead there were some trucks that were painting bright yellow lines. I really don’t like those trucks and always pity the poor souls who inadvertently drive through the lines leaving tire marks. Feeling rather impatient, I drove along with the rest of the slow traffic and when I finally got to my turn, a slow orange truck was coming from the other direction. Underestimating how slow he was going, I turned a little closely behind him and I was happily on my way. Makayla, who had been looking out the window, said, “Mom, that guy was shaking his head ‘no’ at you while you were turning.” I exclaimed, “Rude!” and went on to explain why it was fine to turn when I did. Some people are rude drivers and you should just ignore them.

Anyway, fast forward to the next day. Josiah and I were walking out of the grocery store toward the front of our 2005 blue Honda Pilot, which is a nod to my ‘just out of mini van trying to be sort of hip’ days. My eyes widened in horror as I took in the sight. The wheel wells were bright, solid yellow. Solid. Not splattered. Solid. All of them. Not only that but there were splatters on the blue paint as well as the runners.  Josiah’s mouth dropped open and then he started smiling. You have to give it to the kid. This is going to be the car he will be driving soon and all he said was, “Glad I didn’t do it,” and hopped in. I called John, “You know how I always say I’m going to paint the car yellow since I’m essentially a taxi driver? Well…I did. I mean it is. Not ALL of it, just a lot of it.”

There was something particularly clownish about driving a blue and yellow car. I mean, gray and yellow, white and yellow, black and yellow? Not so bad, but blue and yellow? It looked like a preschool play car. The bad thing was that I had been driving it around for two days like that. Everyone that would have driven down the opposite side of the street would have noticed for sure and thought, “Oh, that poor lady got too close to the paint truck. She is probably bummed.” The problem is that she didn’t even know. She was blissfully unaware. That’s only what the nice people would have thought. Other people, like me, would have laughed hysterically. Thankfully an hour and a half of scrubbing got some of it off. Makayla stated, “Mom, I don’t think that guy was rude. He was trying to warn you.” “Thanks Honey, that makes me feel all better. It really does.”

With the yellow safely hidden from view, I have been back to driving all over the city with not a care in the world. Until yesterday…

Yesterday, I found it necessary to momentarily lose depth perception and no, I wasn’t on the phone. I did it all on my own. The curb was a little closer than I thought and I hit it. Hard. I hit right where there was a gutter and completely shredded the tire all the way to its innards. When we took it in last night, I made my husband go to the counter by himself because on the way to get it repaired, I remembered that the whole underside of the car is still yellow.  I just couldn’t bear to look at those men in the face. The underside is well hidden from public, but believe me it’s still pretty yellow under there.

The past couple of months I have been destructive. Very destructive. Not just with our car, but I have also ruined a handful of other things like our bathroom floor, kitchen counter and other sorts of things like that. The kids have said in all seriousness, “See mom? That is why you shouldn’t clean.” Yeah, something like that.

The other day, I realized something. It has been a hard past month. Don’t get me wrong. Not hard like losing someone we love, or sickness or big things like that, just hard in small failure types of ways and stressful. There’s been a little more bark in our home, my patience is a little thin and I can’t seem to get anything done. We’ve had sickness in our home for several weeks. Not the ‘puking, can’t live’ kind of sickness – more the ‘what in the world is this mild fever that won’t go away?’ kind of sickness.

The election is wearing on all of us. No matter where you stand on the issues, it is difficult to watch fighting among the ones we love and those we call our friends. There is fear on both sides of all of the issues and it is just wearing – for all of us.

This is what I am finding. God is there in the really big hard, but He is also there in the small and annoying hard. This past month when I have felt the weight of the future, have been tempted to berate myself for ruining something else, have responded wrongly or have jumped on WebMD to see how bad the sickness could actually be, He keeps reminding me…

-Reminding me that He loves me – all the time no matter what. If He loves me, I am truly set. It’s not what I do or don’t do. It’s not based on anything I can do, but it’s based on Him and He is immovable and unshakable. Therefore, His love for me is unshakable and immovable.

-Reminding me that He holds the future in His hands. He holds my children, our future and our country. He is not afraid of the future and because of Him, I don’t need to be either. Things may or may not go how I want them to, but HE cannot be shaken and if my anchor is Him, neither will I.

-Reminding me that He is God and I am not. My children are not extensions of me. He is fully capable of moving in their lives and He is a great one to have on the other side of their relationship with Him.

-Reminding me that He will give me the wisdom I need for the day to day situations that mothering or just life brings.

-Reminding me that I don’t have to live with the anxious thoughts. Those are my thoughts – not His. I can choose to set my mind on Him.

-Reminding me to laugh. Cars with yellow undersides really are funny – especially cars with yellow undersides and a spare tire. The bathroom floor bears scars of the cleaning and I can only hope that people don’t think it’s something dried. And the counter? I may laugh about the counter later.

-Reminding me that just because we have been a little bitey around here, that is not the whole story of our family. We are growing, changing and these are opportunities to learn to love more deeply.

-Reminding me that He is there, He is unmoving and He is unchanging. He is relentless in His love and He truly is everything that I need whether I realize it or not.

What do you need to be reminded of today?

 Romans 8:38-39 NLT And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

**Picture credit: By Famartin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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