Hit the Brakes, Nic!

Laugh, Cry, whatever you will...

Just hang in there, I promise there is a point!

Thursday Night

Leah and the children are sitting on Nicole's bed reading stories shortly before 8pm. Nicole starts to cough a bit. Then Mommy starts coughing too. Then Joshua next. There was a "spice" in the air that was tickling...no...collapsing our airways. My heart began to race. I ran downstairs and shouted to my husband - "Honey, did you just spray Pepper Spray?" (Yes, I am talking about Mace, but stronger...) "Yup, three cans of it...all over the trash cans!" He replies quite smugly. I guess he didn't realize that the children's window was open and the whole house fan was sucking cool air in the house...and that the trash cans are right next to the children's window...Which is why he did not realized that 90% of the pepper spray would be sucked right into their room. And WHY???? on earth would he spray the trashcans with pepper spray, you ask? Because our 1 year old Labrador Retriever has a territorial issue and keeps peeing on them as if someone other dog has been encroaching on his trash turf. My husband was tired of washing off the trashcans only to find more sun baked urine the next day. Thankfully the room aired out quickly and the children were able to return to their beds at a somewhat delayed bedtime.

Flash forward 2 days...

Nicole requests to ride her bike. Her super cool purple and blue bike that Mimi and Bumpa slaved away to find for Christmas. Problem is...Nicole's version of riding her bike involves walking and pushing it up and down the driveway a few times before leaving it haphazardly in my husband's way. Daddy's response..."Do you want to me to give your bike away to some little kid who will ride it?" Nicole, says..."Sure Daddy, that will be fine." Daddy placed bike in shed behind the house and tells her the bike is gone. Little girl cries because she'll never be a "big girl" because she won't be able to ride a bike.

Now for the behind the scenes...

The dog (at least in my husband's opinion) pees on the trashcan and various other items in the backyard because he doesn't get walked as often as he should. Click here to find out why that is. I guess male dogs need to get out and pee on everything visible in order to feel validated...or something like that.

Nicole, on the other hand...is a girl and is a bit afraid of things like falling down and going fast. Daddy took Nicole to a church parking lot once to teach her to ride the bike and came back a little frustrated with her progress...they haven't been back since. Sometimes Daddy forgets that he was the 4th child...2 others of which were boys. Of course he knew how to ride a bike when he came out of the womb. If we were going to have a 4th child (which we are not) and it was a boy (he could only wish)...I am sure that he come out riding a bike too. But not so for our 4 year old princess loving ballerina.

Mom to the rescue...

I decided to kill 2 Goliath's with one stone. After all, what SuperMom can't exercise the puppy AND teach her daughter how to ride a bike at the same time.

Now Picture This:
Leah pushing Abi and Josh in double jogger...
80lb yellow lab on leash for the first time in about 2 weeks...
Nicole on super cool purple and blue bike for the first time in...a long time.

We (all) go cruising down the sidewalk.

Things are going great.

We go around the block and back.

We are within 50 yards of our house.

Nicole was feeling confident and decided to go from riding behind me (and the stroller and the dog) to riding in front of me. We started down a very SLIGHT decline. "You can stop pedaling Nicole and coast this out..." I yelled to her. She pedaled faster.
I yelled. She started to swerve and wobble...and then scream. Now here I am...a good distance behind her now with the double jogger and the puppy. If I let go of the jogger it would go careening down the street even faster than her because of the extra weight. And if I didn't catch up to her....she was definitely gonna eat it! I found a patch of grass to ditch the jogger and quickly hit one of the brakes. I dropped the leash and took off in my fastest sprint (a crawl at best compared to some). Just as I was about to reach her...right at the end of my finger tips...she ate it all right. Off the curb and into the back of a parked car. Amazingly...there was no blood and even more amazingly...my Drama Queen shed no tears. I on the other hand...had just become scarred for life with guilt.

And now for the point...

Picturing Nicole on her bike yesterday is a good example of how I feel about life right now. Some days feel good...I am cruising along, feeling confident and even willing to take a few risks. Most days, however, I feel like that scared little girl...out of control, pedaling faster, swerving and wobbling as I head for what is likely to be a major collision. And yet now I see...if I would just stop...just put on the brakes for a minute...I would be fine. I could slow down, regain control, coast it out, or even stop for a breather.

I wonder if God ever feels like I did...screaming at me to STOP and PUT ON THE BRAKES... wishing I had never felt confident enough to go out ahead of Him on my own. If I would just listen to Him, I would be safe.

Today, I gave the theory a try. It was nap time for all three - and time for mom to sit down at the computer for 2 hours of work (I work from home for a friend's business when I can find the time, ha ha). No one was cooperating and I was feeling stressed. Pedal faster (get them into bed and get to work)...Starting to swerve (frustration building)...Panic setting in (Lord, I can't do this anymore!!!)...

And then I stopped. I hit the brakes. And I hit my knees...

Just like a little girl at bedtime, I knelt down beside my bed and asked the Lord to help me. I stated my weakness, confessed my frustration and acknowledged that only He could get me through the rest of the day. And you know what...He did.

Next time I think I'll hit the brakes a little sooner.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7


Laura said...

What a beautiful (and attention getting) way to drive that point home! THANKS!

Leah said...

amazing story and lesson!