Ever go through periods when it seems you just can’t get a break from trying times?
Things have been really hectic and chaotic around the Hobbit House more than usual lately. For starters, my husband left one career and started another the very next day. That’s actually a beautiful thing—something that’s been made possible through many sacrifices, Godly wisdom, and trusting His perfect timing.
But it’s been quite an adjustment, to say the least. And he’s brought home everything he’d accumulated in his company vehicle and office for the last 17 years. At this point, I’d rather arm wrestle a gargoyle than try to find space for all of it. Honestly, it looks like a crime scene.
I’ve had a serious streak of craziness for about two weeks. Nearly everything in my life has been broken or is about to break or has leaked or will most likely leak in the next 30 seconds.
Allow me to share with you just a few trials, okay?
So the pipes have been making this weird noise I’ve been trying to ignore. Because everybody knows when you ignore something it goes away.
It sounds like a distant drumming noise, which seems accurate considering that lately I’ve been looking like I just stepped off the set of Jumanji.
And then I found out there were no longer brakes on my car.
Found that out while driving my kid to school.
On a major highway!
When my brake pedal sank to the floorboard and my car didn’t stop, I was abruptly reminded of that airbag light that had been blinking red at me for six months. I hadn’t thought it was all that big of a deal. Something about having no brakes AND no airbag suddenly made it seem like a very big deal!
Thankfully, God got us off of the highway safely and onto the back road to my kid’s school.
I mentally prepared for how I was going to drop him off without taking out the sixth-grade building. My best bet was to pull my SUV through an alternative circular drive that wasn’t designated for drop off. Hopefully there wouldn’t be any cars in front of me.
By this time, I was already feeling judged because I know someone is going to see what has to happen next and call DCF.
We said our prayer as we do every morning. Of course, this morning the prayer also included, “Lord, help us not take out half of the middle school.”
count it all joy when you fall into various trials…
[Note: If you’re like me and don’t respond rationally in times like this, and ever find yourself in this situation, remember (unlike I did!) there is something called an EMERGENCY BRAKE!]
“You’re gonna have to jump for it.”
His eyes widened.
“Make sure you jump clear of the vehicle. If you can, on your way out, try to slam the door shut.”
(Y’all, I’m not kiddin’. This really happened! Don’t worry; we actually weren’t going very fast at all.)
“Listen, Buddy. This is THE ONLY time IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE that you have permission to jump from a moving vehicle. Understand?”
I’m pretty sure he nodded.
“Have a good day. I love you. On your mark. Get se—“
The kid bailed!
Thankfully, he landed on his feet. By the looks of lil’ stunt man’s face, he was surprised he lived through it. He’d even managed to slam the door!
You’re probably wondering how I ever got stopped, right?
I crept down dirt roads to my dad’s house. Thankfully, he was outside. I certainly couldn’t call him and give him a heads-up because I HAD FORGOTTEN MY CELL PHONE! I coasted into the driveway and yelled as hard as I could.
“Daddy, I have no brakes!”
He ran alongside me and grabbed my side mirror—used his own 68-year-old brakes to stop me! (I see hernia surgery in his future.)
It was towed an hour away to the dealership for repairs that will likely run in the thousands. (I see the selling of a vital organ in my future.)
knowing that the testing of your faith…
A few days later, stunt boy decided to make himself toast with butter for breakfast. But there was no longer any room-temperature butter out on the counter because I may or may not have grabbed a spoon and eaten it like a pudding cup. (Although I have been known to eat it straight from the fridge like a cold Snickers. Yes, I know that in addition to a driver’s safety refresher, I need an intervention.)
But I digress…
I put on a load of wash. Then, I hurried the kid to finish making his breakfast.
He popped a cold candy bar stick of butter on a plate and nuked it for 30 seconds.
Later I saw him wiping the floor.
“Oh, I spilled some butter.”
“Dude, that won’t come up just by wiping it.”
“Sorry. I’ll mop when I get home, I promise.”
“It’s okay. Just get in the car. We’re gonna be late. Again.”
On this day, I was driving my mom’s new-used Lincoln. She had only driven it once since buying it.
I hate borrowing things, mainly because I usually break them.
My mom is in love with this car, and I am so thankful to her for letting me use it. But if my dad still had good hearing or would just go get a stinking hearing aid like we’ve begged him to for the past five years then he would’ve NEVER bought this car.
It knocks and bangs like it’s going to blow apart any minute and sounds like it’s playing a sassy rendition of Jingle Bells. But he’ll never know that!
