Anger

I was venting to my husband this morning about a situation that was so upsetting to me. As my momma used to say, “It aggravated the stew out of me.”   I could see so clearly what needed to be done and could not for the life of me understand why that was so hard for others to see?! I couldn’t understand why someone would keep making the same decisions that kept them in the same situation? It was like a vicious cycle that everyone around them could see, but to which they were blinded.   And, it seemed there was no way to tell them, their heart and mind were not in a place to hear it.

Let me interrupt myself to tell you, that it takes one to know one. What I mean is I have been in vicious cycles of destructive behavior myself and that is why I can look and see when someone is living in a way that will bring them no joy.   It’s easy to find fault in another. But, honestly, I am not looking for fault; I would love to see deliverance for this situation. I don’t want to be that person; you know the one whom you can never please. Nothing is ever good enough. But, I also don’t want to be the one who is never willing to recognize unhealthy behavior for what it really is either, a cry for help.

Finding balance is so important.

anger 2

So, I was talking to the Lord about this. How do I balance when I recognize bad behavior, acknowledge it and pray about it without becoming judgmental and self-righteousness? When is it okay to be angry at someone’s repeated bad behavior or at my own bad behavior and when have I crossed the line into needing to mind my own business and self-condemnation? Or is anger okay at all ever? I mean, is their life any of my concern? And why am I being so hard them and myself?

As you can see my mind was spinning with questions.

Well, the day passed me by and my anger subsided. Life has a way of keeping you so busy that you don’t have time to “stew” for long. It hadn’t totally left my mind, but it wasn’t on my mind either, if you know what I mean. I went to work, visited my daughter in Mobile and felt very fulfilled by the time I arrived home later that evening.

Then my husband checked the mail.

You know I used to love the mail, but these days it doesn’t bring a lot of good news. It’s either bills, junk mail or a letter telling you bad news. In this case it was bad news. Well, that just set me off again. I was mad at a person, upset with a situation and downright sick of feeling angry.

And I was feeling sick of myself too.

anger-inside-out

My mom used to tell me when I would vent to her that so often it wasn’t the big crises in life that drove us crazy, we could handle a tough spot for a time with help and strength from the Lord. But, it was all the little things that could send one over the edge. She would reference a Bible verse about the “little foxes” and I would shake my head and agree, having no idea what scripture she was talking about. But, it always seemed to fit the situation. Well, today I decided to look up the verse.

Song of Solomon 2:15

“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

I think my mom might’ve been brilliant.

Isn’t that the truth? There are seasons of my life, like right now, that it seems like one little thing after another happens. None of them are really a big deal in and of themselves, but after being accosted with enough frustrations, it all begins to feel big. And then the “letter” comes in the mail and suddenly we just can’t take another “little fox.” Not one more small frustration.

Explosion; well, that’s how it works for me.

Then I rant and vent and basically jeopardize my salvation in an effort to release the anger that has built up within me. Then I have guilt for my outburst and wonder when in the world I will handle my emotions better? It reminds me of Paul when he says in Romans that he does what he hates.

Romans 7:15

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.”

The longer I live on this planet, the more I understand what he is saying here. And I feel better after I read it because Paul was pretty much a super Christian and he still struggled with doing the right thing. Which is exactly what I was alluding to earlier, what is the right thing? I know having a temper tantrum is not okay, but is it okay to feel anger, and not the righteous kind? I am hardly the person to be answering this question, but it has been surfacing in my mind and heart a lot lately as I encounter one thing after another, I need to find some peace with what I am feeling.

I decided to look up some verses on anger, mostly to ease my conscience and make me feel justified in my behavior. When will I learn that it never goes that way for me? I did learn some things and I’m going to share with you some of what I discovered. Beware; there could be a guilty conscience on the horizon for you if you are anything like me…

We’ll start with Ephesians 4:26-31

“’In your anger do not sin’”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

I am not sure how that made you feel, but I feel that I need to confess, and maybe wash my mouth out with soap. Looking for something a little brighter, I pressed on.

anger 5

James 1:19-20

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

This one seems a little more manageable. Be quick to listen, I can definitely do that, slow to speak might take some work but I think with some practice I could handle it. Feeling a little more encouraged, I read some more.

