Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sometimes, you just have to LAUGH!

We all know that I have a great daughter whom I totally adore. I think she is a wonderful kid, and I know without a doubt that Russ and I are very blessed to be her parents. Why God decided to give us such a miraculous blessing, I'll never know, but I give thanks for her each day.

Even when she dents the car.

I noticed a distinct vertical dent in the back of my car the other day. I knew I had not bumped into anything, and knew my husband had not driven the car in several days. That left two options: (a) a random act in a parking lot where a shopping cart, or other object backed into my car, or (b) the 17 year old driver {yes, that would be my daughter} backed into something and didn't want to confess.


Having recently heard Pastor Dan's message on "refrain" I thought this would be a great time to practice what he preached and see what would happen. Rather than question anyone in my family, I just kept quiet. Each day as I saw the tail end of my car, I just giggled and kept otherwise quiet.

Mind you, the dent is VERY small, and I won't even bother having it fixed. None of us is perfect, my car does not have to be either.

Manda has been driving for 2 years. That's right. Two years ago this month she took the test and earned her permit. She immediately began driver's training and we began the process of allowing her to drive us everywhere. She needed 6 months and a minimum of 50 hours of behind the wheel experience before she could take the driver's test and earn her license.

Honestly, she had 50 hours in the first 6 weeks. We had her driving us everywhere. We quizzed her constantly on the DMV handbook, and made her practice, practice, practice. She is a good driver. She earned her driver's license in December of 2008.

So - she's been driving for 2 years. And for nearly 18 months she has been driving by herself. Having this be the first "bump" is pretty darned awesome. Especially as it is really minor damage. Very, very minor damage!

Last night my husband decided to wash both the cars. My car: the 2005 sturdy Ford crossover that we have Manda drive when it is raining. Amanda's car: the 2008 adorable, sporty, totally sweet 2 door coupe with tricked out rims and tires. (Can you tell she daddy's princess?)

Russ washes her car first. He polishes the rims and makes sure that "Baby Blue" is pampered and well taken care of. Then he quickly washes mine, intending just to make it clean. But wait ~ he discovers what I have kept quiet about for several days ~ "the dent."

He finishes my car, puts away the stuff he was using, cleans up the garage and comes into the house. "Ummmm, one of you want to tell me about the dent on the green car?"

Sitting on the couch surrounded by homework and trying not to be noticed is Manda. Oh ya!!! My "refrain" reward was sweet to watch. It took her only a few seconds of sputtering, turning bright red and considering her options to tell us what happened. She backed into a concrete/brick/cement pillar last week. There were no other cars, no other people and no other damage involved.

No harm, no foul. Just the sweetness of life. Why sweet? Not because I got to watch her guilt. But rather, because I was able to just giggle over the situation. Her life and confidence are more important that a bump on my car. And, besides, I was a teenage driver once.

Thank goodness for the grace of God! He forgives me for my accidents and bumps. He is a teacher of life, and the most forgiving of all. I am thankful that I know that He wishes me to forgive others as He has forgiven me. Life is never going to be perfect, but that doesn't mean I can't laugh about it and be thankful for each moment.

Have you hit a bump in the road lately? What are you going to do with your bump? Are you going to let that bump consume you? Or are you going to take a moment, and find the intestinal fortitude to move forward? Are you going to be grumpy and sullen, blaming others and holding a grudge for your circumstances? Or are you going to let it go and find a new path to a better place of happiness?

Thanks Amanda for reminding me that the little bumps in our life do not matter. It is what we do with them, and how we react that matter.