Romans 12:3a, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.”
Last weekend I spoke out of town at a Mother-Daughter Banquet. It was beautifully decorated. The pastor’s wife and ladies of the church had done a lot of work to make everything perfect. They had even created programs, which were on the table at each seat. Because I was the speaker, there were a few paragraphs written on the back of the program describing me and my life. On the bottom on the page was a picture of my family portrait. We were all smiling in our matching outfits.
I couldn’t resist saying to the ladies, as soon as I got up to speak, “I read my biography on the program. I can’t wait to show it to my husband! He will never believe how awesome I am!” Let me tell you, on paper, my life looks just about perfect. Though I love my life very much, I am and it is far from perfect.
I proved that point by telling a story that happened to me just recently. You see, in real life I am known as somewhat of an “I Love Lucy” type. Weird things happen to me that don’t happen to “normal” people. Such as the following story….
Every Thursday night, my husband is gone overnight on business. For some reason or another, that is precisely when all the unusual things happen to me! A few weeks ago, on a Thursday, I was away from home. One of my husband’s workers had stopped by our house to pick up a tool he needed. While he was in our yard, a neighbor (one we have not yet met), thinking this employee lived at our house, told him that our white dog was running around the neighborhood! The worker sent my husband a text. He was out-of-town, so he sent me a text, letting me know about the dog. Well, I was not going to be back home until late that night.
It was dark, cold, and rainy as I pulled into the driveway with my boys that evening. A tree cutter had come and had begun cutting down large trees in our yard earlier in the day. There were branches and logs all over the yard. But, what I noticed even more, is that our white dog, bless his soul, had gotten into our trash cans and strewn garbage EVERYWHERE! The entire yard was filled with branches and trash. And it was pouring rain. All I could do was get the kids to bed and clean up the mess in the morning.
The next morning started as “one of those days.” We were all running late. I was trying to help everyone get dressed, fed, and out the door and on-time for school. On top of that, my middle son had a dress-up day at school- fake injury day. He had wrapped a bandage around his head and another one around his knee. He dabbed ketchup on the bandage to look like blood. Best of all, he broke an arrow in half, and he actually had an arrow sticking out of his chest, looking like he had been shot. He was quite the sight!
I sent the kids to the car as I finished one last thing. I looked a fright. Hair not done. No makeup. I threw on dark sunglasses and pink rubber shoes and hoped no one would notice me as I dropped off the kids. I would zoom home and clean up the yard before the tree cutter arrived. It was just a crazy morning.
That’s when my youngest son came back inside with the announcement, “The policeman took the brothers in his car to get the dog.” What??? I raced outside. No one was there. I went to the end of the driveway and looked as far as I could see. There was a police car, a white dog running through front yards, and 2 boys chasing the dog! One of the boys had an arrow sticking out of his shirt. “Oh no. This isn’t possible,” I thought. “Why do these thing always happen to me?” And here comes the police car. It pulled up into my garbage-filled, tree-filled yard, as I stood there looking homeless in dark sunglasses and pink rubber shoes. In the back seat of the car was a wet, white dog and two boys, one of whom had a bandage on his head, and an arrow in his chest. I tried to smile.
Thank God! The policeman was so kind. He could have read me the riot act, assumed I was an unfit parent, and hauled me off the Big House. But he just smiled and told me that “these things happen all the time.” (I didn’t actually believe that.)
My boys thought it was better than Christmas to ride in the back seat of a police car! “Mom, there aren’t any handles in the back seats!” They told me that the policemen had received a call on his walkie-talkie, to which he replied, “I am assisting some adolescents in retrieving their pet.” He didn’t even mention the arrow! Miracles do exist! But imagine my horror, as they excitedly admitted that they had asked the officer to Taser their dog! Nooooooo, they didn’t! (Yes, they did.)
God has a wonderful way of keeping me humble. Even if I see my life written out beautifully on the back cover of a banquet program; even if I am a special speaker and I am given gifts and treated like royalty, the Lord knows how to keep me very, very grounded in reality.
I know that I am not “all that.” Isn’t God good? He has a great sense of humor. He knows the real me. I am a mess!!! Yet He loves me, and He never let me stray too far from away before He reminds me how much I need Him.
We all do.
Have a great week, Friends!