Let me tell you about MY day!


Yesterday was quite a day for me. I had a ton of things on my to-do list, not the least of which was a fast trip to Lafayette, a Dr appointment, and having the oil changed in my car. I was only a thousand miles over due for all of it. I had to get serious and get accomplished.
The trip to Laffy was a success. Good news from the cardiologist! In fact, I told him “if this is what normal feels like, I wish I would have gotten a pacemaker years ago!” He smiled. I don’t think he quite understood me. But he’s not on the receiving end of going from 40 beats per minute to 60 beats per minute instantly. The best way I can describe it is being in a drag race. You know. You’re at the starting line and all you can do is idle. Then the green flag drops and somehow you’re in the ride of your life. This is no ordinary cruise. This is what life feels like! I’m so thankful to have that experience, especially since I’m young enough (ok, by my standards) to enjoy it. Ain’t God good?

The appointment behind me, on to lunch. The only reason I even mention it is because I wasn’t a good girl for lunch and maybe a confession is in order. In my mind the success of my doctor’s report meant I deserved to treat myself to grease, cheese, and sugar. How screwed up is that? But I never even considered I could be shooting my own self in the foot.  *sigh*  One day, I’ll learn. I’ll learn to think first. Maybe. Lord, please help me.

On to get my car’s oil changed. And gas. The little computer thing in my vehicle said I could go 48 miles before I ran out of gas which only added to my angst. Then to make matters worse, straight in front of me on this busy street, a little dog was practically skipping in the middle of the road, not a care in the world except for the two boys walking on the side of the road. He kept his eye on them but wouldn’t go to the side they were walking on. Instead he was dodging traffic and finally settled on trotting directly in front of my vehicle as if he thought he couldn’t come to any harm there. I, on the other hand, was breaking into a stress sweat, the worst possible kind according to the commercials on tv. Blowing the horn didn’t make the pup move. I rolled down the window and hollered at the boys. “Is this your dog?” The smallest one looked at me and nodded. The oldest boy just kept his face in his phone. I told them “son, you need to get your dog out of the road. He’s going to get hit or cause an accident.” The oldest boy waved me off and mumbled a few choice words I won’t repeat and something about not wanting to go all the way back home with the dog. The dog trotted to the side of the street with the boys. I drove on to the nearby gas station but I wasn’t happy. I was seriously worried about the unleashed dog and the potential for disaster. And I was fuming about the oldest boy’s attitude. In MY day… oh you know how that goes.

I was still worried after the side trip to the gas station. I had to drive back to the area I last saw the trio because it was right where I needed to go for the oil change. The boys and dog were still there. The dogs was darting everywhere, in and out of traffic, causing drivers to either brake or swerve. I pulled up beside the boys and got out of my car. “Let me have your mom’s phone number and I’ll call her to come get the dog.” The youngest started to say something, the oldest started to swear. He cursed me up one side and down the other. I lost it. An argument ensued. Yes it did. It ended with me getting back in my vehicle and retreating to a far away place in the parking lot so I could calm down. Then it hit me – call the police. So I did. The nice dispatcher listened as I relayed what was going on before very pointedly asking me if I was calling about the dog or the kids. Well, the dog of course. The belligerent kids were their mother’s problem, not mine. But I do have to admit my blood pressure had to be high. The nice lady said she would send a patrol car.
Again, I had to return to the boy’s vicinity (oil change, remember) and I parked where I could see the boys. On my way into the store, the oldest one spotted me and raised his hand, one single digit at attention. You know the one I’m talking about. He saluted me all the way to the store. The only thing I said was I’m sure your mother would be proud. That remark momentarily dropped the middle finger salute.
The store had big commercial windows that made it easy to watch what happened next.   The pup was playing in the grass on the side of the street with the youngest kid. I was happy to see the boy pick up the little thing and walk back in the direction from which he came. The oldest kid saw him leaving and caught up with him and started fussing. The little kid kept walking, apparently in defiance to what he was being told. I was proud. All this time the oldest kid never took his phone away from his face. From his expression, he seemed to be even more annoyed. About one minute later a pick-up truck pulled up behind them and a man got out. It appears heated words were exchanged. Then a police cruiser appeared, lights flashing. I turned away and went about the business of asking for an oil change. To be honest, a store clerk who watched the whole thing go down told me “good luck with that one. He comes in here and steals all the time.”
While waiting for my car to be serviced, I phoned a friend so I could ventilate. That was when I had the thought – what if the cops came into the store and arrested ME for harassing little children? Not that they were little children. The oldest was 17. I knew that because as he was spewing at me, he mentioned that he was no kid, he was 17. Lord have mercy.
The whole incident stayed with me all the way home. I fumed, I prayed, I complained to God about it. Later, I sat in the peaceful seclusion of our back porch and relayed to my husband what happened . He listened and gave me his opinion about juvenile delinquents and cautioned me to never stop anyone on the side of the street ever again. “You don’t know kids these days. One of them could have pulled out a gun and shot you!”

