The Call Every Parent Dreads

Wednesday, May 11th, 9:58 p.m. I am of course in my pajamas, in the bed. My husband and I needed a sound night of sleep because Thursday – May 12th is yet another moving day in the world of our college daughter. We are headed to Oxford, MS to both move her into the place she’ll be living in the fall and also move her out of the sorority house all in one trip.

(Sidebar: For all you parents of high school seniors, I hope you have been on a strict workout regiment for the last year. You’re gonna need to be in some kind of shape for the endless tote & fetch trips over the next 4 years as your college kid moves from a dorm to an apartment to a dorm to a house to an apartment to your house, to, to, to…)

I’m almost asleep. My phone rings. It says my daughter’s name on the screen. I answer and all I can hear are sobs and words I can’t understand coming through the phone.

I am immediately wide awake.

“Mom, I’m OK” I finally hear. Thank you, Jesus. I don’t know what’s coming next, don’t know what happened, but to hear the words “I’m OK” make whatever I’m about to hear bearable.

My daughter and a friend had gone to get Zaxby’s to give some fuel to finish studying for exams. On the way back to drop her off at the sorority house the friend she was with had a seizure while driving and hit a telephone pole. The SUV then slid down a small embankment and ended up on its side. My daughter was able to get both seatbelts off and climb out of the moon roof, where thankfully an ER doctor was already on the scene because he lived nearby and heard the crash.


I can hear the chaos on the other end of the phone. Somehow I manage to settle her down a bit as she heads to the hospital in the ambulance to get checked out.

She is OK. He is OK. The SUV – notsomuch, but who really cares about that?

Last night all I could do was thank Jesus for His protection over them. This morning I thought about all the parents who get the call they dread, only it’s not from the child. It’s from the police, or the sheriff and they start the call with, “Mrs. Thompson, we are so sorry…”

I was just telling my husband yesterday that we need to thank God every single day for the days that are normal, the days that are – well, boring. Storms are coming. We have no guarantee of a trouble free life. Actually, Jesus tells us just the opposite:

“In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33)

You got that right.

But we need to read the whole verse: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I have friends who have received the call you dread. A devastating diagnosis. The death of a loved one in an accident. A home destroyed by a tornado.

And these friends would tell you the only way to go through the storms of life and come out whole on the other side is by clinging to the only One who can provide true peace and ultimate healing – Jesus.

The call you dread is coming. What will serve as your anchor, your place of peace and of healing?

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
(Matthew 7:24-27)



Weekend Warrior Woopsie

Back in January I came up with a list of to-do’s that needed to get-done around the house. Now these aren’t Honey-Do’s (that’s a totally separate list) but things I saw as needing some attention. (Translation: Things my husband doesn’t notice, doesn’t care about, and wonders why I go to the trouble.)


My to-do list inside my color-coded, time-divided 2016 planner

And so Saturday, I had both the time and the energy (a rare combination these days) to knock  a chunk off of the list. I started by taking down the window treatments I made back in March for my den (they were pretty but too big and made my den look too dark, so there’s a waste of 2 days back in March…). I put that power drill in reverse, took those 8 screws right out of the wall, then I puttied and sanded down the holes left behind. All I need to do was paint over the old holes, which I did because I had already checked to see I had some leftover Old Prairie paint (sounds like a hideous color, but it’s actually light and bright) which I knew was the color we had painted the den.

One problem: the den was painted about 8 years ago. The paint I used was from a more recent job, therefore – you guessed it – the paints are a hair off in color so now I have 8 blobs above my windows of paint that should match but doesn’t.

Dang it.

Not to be discouraged, I left that little project thinking I’ll just cover it up with some new window treatments for the den – some day – and moved right along to repainting my powder room (it’s the only room in the house that still has nickel finished features in my oil bronzed world and a light blue paint job instead of Old Prairie). I started by attempting to remove the towel bar in nickel finish, which I could have sworn would just “pop” right off the wall if I just gave it a little shove from the bottom.

It popped off all right – along with a large hunk of sheetrock. A very large hunk of sheetrock.

Dang it – again.

So much for my 2 “easy” weekend warrior projects.

Often times we start out with great ideas and grand schemes, only to be waylaid by – life. Mismatched plans, ripped up relationships can cause us to do one of 2 things. We can either get mad, get frustrated, get annoyed with the way things are going in our lives or we can suck it up, go on with plan B, learn from the fall out and yes – even laugh a little at ourselves.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

 Now I could have given up on my weekend warrior projects – but I didn’t. And no matter what you are going through it’s important for you not to give up either. Sure, there’s much bigger challenges that knock us down besides paint that that doesn’t match or an unforeseen hole in the wall, but what we learn in the midst of hardship is often times invaluable.

Saturday I learned how to properly take down a towel bar. But in the grand scheme of life when I’ve faced much bigger challenges and problems I’ve learned that Jesus is my best friend, that I am never alone and that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) I’ve learned that through prayer I can get up when I’ve been knocked down and live to fight another day.

So don’t give up, no matter how many mess-ups and unforeseen challenges come your way. You will learn some lessons that you couldn’t learn any other way, and the hope you receive will keep you moving forward to the next day, the next challenge.

Keep at it. Don’t give up or give in.

Now where’s that power drill???