02 February 2011

sometimes we iz dum

This weekend we got to watch one of my closest college friends get married in a beautiful ceremony downtown. We got to catch up with fun friends we hadn't seen in ages. We got to eat really, really good cake. And we were pretty stoked when we found a free parking spot right across the street on a Saturday night. Reveling in the wonder of an adult night away from children that included friends, celebration and free drinks, we walked the very few steps back to our car. I think Nick even commented, "I can't believe we got such a good spot." Then I saw the ticket on the dash. I was ready to take pictures of the spot and take that ticketer to court because I had checked high and low for any signs indicating it wasn't a kosher spot. Then I read the ticket: expired tabs. Like in December. And at that point we both felt like total idiots and there wasn't much more to say.

So Monday morning Nick took "my" car - the one that is not a minivan that I use to drive the rascals around. I could live without the car for the day and would go get the tabs that afternoon when he got home. Paperwork and cash in hand, I went into the licensing office, waited in a long line and finally approached the desk... to find out we needed an emissions test. Twenty minutes away and it was quickly approaching 5 o'clock. So I paid for a permit that covered our expired tabs for two days. 

All that to say, we got the emissions test and will get the tabs later today, but in the meantime the boys and I took Nick to work this morning to avoid any more ticketing. On the way home, Lute was asking me to tell the fifth story of the morning and my coffeeless brain was still tired from the early wake up.

"I think Mama is going to listen to the radio for a little bit," was my reply. Surprisingly, he didn't mind.

I turned it on and it was already tuned in to our favorite talk radio station. The host, a local man we've had the privilege of meeting, was talking about gratitude. This particular man has seven (or eight?) kids at home and was talking about what it's like for him and his wife to keep up with their kids and quell the chaos by being proactive. He talked about his desire for quiet in the morning to reflect and pray, but the reality of his life means that his mornings are spent picking up, organizing and preparing. I could relate to this on some level. I would love to say that I was disappointed that I had to clean up because I would rather be in prayer, but usually I am disappointed because I would rather be sleeping or checking my email. 

He was drawing his reflections from a chapter on gratitude in The Imitation of Christ (which I may have to add to the ever growing pile of books on my nightstand). The fact that we have to clean and prepare and manage chaos means that we have the amazing gift of family. How many people in the world would trades places with us to have the gift of children and marriage? We truly are blessed. All of the daily responsibilities that come with it are our opportunities to deny ourselves and grow deeper in patience, love, and gratitude. 

Talk about timely. Sometimes I get ticked off when God decides to time everything so perfectly that I can't ignore the lesson. Ticked off, but really thankful.


  1. Yes! Count our blessings! I'm thankful for the large handicap bathroom stalls, then I see someone in a wheelchair that needs it. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Blessings many times are disguised but that is half the fun! Love your post!

  3. I'm visiting from SITS! This was defintely a good reminder for us all...be so very grateful for the blessings you have!

  4. Stopping by via SITS!

    I love reading this post. You are SO right! It really puts things in perspective when we realize just how overwhelmingly blessed we are!

  5. I love reading these SO much, Carina! You're such an amazing mom and wife and i can only hope someday to be half of the incredible woman you are! My cousin is a lucky guy! ;)
    live you! miss your family!

  6. Popped in from SITS! IT's always amazing how we don't realize what we have.

  7. Isn't it amazing how God places the things and people we need right in our path!
    This book sounds great. I need to look into it.