It wasn’t till later I finally calmed down enough to listen to what God had to say about it. Later was too late. I should have consulted Him first. He would have told me to go into the store and buy a leash for the dog, bring it to the boys and make a sorry situation better. I could have taken the high road but I didn’t. I gave into what, quite frankly, turned into a control game. I ‘lost my religion‘, as we say down here in the South. I could have, should have, done something different. I could have, should have, set a good example for the kids. I could have, should have, offered kindness and compassion. The truth is, it turns out I was a Saul before he became Paul.

Lord, I thank you for the lesson but I’m sorry I didn’t see it sooner. I’m sorry I didn’t think to do the right thing. I’m sorry I didn’t practice what I preach. Please forgive me and help me do better next time. In time. Not as an afterthought. Bless those boys, Lord and please put someone in their path who can and will lead them into the right direction. And please send a dog guardian angel to take care of the pup.

Love always,
Nancy

molly

Don’t forget to pray for peace, y’all.  Let’s storm heaven with our prayers!

“My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Proverbs 2:1-5

 

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WHAT WAS I THINKING??


I love Vacation Bible School and the reason I do is because, lucky for me, my older grandchildren get to come spend a week with me. I volunteer to help out and I do it for them, so they can have something fun to do when they come to Nana’s in the summertime. That is my favorite part of the summer!

Ok, so this is how it went this year: Today is day three and it’s not called hump day without good reason. Believe me, we have humped up double time to get this far. We have cut, painted, hammered,taped, tacked, and zip-tied everything you can imagine. We enlisted the church’s youth group to help build elaborate stage sets, only to see them melt and fall apart after being left without air conditioning for a couple of days. After the initial let down, everyone worked frantically and feverishly to get it all returned to pre-melt status, successfully, I might add. The stage looks awesome! It has taken days, nay, weeks to get everything done. If it is, indeed, done. Our DRE (Director of Religious Education) has had her work cut out for her. I couldn’t have done it.

Spoiler alert: Here comes the What Was I Thinking part. There are somewhere around 60 kids enrolled in VBS this year. We are thrilled! Can’t you just see the sweet little things running to VBS breathlessly to share Jesus Christ and love of one another? Uh. No. It’s HUMP DAY. That means the team leaders are exhausted, the whole staff is exhausted, the kids want MORE. They want more fun, more projects, more movies, more snacks. They remember how much fun day one and day two were and they expect to have an equally enthusiastic program for days three, four, and five. I’m not so sure that is possible.

I knew today would be a challenge almost as soon as my lovely feet hit the floor. Because I didn’t wash my hair when I showered last night, I had to it this morning. Let me clarify that – I stood just outside the shower so I could bend over far enough and use the hand-held shower head aimed at my hair so I could wash it. Mistake. Why the hell didn’t I just take another shower instead of having to end up mopping the floor too? Again, lucky for me, Paw Pete asked me if there was anything he could do to help me out. Why, thank you. Please feed the animals, I mean, grandkids. That was a big help. He fed them each two pancakes and one corndog. That effort alone gave me enough time to mop the water out of the bathroom floor and dry my hair, in that order. Somehow I knew it was going to be that kind of day from the moment I pulled my clothes on. I found a string and started to pull it. I pulled and pulled. I’m a little slow so it took a moment for me to realize that the reason it was going around and around my waist was because the little string that I pulled was coming from the waistband of my underwear. The more that I pulled, the more sure I was of the type of day I would have. I had to go to VBS with my underwear barely hanging on, to say nothing of how diligently I had to work to keep it on. But I made it, thanks to the power of prayer. Yes, Virginia, God answers all our prayers, especially when he wants his disciples to set good examples for the youth. Wearing underclothes is not optional, it is mandatory.

I thought I had more than three baby grands to corral to the car from the way it looked as we were leaving. We were like a gaggle of cartoon characters trying to get out of the door at the same time. This is the way it has been all week with very few variances from day to day. Right before the program started on the first day, I realized I left something in my car and I had to go back to get it. It was a good thing I did. My car door was still open. That was a disaster waiting to happen. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of that one too!

My one and only job during the years I have volunteered to help out at VBS has been to man the video station. I like it because I don’t have to be in a big crowd or be surrounded by a lot of noise. That’s another What Was I Thinking episode. Every year, I say I’m not going to do it again, yet every year I still do. I don’t like noise. I don’t do well in crowds. But I do love it when I see precious little hands folded together in prayer. And I love to see a little kid’s face light up when they tell about the ‘God sighting’ they had. I love the fact that VBS is more than just a summertime babysitting gig, it’s a real job. Maybe one of the biggest. There is no cashable paycheck but influencing our children to understand and master the art of worship and the act of loving one another is a heavy responsibility with an eternity worth of dividends. I’m not sure how good of an example I am setting but I’m trying very hard to do the right thing. I’m trying to help my baby grands create great memories of summertime at Nana’s house.

So anyway, tomorrow is day four and I hope we all go back feeling renewed and refreshed so we can present a program that will be something the little ones will enjoy and remember. It will be an exercise in faith to overcome the exhaustion, trust me. I will be certain that my hair gets washed and the waist band of my underwear is good. And somebody please be sure the car doors are closed

It’s a good thing VBS has yummy snacks!

Don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll. The whole world needs your prayers.