Proverbs 29:11

“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”

Well, this verse suddenly made me think of every single time I whined to my husband and said “I just need to vent.”   I can tell you from experience that it does not bring “calm in the end” to allow your mouth to run with no restraint. It will most likely ignite the situation even more. Kind of like the time my darling husband put too much lighter fluid on the charcoal when we were going to cook on the grill. He lit the charcoal and walked in the house to prepare the meat thinking the coals would burn down to just the right temperature for slow cooking tender meat. But, when he went back outside to check the flame, it was roaring so high that it had melted and warped the carport ceiling directly above it.

Adding a little too much made what was supposed to be a gentle burn into a flame worthy of the respect of any decent fire fighter.

The right amount of the lighter fluid would’ve brought about the desired result and in the end, tasty hamburgers. But, too much made us lose our appetite and say prayers of thanks that the house did not burn down. To me, that’s what this verse is saying, allowing full vent to my rage is like adding too much lighter fluid, just don’t do it.

You’ll get burnt, or you’ll burn somebody.

James 4:1-2

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.”

So, this is the one that really hit home with me. After reading it, I began to really check my motives. So many times I am angry because I did not get my way or because someone did not do what I think they should’ve. I try to convince myself that my motives are good, but, honestly most of the time my anger comes from a place of thinking I know what is best. I can try to mask it, but in my most vulnerable moments I know that I’m being selfish or maybe a know it all.

That is a painful discovery and confession.

So, after reading all of these verses (and many more) I am convinced that is okay to be angry, but it is how I handle my anger that makes all the difference. My “venting” may just be nothing more than fuel to the flame; it may not be helping like I try to convince myself it is. If I really take all of the advice listed in these few verses, I will be a lot less likely to give myself a “pass” in my stewing.   It’s a tricky subject and I don’t pretend to offer well-meaning advice on how to handle it, but I do offer you the Word in hopes that it will help. I know it has helped me.

Balance is what I was seeking in all of this. Trying to figure out what the Bible says about my frustrations and how to handle them. I think I have my answer; it is in a verse that I’m going to keep very close to my heart for a while as I work through all of these little issues.

I don’t want to be angry all the time and Lord knows life’s frustrations aren’t going to just vanish.

Proverbs 15:1

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

I think I’m going to go looking for a little fox trap. I’ve had about enough of all of their annoying behavior. (And maybe a bar of soap, too.)

anger 6

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Pray

My emotions are all over the place today. I am thankful, frustrated, on the verge of tears, overwhelmed, but mostly thankful. Thankful for family, cookouts, God’s protection and a good laugh. We had a wonderful Father’s day filled with those who live near and college aged kids who drove home. We laughed until we had tears in our eyes telling stories with the dramatic flair some people might think was over the top. We can’t help it, it’s a part of our make-up, our DNA.

dad & guys

The day before we were to celebrate Fatherhood and family, we weren’t in the mood for laughing, maybe that’s what made our time together so sweet.

We were driving to meet our oldest child, and only daughter, in Gulf Shores to run in a 5k where the money raised went to help a charity that supports ARC. I love being a part of events that support a good cause. It was very early when we got up, four AM to be exact. We dressed while it was still dark outside and left the house before the sun was up; early mornings are not my favorite, but for some reason my life seems full of them. I’m pretty sure the Lord is trying to teach me something by getting me up early each day. Apparently I haven’t learned that lesson yet because I keep having to get up before the sun.

Wish I was a quick study!

As we were picking our way along through winding country roads, my phone rang. The picture that popped up on the screen told me that it was my daughter. If I hadn’t been distracted by the hour and having reception in the boonies, I would’ve wondered why she was calling. We’d already talked and nailed down the “plan” for finding each other when we got to the race and normally she wouldn’t have called again.   But, because I was distracted, I answered the phone somewhat cheerful, not expecting to hear what was on the other end of the line.

You know there really is no way to adequately describe the feelings that grip your heart when you know your child is in trouble. The earth and all of its demands and noise seem to fade into the background, the sound of their voice and the words they are speaking come into clear focus and that’s the only thing that matters in that moment.

