Even The Best of Plans Go Awry


Joy found the tub in the hotel to be the best place to escape from the noise of the rest of us! (She looks so young!)

As we're about to wrap up our final weekend of conferences, the engagements and travels of many years come to mind. One I shared in The Mom Walk, and I thought you might enjoy this story of a time my own ideals proved impossible to reach!

Several years ago, the girls and I were given the wonderful opportunity to travel to Australia for several days of speaking and travel. The plans called for eighteen days of speaking--twenty-nine times total, in five different cities! Obviously we were very excited about the trip. We were dreaming of kangaroos and koalas, exploring places we'd only seen in pictures, and having an adventure together.

Little did we know the adventures would begin before we left the driveway!

I had high ideals for all I could accomplish before we left. Plans to stock the freezer with homemade food, leave the house in tip-top condition, and spend a lot of quality time with the boys (who would remain behind this time) were on my agenda. However, it seems my agenda went unnoticed by several key players.

One morning just before our trip, there was grocery shopping to be done. Opening my car door after an evening of freezing temperatures, I was puzzled by the brown freckles that had apparently appeared overnight--all over every surface of the car! Puzzled, I searched for the source--and found it in an empty Diet Dr. Pepper can. One of the children (names withheld to protect the guilty!) had left an unopened can in the car and the freezing temperatures had caused it to explode!

The very next morning, we returned from church ready to enjoy our usual relaxing Sunday afternoon routine. Heading upstairs to change clothes, I stepped into my bathroom ... and a puddle of water! The entire closet, bathroom, and half my bedroom were sopping wet. Clay shut off the under-sink water valve and ran to the garage to discover that the cold weather had wreaked havoc on our pipes, and there was water spewing all over the furniture, books, and pictures stored there--all precious things in storage between moves, including my library.

So much for a quiet, relaxing afternoon! Ripping up carpet, moving furniture, and frantically moving books and clothing to other rooms became the activity of the day.

By the time we left for our trip, we had eaten fast food for almost every meal, I wracked up a big library fine, got into a useless argument--about clothing!--with one of my teenage sons, and missed a child's piano lesson (which had to be paid for, regardless.) I put my credit card into the receipt outlet at a gas station and had to use my fingernails and a screwdriver to get it out--a little distracted, you say?! There were no meals lovingly stacked in the freezer, and as we drove to the airport, Clay suddenly asked, "What happened in here? This car is filthy! What is that junk all over the dashboard and seats? Good grief, it smells in here."

When I finally settled into my seat, thrilled to just be sitting after the previous several weeks of craziness, I breathed a deep sigh of relief. We were off!

And then, it began. The voice of the enemy and my own inner accusations ...

How can I speak to all these women? We have been in full-time ministry for over thirty years, and I can't even keep the car clean! Why don't I have my act together? What a failure these two weeks have been!

I leaned back into my chair, taking my concerns to my Heavenly Father. What did He think? I opened my Bible, and there was His answer--a comfort to my hear ...

Just as a father has compassion on His children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust."  ~ Psalm 103:13-14

How I needed that reminder that day! The One who created man and woman from dust knows--remembers!-- that we are dust. Whew!

Now if only I would remember that more often! Now, I wonder, what will this week of conferences hold?! Can't wait to see so many of you this weekend. I so loved being with such precious ones in Dallas.

Checking to be sure there are no unopened soft drinks sitting in the car........