Saturday, April 16, 2011


Anyone who knows me is aware that I am not the most courageous person in the world. I get anxious about making a sandwich. The Lord has been dealing with me in the area.
Most recently...

We got a new car a couple of weeks ago. It's a super cute Kia Soul. Well rated by Consumer Reports. Affordable.

Oh, and I did I mention it's a stick shift?

I don't know how to drive a stick shift.

But this is my car.

So far, I haven't been able to drive it, and I've been practicing a bit everyday. I'm totally nervous about it. I'm not the quickest learner.

Prayers are welcome. This has been less terrifying each day. And I really want to know how to do this.

On an interesting note, it has made me very aware of how my struggling students feel about learning. They are coming to a difficult environment each day, and they feel like they're failing regularly. I get it now in a very real way. With testing approaching soon, I feel the pressure for them. This is my car. This is their learning. It's not like we have a fall-back here. Joel has been amazingly patient in teaching me to drive, and I'm reminded of how much repetition and patience is required for my students.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Grace Upon Grace

I am struck this week at the freedom of God's grace.

It comes in really surprising ways, this unmerited favor. As a person who admittedly has this terrible idol of human approval, the freedom that grace provides is immeasurable. I did nothing for this. I don't have to do anything for this. It is a free gift.

I am thankful for the blessing of marriage this week. But that thankfulness has come out of an unexpected weekend.

In 24 hours, we realized that Joel's car needed engine work and that my car died.
(The short story of my car dying involves me having driven to and from Chapel Hill without a hitch, but when starting up my car later, hearing a terrifying screeching noise and an extremely loud clunking. It involved me having to take a quick, not crash!, course on driving a stick shift at 9pm.)

I felt like every time we made a plan this weekend, something happened to change it. The cars were just the beginning. It even got to the point tonight where I ordered a salad for dinner (at nine o'clock, because that's how our day went), not knowing that it had bleu cheese. I tried to scrape it off but gagged just from the smell, so loving husband drove me to McDonald's in the middle of the Final Four. And we get up to the pick up window only to find out that they are out of the fruit and walnut salad I had already paid for. At that point, it was comical. But now I have a tummy ache from my dinner, and I am praying praying praying is not weird food poisoning.

We each had our breaking points today. Joel's happened not when the cars died or the vacuum had to be completely taken apart this morning, but when one of our microwave safe plates (we only have, like, 4) broke in three pieces in the microwave, thus rendering his meal inedible. Mine was when I realized a store I needed to go to closed an hour earlier.

But we went for a run and discussed the crapiness of the day. And we tried our hardest to remind ourselves of the providence: the cars died on a weekend. My dad is now able to drive me to work until we get a new car. We had paid off our debt literally this month. But it was still a weird day.

Except for the fist bump when we remembered: we're ok. We've had a season when we weren't ok. And nobody wants to go back there. Compared to that, two broken cars seems like a sitcom joke. This we can handle.

I am thankful for the grace that brought us here this weekend.