It reminds me of a long night a few weeks back when my son called me after he’d misjudged a curve in the road and he found himself in a pasture. He was in the middle of the country and there were no street lights, only the head lights from the car. He was emotional and shaken up from the incident, but thankfully not hurt. I sat up most of the night trying to contact a local police department to get help pulling the car out of the field. After talking to two different police departments and receiving texts from my son simultaneously, I was relieved when he texted that a young guy driving by in a pick-up truck offered to pull him out. Later we learned that he went through a ditch, a barbed wire fence and metal stakes before landing in the pasture.

I didn’t fall asleep until he was home hours later.

With such little sleep, the day was sure to be a long one, but I kept reminding myself that it could have been so much worse. When I walked by his room the next morning headed to work, I could see his hair sticking out from the top of the covers and my eyes filled with tears. I know it could have gone very differently for me, I could have been sitting in a hospital room somewhere, but instead I left my house groggy and thanking God for that tuft of hair.

He was home, safe and sound; everything else seemed small in comparison.

Christian

I could hear the fear in my daughter’s voice, I knew immediately something was the matter. All the air left my lungs. I don’t remember the exact wording of the conversation, but I know it went something like this…

“Hello”

“Momma, I hit a car.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine, but it did some damage, what do I do now?”

“Where are you?”

“I’m sitting on the side of the interstate.”

“You need to call the police and get your insurance card and driver’s license ready.”

“Yes, ma’am, I’ll check with the other driver and call you back.”

I could hear the tears in her voice, my heart was so heavy, I wanted so badly to help but I was at least an hour from where she was sitting on the side of the road. All the recent memories of my son being stranded in the middle of the night crowded into my heart and I came face to face with my limitations, my inability to do ANYTHING to make a difference.   Old fears, the loss of my mother, the darkness of the unknown, they all felt like giants that had been looming in the corners of my heart, waiting for a chance to pounce and they came running at me all at once.

I was so afraid.

Sometimes I feel that I’m holding all this fear at bay until something happens that opens the door and I’m struck with my mortality and how vulnerable I really am. Like I am fooling myself to think that I could live a fearless life. I rebuke myself over and over, but I still fight the battle against fear almost daily.

After I hung up the phone with my daughter, and my fears felt as if they would completely consume me, a thought calmed my heart.

Pray.

Of course, pray, pray and pray some more. I am so grateful in moments like that the Lord hears even our weakest and smallest cries.  He knows our hearts and he knows what we are able to bear and He comes to the rescue. I think my prayer must’ve sounded something like this…

“Lord, I can’t be there, but I know YOU are already there, please be close to her, may she feel your presence and give her a sound mind so she can talk to the police. Thank you so much for no injuries, I am so grateful. Amen”

There wasn’t much in my heart that moment besides fear, and I found myself remembering that’s exactly how it was the night my son ran off the road. There wasn’t much left to give then either, the only thing on my mind was safety and survival.   But, with the simple whisper of the word “pray” I was reminded that God IS there already and he hears the cry of my heart before I even utter a word.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

Thankfully, my oldest was fine. She gave her statement to the police, navigated safely to our meeting place and even managed to run half the race. She was still shaken up from the ordeal, but God was the strength she needed exactly when she needed it.

Oh, and a big thanks to the guy in the limo golf cart that gave her a ride to catch up to the rest of the runners, that was an unexpected blessing.

You just never know what a day is going to hold or what you may have to face. I am more aware of this with each sunrise and sunset. The Lord knows what’s ahead and I want to continue to lean closer into Him. He is our sustaining strength and our “calmer of nerves.”   He gives us words when we need them and courage to face another minute.

Some things in life just take longer to work through than others, like fears. I don’t know if you ever really become fearless as much as you learn where to turn when the fears start to rush in. I do think seeing God work and knowing He will take care of our troubles makes us rest easy at night, but that comes after we’ve lived through some “stuff.”

It takes time.

Well, we just got one car out of the shop and it looks like we will need parts for another. But, like my daddy always says, “it’s just stuff and you can replace it, it’s the people that matter.”

Abbie & Jeff 

 

 

This passage is a personal favorite…

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—     where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,     the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—     he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel     will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—     the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,     nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—     he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going     both now and forevermore.

