Life as it Comes Podcast #34 | Chinese Fire Drill

Chinese Fire Drill

 

A humorous podcast about life.

Sometimes you just need to throw caution to the wind on a dark, rainy night and try something a little daring. Chinese Fire Drill anyone? Around an old blue VW bug! Everything is going good until shortly thereafter, revolving lights are noticed in the rear view mirror.

 

Listen to this humorous story podcast by clicking on the triangle play button on either of the below players.

 

Join the Discussion: Chinese Fire Drill Anyone? Have you done one?

Need another smile or story? Listen to earlier episodes here . . .

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Yay for Mistakes! Part 7 | Mistaking Paradise

 

Why do we search so hard for and dream about a mistake free day? The perfect day? 24 hours in paradise?

I know I would never turn down a day that was encircled by a mistake-free-zone. Where the mistakes and foibles of others and myself had no influence or effect on my current day. Had no tendrils that reached into the next day and the next.

Many of us have searched for this mistake free zone, thinking it was attainable. We have tried to control ourselves, others, circumstances, and our environment. After we fail over and over to reach this place of mistake-free perfection, we eventually change our perceptions and rules to a little more humanly possible and start calling ourselves “recovering perfectionists.”

Yet the ache is still there. This ache for utopia. And we find ourselves at times caught in the middle of a fight to control everything within reaching distance.

But is utopia the best place for us to reside?

Would Utopia benefit us and others?

What if God wants us to live in this messy, unpredictable, mistake filled world because it is the best place for us? What if this environment teaches us more about our self? Our neighbor? Our Creator? What if it gives us opportunities to apply the fruits of the holy spirit more often? Grow in grace and unconditional love? Test and grow our character and morals and shape us in ways paradise never would?

We all want to know the future, or at least not make mistakes in our choices. Ideally, we would chart a straight course and arrive at the other end without speed bumps, detours, or washed out bridges.

BUT: What if those detours are there to help strengthen our faith, mold our character, and positively impact us and others?

We all want to know the correct choice when it comes to the future, our employment, choosing our soul mate, what house to buy, where to live, how many children and dogs to acquire.

BUT: What if we are supposed to live in this unpredictable and multi-choice world so that we learn to trust God and not our self? What if it is more important how we react to and deal with our choices, then our choices them self?

We all want the perfectly clean and photograph ready house at all times (or at least for a few hours after we put forth effort upon it), a fairy tale wedding with no hic-cups or problems larger than an unsmiling flower girl during pictures, and a dinner party that flows as smoothly as ball bearings in a wheel.

BUT: What if our messy house is supposed to remind us of our humanness and messy heart? What if those imperfect events are really more enjoyable and memorable for our guests, and even puts them more at ease, than the perfection we were shooting for? What if our not-so-perfect events highlight our vulnerability and make us more relatable with others so we can create community?

We want to go through a day without making a mistake. A day without forgetting to fill the car with gas; blurting out that pregnancy secret we promised to keep under wraps; or calling the dog over and over again, only to realize we were calling our youngest child to the dog food bowl.

BUT: What if we are supposed to live in a land riddled with mistakes, ours and others, so we learn to better love, serve, and hand out grace to our self and others? What if we are to learn and grow from our mistakes and see them as part of being human and a necessary part of this life? What if they are to ultimately point us back to our Creator or help us connect with others on a deeper level when we can be vulnerable and truthful about our mistakes?

We want our children to limit their mistakes to small things. Maybe forgetting to tie their shoes before heading to school. Misreading the clock at bedtime. Blurting out the wrong answer in class. Not putting on clean underwear.

BUT: What if our children and their mistakes are supposed to teach us to quit trying to be so controlling, to not shame and blame, and to instead develop unconditional love? What if they are to remind us of our parent/child relationship with our heavenly Father? What if they are to teach us patience and assist us in encouraging and training our children, instead of judging and whittling away their worth? What if they are as big a learning experiences for us as they are for our children?

Who doesn’t want a perfect mate? Someone who reads our minds. Remembers our anniversary and birthday. Hears us the first time we say something, instead of the fifteenth. Someone who remembers, without two text reminder messages, to stop and get milk on the way home and then later fix the bathroom sink.

BUT: What if our mate’s mistakes are meant to knit us together into one, or are meant as windows into our heart where we can pour out compassion, grace, and unconditional love to the bone of our bone? What if they are opportunities for growth and trusting? Opportunities to practice forgiveness. What if they are meant as promoters of laughter and down the road humor?

We all have this ache for utopia. For perfection. For a permanent mistake-free-zone.

It is dwelling deep in us and knit into our hearts.

But we need to realize it can never be achieved in this world. Or in our life time.

That ache is there so we look forward to our next life in a perfect city and a remade and perfected world where there are no tears, death, and no mistakes.

That ache is there so we connect and form a relationship with God and then long to be with Him in the future. Because if we were able to create utopia now, what need would we have for God?

Now that is a sobering thought!

For now, we live in this wild and wacky world of humans and unpredictability. Let’s embrace it. See it as the gift it is. Because if we look at things a bit differently, our mistakes and imperfection provide a wonderful opportunity for us to grow, learn, and connect. Not only with each other, but also our Creator.

Join the Discussion: Where do you think the best place for us to live is?