At least it had brakes. Mini Knievel was disappointed he wouldn’t have to jump, tuck, and roll.
After returning home safely, it was time for my morning routine of Coffee with Christ. But I had so much to do that day that I rushed through my quiet time and devotional reading.
Ever catch yourself just going through the motions, overwhelmed with all there is to do, and rushing through the really important stuff?
As I put the laundry into the dryer, I noticed I was standing in a puddle of water.
After an epic rant of sorts, I vacuumed up water from carpet and set out fans to help dry. (I also see black mold in my future.)
The first service call appointment available was four days away. Seems about right, doesn’t it?
Everything around me was breaking, and I was on the verge of a breakdown. I needed a break of a different kind. Something to help me feel better.
You may or may not know by now how I self-soothe…
I keep those babies in our back patio fridge out of sight because—well, it’s similar to the whole pudding-cup-butter-thing.
Oh, joy! I guess the freeze caused one to blow up. Another mess.
I was standing in water!? Again.
The patio was flooded.
I ran back into the house through the kitchen to call my dad, and abruptly became acquainted with my newly buttered kitchen floor. (That’s gonna leave a mark!)
I successfully limped to my phone and called Dad to come help with the spewing water. (Of course, I had to yell at him three times to make him hear me!)
Next, I applied ice to my left knee while Dad fixed the pipe.
Prayed a lot. Cried a little.
Then, I got out the ridiculously expensive steam mop to clean up the butter.
It stopped working right after I turned it on. Go figure!
But let patience have its perfect work…
Got a call from the dealership. They can’t figure out what’s wrong with my car. The brakes are working fine for them. Whaaaaaa?!
They’d need to keep it a while longer to figure out the problem. By that time, it’d been over a week of driving mom’s one-horse-open-sleigh. HEY!
they finally had a loaner for me. PTL!
I’d hoped they wouldn’t give me an old clunker because I would surely expedite its destination to the junkyard!
But when they showed me a brand new loaner car with a 30k sticker on the window, I wanted an old clunker.
They had no old clunkers.
This overly-priced iron beauty looked like it required a pilot’s license to drive. And I was told something crazy—there was no ignition?!?
“Yeah, just put your foot on the brake” (Lord, I hope THESE brakes work) “and push the start button. You can just leave the keys in the console,” says Sam, Sam, the Service Man.
But how could these people have known that the ONLY time I actually know where my car keys are is when they’re in the ignition of my 10-year-old Hyundai? In fact, I only have one key left. (Apparently, I accidentally sold my spare key along with our camper three years ago.)
My abundant transparency is shattering your image of me at this very moment, isn’t it?
Lord, please don’t let me break this thing (or lose the keys that don’t even need an ignition)!
that you may be perfect…
And that, my friend, is just a smidge of what’s been going on here. Hopefully by now you’ve had a laugh or two and are feeling better about your own hectic days. Kind of like how I always feel better about my own mess after watching an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive.
And would you believe that, even as I type this, my husband just pulled his new work clothes out of the dryer and they’re covered in ink!?! See there—I told you something else would break and/or leak any second. (Right about now you’re thanking your lucky stars you don’t have direct contact with me, aren’t you?)
Know what, though?
He is still in control even when things around me are so uncontrollable.
He still loves me no matter how unlovable I feel.
He is steadfast despite my being all over the place.
He is still a God of order no matter how scatterbrained I am.
He is still on His throne even though things around me swirl in chaos.
He still sees me even when I forget to set my eyes on Him.
He is still with me even when I feel I’m fighting the world alone.
He will calm me even when all of the Coke Zeros are gone.
He is still good even on the not-so-good-feeling days.
And that’s the TRUTH.
And all these things are true for you, too, dear believer.
and complete, lacking nothing.
Oh, yeah. That devotional I sped through because I was just so busy? I took another look at it, and it was about “passing the tests,” focusing on Luke 4:1-2. Something tells me that God was trying to not only comfort me with His Words but also prepare me for the trying day (and days) ahead. And I totally missed that.
Your life been a hectic—maybe even scary—ride lately, too?
Have you also been rushing through the important stuff, gettin’ nowhere fast, and expecting your Heavenly Daddy to run alongside you?
Let’s take a break. Just hold still for a minute or two. Sit at His feet.
How ‘bout it, friend–Got brakes?
P.S. Anyone have an idea of how much a forty-something-year-old kidney with three stones goes for these days? Oh, uh, asking for a friend. 😉
I love hearing from you, so drop me a line or comment below. Like the post? I’d be ever-so-grateful if you’d share with your friends. TIA!
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