Immeasurably More

I am definitely at a crossroads in my life, or that’s how I feel anyway. I took the time to look up what the word “crossroads” means and I think I am the living definition.

“The noun crossroads is great for describing a point in your life when you have to make an important decision, like when you need to choose whether to attend college or backpack across Asia. Though a literal definition of crossroads might be something like “the point where two roads meet” it is more often used in a figurative way, to mean a situation that requires some important choice must be made ” (Vocabulary.com)

Well, I am not getting ready to go to college and I have no desire to backpack across Asia, but I do feel like I am at a juncture of what WAS, what IS and what WILL BE.

my three kids

I am no longer the mom of children, I have a teen and young adults. They are mostly self-sufficient and require little from me; and I am beginning to wonder what my purpose is. What is supposed to happen now? I am not needed in the same ways I used to be needed and sometimes, with two trying their best to forge their own way in life, I struggle with feeling unwanted. Where do I fit in to all of this change?

This is an unsettling season.

I talk to other parents who are either empty nesters or all of their children are still bustling around their home and I get many answers ranging from utter joy to surrender and chaos.

I miss the chaos.

I miss being needed for everything and nothing. Yes, I know I complained about it at the time, but I didn’t mean it. It felt good way down deep inside to be the only one who could meet the demands of my little ones. To be the one they wanted when something went wrong. To be the one they looked to when life seemed scary; to wipe the tears and share in the thrill and joys of discovery.

I loved being that person.

Christian and Travis

And now, here I sit on a lazy afternoon wondering where the time went. Watching Hallmark channel, writing to you and feeling forlorn. No one needs me right now, not physically anyway. Don’t worry, I understand the importance of a mother in one’s life, I’m not saying that I am no longer necessary, I’m just not needed like I used to be. Maybe I’m having pity party; maybe it’s more of a slow revelation, whatever, it’s hard.

That’s what was.

I’ve been to two weddings so far this summer and my niece is getting married at the end of the year. One wedding was on the beach, it was a lovely affair. The other in a more rustic setting with a beautifully decorated barn for the reception. It was charming. My niece will say “I do” in a church building and we are already talking about white lights and everything sparkly. All of this wedding talk has me on an emotional roller coaster flying through all sorts of feelings at warp speed. Laughing one minute, crying the next, anticipating milestones on the top of one hill, wishing time would stop on the bottom of another. How can it already be time to talk about weddings?

Life is changing, moving, growing all around me, and I’m holding on for dear life.

This morning my youngest left for what will be a total of three weeks to be a camper and a camp counselor. As he was backing out of the driveway I just kept thinking, “How can he be old enough to do this?” And yet, there I stood at the end of the driveway in my unsightly housecoat and red slippers waving as he sped on his way. I felt like running after him and going with him, but I know the time has come to let him go. Not just to let him go, but to encourage him to go and live the great adventure God has for him.

But, I am selfish and I don’t want him to leave.

In the name of Jesus I can do hard things

I recently had a discussion with my twenty year old son about some tough changes he was going through. He has such wisdom to be so young. One thing he is adamant about is appreciating and even celebrating the person God made you to be and not finding your identity in another person, career choice, money or anything else. After a lengthy heart to heart about his current situation, the Lord spoke so quietly to my heart that I had to lean way in to hear Him. Something my son said resonated inside of me. But it took until the next day for me to put all the pieces together.

“That’s what you’re doing,” the Lord spoke into my heart.

“What, Father, what am I doing?”

“You’re finding your identity in your children, in a season of life that is coming to an end for you.”

“Well, Lord, I’ve loved being a mommy and I’m not sure what to do with myself now that they are leaving the nest. I am afraid and I feel lonely. What if no one needs me? What if I am forgotten about? What do I do with my time? What if…?”

So many questions come to my mind; so many uncertainties. I have no idea what life is going to look like for me in the very near future and honestly, I loved the season I was in. The loss of it is something I need to grieve. I want to be careful not to LIVE in my grief, but I don’t want ignore it either.

I know what sorrow is.

I have stumbled down the dark road of loss and I understand exactly how it feels. But, I have also felt the sweet presence of joy in the midst of it. Like the taste of salty tears on the lips of a heartfelt smile, joy and sorrow, they can coexist.

