Yesterday, I drove past a crash on a twisty country road. Twenty minutes later, I arrived at my destination and discovered I had a completely flat rear tire.
I had to call breakdown recovery, and my membership had run out. They discovered I had driven over a screw (pic). They plugged the tire, I paid for my membership and the one off call out fee which it didn't cover: £139.00. I was not expecting that.
Today, I had to buy two new rear tires (so they had equal treads). £320 unexpected quid out of my budget. I was not expecting that.
This evening, my daughter got a last minute invitation. I dashed out of the house thinking I could drop her on my way to the grocery store to buy food for dinner and pick up my son.
After I dropped her, I couldn't find my wallet. I looked under the seats, I checked the sidewalk. No shopping for me - had I lost it somewhere?? I was not expecting that.
I was so distracted worrying about the wallet, I rolled into the car in front of me at the traffic lights. In the rain, in the dark. NO. I jumped out. No major damage but he had a little girl in the car and it had given them a hard bump. I had no wallet - so I had no details. I was not expecting that.
I got to my son - late. I had kept the other mother waiting on her way to work, while I'd pranged someone else's car.
How should I respond to all this?
Oh woe is me! I'm a single mother, all the pressure is on me, all the responsibility and all the provision!
Who leaves a bloody nail on the road?
Who loses their purse?
Why can't I get it together?
It "occurred" to me last week (Holy Spirit?) that I needed to renew my breakdown recovery membership. I forgot to do it.
I drove over a nail, and only discovered it when I had arrived in the driveway of a friend.
The breakdown recovery showed up quickly and found a nail in my tire, which he could plug. I had money in my account to pay for the repair, and I got to renew my membership at the same time.
Today, I replaced my two rear tires. It was expensive, but they should last for 30,000 miles and both tires were evidently wearing thin. And today (though the expense was unexpected) I have the money.
My daughter was unexpectedly invited by a friend. A new friendship. I was able to get her there.
I mislaid my purse and rolled into another car. Mercifully no one was injured, and it woke me up to how distracted I was. Not only that but the driver - an Australian dad - was so incredibly kind to me. "It happens, don't worry. I'll call you tomorrow." He believed me, he took my phone number.
When I picked up my son, the mother who was waiting was gracious. "Here's the £5 I owe you!" she said. I had forgotten.
I had needed my wallet to buy chicken for dinner and a lightbulb for my desk. The chicken was on sale for £3.00 and when I got to the store for the lightbulb? They were reduced by 2/3 to £1.00 a box and I could get two.
£5.00 to the penny.
Here's what I think: I'm trying, but I fail. On days like today, I feel like a hot mess. I am a hot mess. But you know what? I have a saviour who loves me JUST BECAUSE.
I forget my purse.
I'm working with a budget.
I'm making mistakes.
I'm trying to be a good role model.
But what I'm really modelling is this. I'm reliant on a Saviour who knows how many holes I have in my net, and that's why He came. I'm trying hard but I've only got me to work with. And sometimes that is not too much. Without Him? I'm actually doing nothing.
God got me to the driveway.
I had the money NOW to pay for membership.
I had the money NOW to pay for tires.
I make mistakes, I rolled into the car in front of me. I was distracted. The man was gracious.
I lost my wallet. My mum friend gave me (unknowingly) the exact money I needed to feed my family and light my desk even so.
I'm home. We're safe. We're still moving forward.
God is good.
He's in the details.
He weaves the patterns of my days.
And my days are - so clearly in spite of myself - infused by grace.
When I got home, I found my wallet on the kitchen table. Where I'd left it as we ran out the door.
How do you view your life?
I view my life as the very imperfect existence of a human being in the hands of a gracious, forgiving, redemptive God.
How about you?