A Vehicle for Change?

On January 1, I did not leave the house and stayed out of trouble. On January 2, I was pulled over by a police officer. On January 3, my van had a brief relationship with a cement wall.

This is my story.

For those of you who follow me (thank you!), you know that I have been looking forward to the proverbial leaf turning of 2015. The years 2013-14 have kind of been jagwads to me and my family, and…I’m looking for a new start.


cold prism
Today’s sun-kissed greeting.


But…does this sound like a new beginning to you? Or does it seem like more of the same crappola?

Well, of course, it’s not as simple as that, now is it? Let me tell you my story…

Just a week or so ago my son and I were driving and talking. He noticed someone on their phone and said, “I thought that was against the law?” to which I replied, “Yeah, well it looks like one of those laws that aren’t enforced because I see people on their phones all the time.”

Flash forward to January 2. I am running very late to get my son from a friend’s house. I decide that I should call the mom who is hosting and ask her to please have my guy ready to walk out the door because I’m only two minutes away. Though I have a Bluetooth, I rarely have it in because I’m not the greatest fan of talking on the phone, so when I make the call, I am not hands free. Cue sirens. So much for the law not being enforced…

I drop the phone as I tell the mom with a colorful word or two “I think I’m getting pulled over for being on the phone!” I can hear her saying, “What?…What??” but I realize that now is probably not the time to finish the call, so I hang up.

The officer approaches, tells me I was driving while using a handheld device, and asks for license and insurance. I tell him I am sorry, that I’m running late, yada, yada, and he simply holds his hand out for the information he asked for. He then disappears into his vehicle.

Now, if you’re like me and let’s say, maybe have a little experience getting pulled over now and then for maybe speeding…you know that the longer the cop sits in his car, the stronger the reality that he is writing you a ticket. I hoped that maybe my sobless sob story might be tugging at him, but…tick…tock…he’s not coming back quickly.

Doing an amazingly effortless job of mentally kicking myself, I decide instead to say a prayer. I pray that if there is any way I could have this end without my having to pay for a ticket, I would super appreciate it. We so do not have money right now to be throwing after stupid.

Another moment of waiting passes, and then the officer walks up to me and asks, “Do you know any cops in this town?” I look at him a little confused and say that I do. He asks me who, and I give him the name of an old friend. “Ha! Just give me a couple minutes.” And then he walks back to his vehicle.

I sit there wondering…what just happened??

Another two minutes later, he walks up and hands me a warning. He explains that while he was calling in my name on the radio, my friend heard it and said, “Wait! Hold up!” and I was then graced with a warning. My officer friend then drives up beside me and smiles. I am profuse in my gratitude, and he is gracious in his response.




It was only then that I couldn’t hold back my emotion…because it sure felt to me that my prayer was answered in an extremely serendipitous way. What are the odds that this man would be on duty? That he would catch my name being called in? As we who watch Downton Abbey would say, I was gobsmacked.

While driving the next day, I couldn’t help but think that maybe that episode was a little message from God that though things can and will be hard, sometimes a tiny miraculous ray of light shines through. I felt like this was 2015 turning the corner for me.

And then I kissed a cement wall with the rear corner of my van.

It’s a long story that involves backing down a ramp, but I won’t bore you with it because this post is already near 800 words, and I haven’t gotten to my main point yet.


holey bumper


It was easy to fall right back into feeling the tug of the negative. It pulled hard on me. Lots of self-disgust bubbled up. It’s the same crappy karma of 2014 after all, isn’t it?

Or…is it?

I am really striving to see even this “holey van” incident as a message that things will most definitely continue to be messy…but…I’m okay. We’ll be okay. The van has many battle scars, and this is yet another one. But…it’s okay. The incident happened while I was on my way to something new and exciting that I’ve begun…and that didn’t stop just because I ran into a cement wall.

In fact, I’ve thought about making the hole a day brightener in its own crazy way…


holey flowers


It is so easy to get sucked into the negative—especially when I too often feel surrounded by it. But I’m not giving up that easy.

As I shared last week, my word for 2015 is journey, and I find it ironic that these two crazy incidents from the first three days of the year involve me traveling.

It appears I’ve already hit a couple of minor speed bumps on my journey!

But I’m still moving forward. And my little prayer answered resonates deeply within me that I am not journeying alone.


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Let It Go: An Anthem for Girl Power

frozen_elsa_by_meddek-d6w674hDisney’s movie Frozen has a song in it called “Let It Go” that seems to have taken on a life of its own. I loved the movie, and I know my son enjoyed it, but…it obviously didn’t resonate with him the way it did with me.

In fact, as I was caught up in the story and song (and the new reclining lounge seats in the theater were a lovely bonus), he turned to me and said, “It’s good and all, but I think there’s too much singing.”

Well, Doug Downer, what’s up with that?

I’ve since read countless Facebook comments from my friends with little girls remarking that their daughters know the song by heart and won’t stop singing it. It is so popular that Disney re-released the movie in a sing-along version.

So…why? Why is this song so popular?

Well, just take a(nother) listen…

It is a captivating song about embracing your power and letting your fears go to become the person you were meant to be. Who doesn’t love that?

Yet it is definitely something that has caught on with girls more than boys. Granted, it’s not the typical movie that would become a boy’s favorite—after all, it is about two sisters (“ew!”) and their story, so it is not necessarily something that boys would gravitate toward, but I think there’s more to it.

Though Disney can’t seem to have a female lead that isn’t storybook gorgeous, the song’s message is not about embracing the power of your sexuality but rather your true gift…whatever that might be. If you notice in the clip, it doesn’t take Elsa long to hone that gift into amazing beauty once she decides to declare it.

And now, lookout people, because I’m about to go uber soapbox here.

We need to embrace who we are—all of us—but we need to particularly teach our girls that they need to embrace who they are and not try to fit into the cookie cutter mode of what is “expected” of women in this culture.

Maybe our girls are rocking out on it because they need to hear that it is okay to let it go and be themselves. Maybe they need to hear it more than we are saying it. Even in 2014. And maybe we grown women need to hear it, too.

Like the words in the song, we need to not care about what others say and let go of that “perfect girl” and the “good girl” and find out what beauty lies within us.

It seems like a non-argument to raise each other up for our true gifts and encourage our own truths, but that’s not what we as a society are teaching really, is it?

In this culture of celebrity and over-sexualized objectification, I think we have a lot more work to do.

I remember learning long ago how even in body language females are taught to “fold in” while males are taught to stretch out, and I find it to be true—women are encouraged in general to take up less space.

And then I see little six-year-old girls in dance class being taught how to bump and grind like grown women and wear full makeup and dress beyond their years, and I wonder what message they are taking away from that.

And girls who only want to be cheerleaders (go ahead and call it a sport, but it is rooted in cheering the boys on rather than participating in the sport itself) because they don’t want to “be a jock,” and I wonder why that label is so unappealing to them.

Please know that I am not saying that being a dancer or cheerleader is inherently wrong—but I do think that we need to pay attention to the messages that might lurk within.

After all—if that is the true gift for someone—to dance or do complex cheerleading mounts, then go for it! But if it is done because of “shoulds” and fears of not wanting to stand out in the “wrong” way, then I say we need to LET IT GO.

Let it go. Forget what the world sees in you or expects of you and look for what makes your heart truly beat…and then DO it.

Without apology. Without worry that you will be seen as less.

Because it is only when you let it go and let yourself be who God made you to be that you can be all the MORE you were meant to be.

Even if it means being out in the cold…just remember to tell yourself…

…the cold never bothered me anyway.