That’s what is.

Christian in Patriotic sunglasses

I have more. I felt these words as an impression that my sweet Savior deposited into my heart.  There is more. When my children have all moved out one by one and each one has forged their own way, I will be living in the “more.” I am holding on to that truth with both hands.

I am left thinking about a verse I read in my Bible study earlier, Ephesians 3:20 communicates it so beautifully.

Now to him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

After reading this verse, my mind quickly grabbed onto the phrase “immeasurably more.” What in the world must that mean? For the God of ALL creation to say “I can do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine” is one of the most exciting thoughts I’ve had in a while. I’m not sure I’ve really wrapped my mind around what that could mean, but I’m going to spend some time trying. I’m not thinking about the THINGS He might be willing to give me; I want my heart to long for MORE of HIM.

HE is the real satisfier of our longings.

I no longer want to find my identity in the abundance of my life. As wonderful as it all is, it will never keep me supplied with what I really need. So, I will take the advice of my twenty year old and look to heaven and within to find my identity, my hope, my joy and, yes, even my sorrow. All of it together makes me, ME.

My life season should not define me.

And I am going to take Ephesians 3:20 to heart and pray for the immeasurably more in these changing days of life.

I know this will be a process. It will take time, and these days it seems like I have more of that on my hands.

That’s what’s to come.

Ephesians 3.20

 

#immeasurablymore

Reminiscing

Today my dad and I had a good laugh while sipping diet coke and eating ham sandwiches. We were discussing the different types of cars we’ve driven over the years. There were some doozies! First, you have to know my dad to really appreciate what I am about to tell you.  He loves cars, all shapes and sizes, most makes and models; he finds something he can appreciate about any of them. But, just like many of us, when he was a young man he didn’t have enough money to support his car addiction.

So, he improvised.

It’s an ongoing family joke.

Let me explain.

When I was just a little girl my mom used to tell us about different vehicles my dad owned and sold. He would buy “fixer uppers,” repair them, and then sell them for a pittance; never really getting out of them what they were worth. It was just fun to buy, tinker around and sell. He never seemed to have any real attachment to any particular car, at least not to my knowledge or remembrance. Not so for my mom, she was overly attached to many of the cars they owned, with only a few exceptions. I don’t think she ever really forgave him for selling the car of her dreams. It was a red 1962 Impala convertible, perfect in every way.

And according to her, he sold it for “peanuts.”

I don’t remember many of these cars, but the few I do remember send me into side-stitching laughter as I reminisce.

I love when my sisters and I get into conversations with my dad about the different types of mayhem on wheels that we were subjected to over the years. It’s a wonder that we’re still alive today. We always ask him, “why, daddy, why?”   For example “why did you buy an AMC Pacer?” Do any of you remember those? I’m pretty sure we were one of about two hundred families in the WHOLE of America that ever had one.   Let me share with you a quote that I found regarding the Pacer.

“ABC’s World’s 15 Ugliest Cars.”

(Our little beauty hit the list at an unsurprising number 8.)

“When the AMC Pacer came out in 1975 it was the toast of the automotive press, which called it “futuristic,” “bold” and “unique.” AMC even produced an electric version to respond to the gasoline crisis of the 1970s. But over time, what seemed futuristic started to look downright strange, and the Pacer’s unorthodox looks fell out of favor. In the last few years, car collectors have come back to it, but not enough for the Pacer to escape the gravitational pull of our ugliest list.”

It was like a fish bowl on wheels.

This isn’t even to mention the safety hazard, the whole thing probably had only a few pounds of metal and the rest was glass. I remember sitting in the back seat flanked by my two sisters sweltering as the sun pierced through the windows turning them into giant magnifying glasses. We would sweat and whine and slide around on the vinyl seat as we chugged through town. And, of course, it had no power steering and the air conditioning barely worked. What was AMC thinking when they made this “unique” car available?

What was my dad thinking when he bought it?

Of course, to hear him tell it, he got a deal! I bet he did, and I bet the guy who sold it to him was thrilled to pass this “beauty” on to the next unsuspecting stranger. Poor momma, she drove, well wrestled the steering wheel of that car for a while until my dad came home with the next great find.

A sports conversion van.

