Wednesday, January 26, 2011

car keys

My keys, with the BRAND NEW car key prominently displayed!

OK, Here's the end of the story, that began here. on Monday morning, I trucked downtown, on icy streets, I might add, and in my Mom's car to talk to the guy at the key place. When I walked in, he asked if that was my car in the lot, and I said yes and laid down my car key on the counter. He said, "Well, you don't even need to tell me what happened. I can tell just by looking at the key." And he proceeded to tell me exactly what happened over the weekend. He then said that they would take the entire ignition out of the car, and remove {something} that had worn down, and replace it with {something} that would not catch on the key anymore. Like my grasp of the technical jargon??? And, oh, by the way, my driver's side door is going to be the next to go because it is the next most used lock. And then the trunk. So I asked him to cut a new key while they were at it so I had a fresh key to work with from now on.

I handed over the keys, and he said he would call me when it was fixed.

I headed mom's car toward home, at a rather leisurely pace, and stopped close to my house to replace some of the gas I had used over the past couple days I had driven her car. As I neared my house, the phone rang, and it was the lock place - they were all done!

Mom and I headed back downtown and picked up my now working car. Turning that car key was the most blissful thing I had done in a long time. And the kicker: the whole deal only cost me $71. Amazing!

Lesson: Don't give in to the knee-jerk reaction of freaking out when something happens to your car. Or when something happens in general.

Lesson: Ask people who are knowledgeable and see what they recommend, instead of imagining the worst. God put people in your life for a reason.

Lesson: Lean not on your own understanding, ESPECIALLY when it comes to cars or other technical matters.

Lesson: Be grateful. I am SO grateful for my parents, and their help. For so long, I lived 3000 miles away from any family, and got very used to being self-sufficient in almost everything. I am grateful that I have a loving supportive family that graciously helped in whatever I needed.

Here's to learning what you can in every situation, and for God's grace in my life, making me teachable and flexible. And to not freaking out next time...

Saturday, January 22, 2011


My facebook status update from 2 minutes ago: cannot even deal with a broken car right now...

This whole thought of dealing with my car that won't start is really stressing me out. It's not the battery, or anything else engine-wise - it's that the key physically won't turn. I fiddled with the steering wheel and got it to turn once, but then I got to church and parked it. As soon as I took the key out, that was it. No more turney-key.

So I am home, safe and warm, but with my mom's car in my garage instead of mine. Mine is still at the church.

Yes, yes, I know that car troubles are not the end of the world, but it just feels like that right now. It makes me all stressy and unpleasant.

The upside of this is that my parents live here in town, and came to my rescue. Dad came and picked me up, mom let me borrow her car, and they are going to help me tomorrow when I try and get it started with a different key, and hopefully drive it down to the lock place with me. Otherwise, I will have to get it towed there.


Really, in the big scheme of life, this car thing is not the end of the world. My parents are helping me willingly with getting it fixed; I am safe and warm at home; I AM able to take off on Monday if I need to deal with it then.

I just need to get some perspective, and talk myself into NOT having a panic attack over nothing. To be able to deal without losing my cool. As if I had any cool to begin with...

I subscribe to (in)courage by e-mail. (in)courage is a blog written by a group of christian women, and I love reading them. There always seems to be something pertinent and timely on there, and I get an e-mail each day with the day's message. Today, as I came home all twitterpated over this car thing, I opened up the (in)courage e-mail, and Mindy Carlettini had written about her 10 year anniversary as a follower of Christ, but this happened to also be her 10 year anniversary of being off narcotics. She was pondering the times when she could escape reality by getting high, and she said that she didn't tell anyone this for a long time. Finally she talked to her husband about it, and realized that she didn't really want to go back to that escape like she thought she did. And then she writes:

"The difference now though is that when the storms of life come, when I turn to my father in Heaven, I don’t feel the need to escape from reality.  God’s love gives me strength and a confidence that I never could have imagined.  He gives me the will and the desire to keep on going.  He reminds me that He loves me with a love that is so huge and so encompassing that I don’t need to get high when everything around me seems to be spinning out of control. He gives me peace.
I am so thankful for the ways my father loves me.  I am so thankful for the ways He is healing me and transforming me.  I am so thankful for His spirit that is always with me and I am never alone."

Yes, I realize that her experience is very different than my car thing, but it still applies. I AM thankful that my Father loves me, even when I am stressing over my car. I have unimaginable peace, knowing that He even cares about the things that otherwise seem insignificant. I can turn my eyes toward Jesus, instead of having my eyes on the rear view mirror in worry.

So, I am praying that He will heal my car, using the guys at the key place. And I'm praying that He will give me peace in the middle of the key situation. And I'm thankful that God heals in  big ways (broken lives) and in little ways (broken cars).

You should check them out:

Thursday, January 13, 2011


My front step was clean.

Recently, we had some snow. Since the temperature sat below freezing for a couple days, the snow never melted. My front step was covered in snow, except the small area that I shovelled so I could get out to my garage and get to work.

Today when I came home, the sun had come out and melted the days old snow on my front step.

My front step is now clean.

As I unlocked the door and headed inside, a brief thought flitted through my brain: this is kind of like how God works in our hearts. He shines the sun on us, and it gently sweeps away the stuff that we have left sitting around our lives for the past who knows how long. As welcome as my clean front step was, it was beautiful to see a picture of how God works. And amazing to think that He can sweep away the junk that we hold on to, the stuff that we cover ourselves in. The blanket of snow that has hung around for the past week.

Just was thinking about that heartening picture, and how happy He must be when we can open our hearts up to Him. When the snow is gone.

Here's to letting Him clean up a little.

Friday, January 7, 2011

on joy

This is my hand.

Yes, that is the word "joy" written on it in sharpie. It is a little faded, because I took the picture in the evening, and I wash my hands a bajillion times a day. But God bless the sharpie, it hung in there all day.

I had a lot of joy over Christmas break - 2 weeks off school is sure to bring joy every time! But on Monday morning in staff meeting, my principal was talking about having joy. Being joy-full. If we are joyful in our teaching, then the kids learning will be joyful. The atmosphere of our whole school can change, if we approach everything with joy.

I was thinking about this as I started teaching Tuesday morning, and just on a whim wrote the word "joy" on my hand. All day, as I was teaching, talking and waving my hand around in the normal course of a day, I often saw that word on my hand and thought about being joyful, and having joy in my teaching. It really did make a difference.

Just wanted to share my joy with you, and encourage you to be joy-full. To have joy in everything you do.
Joy has made for a great week back to school.