Earlier posts in this series:
Yay for Mistakes! Part 1; What Do You Do?
Yay for Mistakes! Part 2; How to Respond to Mistakes
Yay for Mistakes! Part 3; Responding to Our Children’s Mistakes
Yay for Mistakes! Part 4: How to Let Our Children Make Mistakes and Fail
Yay for Mistakes! Part 5; Quieting a Myth of Mistakes
Yay for Mistakes! Part 6; Mistaking Our Worth

Accompanying this series, Life as it Comes, a story podcast, takes a humorous look at making mistakes in episode 31, “Have You Pulled a Theresa?” and episode 33, True Green and Garage Chaos.

 


Linking up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart).  A Wise Woman Builds her Home, Pat and Candy, Messy Marriage, and Blogger’s Pit Stop.

Offering Hope to the Interrupted Mom

It’s one of those days.

Interruptions abound.

They just won’t leave me alone.

Claire, stops by to pick up her large green parrot who I’ve been babysitting for three weeks and whose cage I frantically cleaned this morning. She chats and plays with her bird. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, take him home and let me get back to the numerous projects on my to-do list.

A charity calls, asking for a donation. “Don’t you want to be one of those people who help a dying child’s dream come true?” I mumble yes. “Great, I’ll connect you with Joanne who will go over your information.” I clutch the phone, rolling my eyes, feeling guilty that I am so impatient, when dying children are waiting for their dreams.

Interruptions keep snagging my progress. At 3:00 pm I glimpse hope. Another hour and my current project will be completed. The phone rings. I force cheerfulness. It’s my husband. He asks what’s going on? I want to tell him nothing now that I am standing in the middle of the room talking to him instead of working, but instead I manage, “Not much.”

“I’ll be home in ten minutes for a walk,” he says.

He asks about my day as he grabs his tennis shoes and white ankle socks.

I let my frustration for all the interruptions of the day ooze out and suck away my joy at him coming home early to walk on this rare winter day in January with a temperature of 60 degrees. He listens as we walk through the garage and out to the street. And then he starts. “Maybe you need to manage your time better. You could have told Claire to leave sooner and not answered the phone.”

I sputter. “Should I be rude to guests?”

“Stop it,” I say, hearing my complaining and not liking it but too caught up in the moment. It is like eating potato chips. I know I should stop taking another handful and another handful and I keep telling myself to put the bag down, but my hand reaches into the greasy bottom to grab a few more chips.

Truth was, I felt inconvenienced by him coming home and wanting my attention and I wanted to gripe and inconvenience him a little. Alert him to the fact that I was changing my schedule to accommodate him. Where was his gratefulness? I also wanted him to sympathize with me, not parcel out advice.

I take a few steps, simmering, my blood rising to almost a low boil. Then he points out a white growling bundle of fur and suddenly we are both laughing at the pixie dog named Rocky who thinks he’s on the same par as an attack Doberman. I relax and breathe a deep sigh, releasing my anger, breath-by-exhale.

He grabs my hand and we walk in silence. “Stop,” I repeat. And then I take a breath of humble pie, which scratches as it fills my throat and lungs, causing pain. “I’m sorry I was so crabby and in a bad mood.”

I inhale some extremely warm winter wind and it doesn’t hurt so much this time. “You are right. I don’t have to answer the phone and I should have told Claire to come at a different time or rushed her out the door quicker,” or I think, guiltily, enjoyed the interruption. I could have offered tea and we could have chatted. Instead, I rejected the gift and became resentful.

Why do I become so focused on achieving and crossing off items on my to-do list that I miss the little gifts of life?  Is my worth so tied to accomplishing? To what I got done? And who says that these items must be done today or that I didn’t work hard enough?  Certainly, not my husband. He always says, “Oh, Theresa, it will all be there tomorrow.” And sometimes that is what I am afraid of. I will have all of today’s stuff and tomorrow’s stuff—a double list of stuff to accomplish.

Two days later I am reading a book about thankfulness and the author mentions living in the present and finding happiness and blessings in the small things. The right now and here. My heart leaps. This time with regret. I think about Curtis coming home happy to spend time with me and all I could do was gripe and complain. Can’t I be thankful that he wants to come home early? Spend time with me? Can’t I get my selfish focus off myself long enough to see things through his eyes. Rejoice in his excitement about leaving work a little early to enjoy the weather and wife.

Perspective.
That is what it is all about.
If I had stepped in his shoes and behind his eyes for a moment, I may have reacted differently.

Isn’t that how I can share a sister’s burden and pain? By crawling behind her eyes and peering out at the world and circumstances through her contact lenses? And isn’t that how I can understand God? Be thankful in all things, rejoicing, I say rejoicing—I do this by viewing things through the lens of His word—his perspective?

I bow my head in shame at my selfishness and how often I want people to move behind my eyes and beneath my skin. Why do I insist on seeing things my way–through my selfish, distorted cataracts which keep me from seeing the world, God, and those I love from their perspective?

I ponder, reflect, repent, and peace settles in.

My son interrupts my reflective thoughts. He wants me to look at his Lego boat, tell him if I think he could add anything else. Could he have some more breakfast and …?  My peace is shattered.

And then I look at my son.
I cup his soft chin, that will one day be hard with stubble and life’s responsibilities, and gaze into his eyes. His blue eyes so like his dad’s. I smile at him. His smile bursts forth, like a darting roadrunner. His mother’s lips and smile echo my smile.

“I love you so much,” I say.
And then I try to crawl into his 9-year-old skin and enjoy the moment.

 

This is my guest posting that first appeared at Christen Spratt‘s blog, where she Offers Hope for Mom’s in the Trenches.