 

Oh, you didn’t know they made vans in a sports model? Well, we didn’t either until daddy brought one home. It was baby blue with a fin on the back. The upholstery was plush blue velvet on the ONE seat it housed. Yes, I said one. I have two sisters. Our first thought was, “where do we sit?” Not to worry though, because he had already thought of a solution.

Lawn chairs.

Yes, metal lawn chairs. Not the newer chairs that you see at ball parks that you can fold up and put into a handy bag and sling over your shoulder. Oh no, the old fashioned kind made of tin and woven plastic.    So, as I remember it, at any stop or tap of the brakes the chairs would slide on the bare metal floor, being unattached and all, and begin to fold forward into their collapsed position. I sometimes wonder what we must’ve looked like, with our heads folded between our knees.

I guess we were prepared for a crash anyway.

If any turns were made, the chairs would fly one direction or the other. We braced ourselves the best we could, but inevitably we would be folded up, only this time we tipped on our side first. If only we had this all on camera today, it would be a YouTube sensation, I’m sure. But, not to worry, we were never injured in any way.

It just made for some harrowing experiences.

Some of you may read this and be horrified, but remember, it was a different day. Seat belts weren’t even required then and car seats were in their embryonic stage. Honestly, we didn’t think much about it at the time. We just got in and “held on.” As you can imagine that van didn’t last too long, mom wasn’t having it. It was then I think that dad finally brought home a 1984 or 85 Ford LTD. It was black on the outside and inside. My dad loved this car. It actually had air that worked most of the time, and he made sure it stayed washed and cleaned out. He was so proud of this car and it was such a blessing for mom to have power steering and for the three of us to have room in the back seat. Finally a car that suited our family, it was then that daddy brought home the Ford Ranger.

But, this time we were feeling pretty good about it because the Ranger was intended as a second vehicle instead of the family car.

This was a decent little truck; the only drawback was it was a standard shift. Not just any standard shift, but a testy one. You know the kind, they make you pray harder and say things you have to apologize for later. I learned how to drive in that little banged up red truck. It held a lot of great memories of my youth. I cannot even begin to count the red lights where I stalled, or how many hills I sat on waiting for a green light, revving the engine the whole time so I wouldn’t roll into the car behind me.

I learned a lot from that little red truck.

Daddy settled down some in my later years, I could tell you many stories of pushing vehicles off the road when they quit running; we were a pretty good team of “pushers” by the time I was a tween-ager. Or how many times we had to wait for him to get a car started before we could leave the house, seeing my dad lying under a car tinkering with the motor was a common sight to me. You know, honestly, I thought cars always overheated if they were left running for a while, I was an adult before I realized that not everybody’s cars had issues like ours.

It was a revelation.

Daddy and I laughed so hard as we ate today, such funny memories. There are so many, there’s no way I could write them all. We all have a story to tell, a past we think about and wonder “what were we thinking?”

All those memories add up to our journey, our history, our truth and it’s why we are who we are today.

I bet many of you could tell some fun stories about your parents and maybe your kids could tell some funny stories about you. All of our life stories interlace with one another. God uses each and every one to refine us and make us better. Sometimes we may feel the heat of another’s choices, just like sitting in the back seat of the Pacer my daddy bought. We didn’t have a lot of choice, we just felt the heat. But, it has certainly given our family a lot of laughs these days.

It all worked out and we all lived to tell about it.

Whatever it is you’re facing or whomever is making your life difficult, you’ll make it too. Just hang in there, these things are for a season and maybe one day, when all is said and done, they’ll make a great memory.

These days’ daddy drives a nicer car, but he still has an old pickup truck with a gazillion miles on it. He loves that old thing and honestly, if cars can love, it loves him too. Lots of memories ride along beside him in the worn out old front seat, it wraps him up like an old blanket when he climbs in.

It just wouldn’t be daddy if he didn’t have something he was tinkering on or riding around on a wing and a prayer in. That’s just who he is and I wouldn’t change him, he’s given me so many great stories to tell.

I mean, how many people had the chance to ride around in the eighth ugliest car of ALL time?

And, by the way, he has a boat now that he spends his spare time “fixing,” it quit out on the river a while back, imagine that?! I’ll have to tell you that story sometime.