It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

Sometimes a Red Light Means Turn Right


The hands of the clock were giving their best impression of fan blades as I tried to get She So Sweet to her new school on time. Instead of taking the much faster freeway route, a little trouble with my tires had (for safety's sake) forced us to go through town where it meant navigating about a million (give or take a few) stoplights and the erratic traffic patterns that go with them. I was praying for green lights (I'm sure my girl was too), and things were going along reasonably well despite that still-ticking clock. We had hit 3 or 4 green lights in a row (clearly divine intervention!) when, less than two miles from the school, a car in front of us slowed our roll to about half-speed, and you guessed it, we inevitably hit a red light.


The clock seems to spin twice as fast when you have to sit still at a light.

A split second before I was really about to come unglued, my mental GPS kicked in and I thought about the intersection where I was sitting. With sudden inspiration and without hesitation, I turned right. She So Sweet gave me a quizzical look, to which I replied, "Watch," and proceeded eagerly, without hindrance, to our destination in about half the time it would have taken if I had stayed on my original course. She So Sweet was duly impressed and dashed into her teacher meeting with a big smile and minutes to spare!

As I drove away, now with the ridiculously relieved giddiness of having no further deadline to meet, I thought about that red light. Red lights mean STOP. It's one of the first things we learned as young children, and it's true. But sometimes a red light means stop . . . and turn right. Sometimes what looks like a hindrance is a divinely serendipitous redirection--otherwise known as Providence! That one, apparently inopportune, completely unwelcome red light at exactly the right intersection had just eliminated 4 lights, 3 tenths of a mile, and probably at least 5 minutes off of a trip where every second counted.

How easy it would have been to sit at that red light seething inside about Murphy's Law and the inconsiderate driver who had slowed me down and made me hit the red light in the first place! How easy it would have been to feed the grumpy attitude that was bubbling up in me like a foul brew in a witch's cauldron. How easy it would have been to miss the opportunity to see a different route, a better route! How easy it would have been to miss the gift, yes, the gift of the red light when I thought I needed a green one.

I think too much of you, my dear readers, to oversimplify and make it seem that every proverbial red light we hit is going to work out so neatly and obviously for the good. But I do want you to see an example of how our initial impressions of the red light may stop us short of the truth. Maybe the stop at the red light is just an opportunity for God to inspire you with a right hand turn that quickly or over a long time will prove to be a better route. I pray that you will be aware of God showing up in your traffic patterns this week and that His loving, providential care will be very obvious to you in all your coming and going.

"I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths. 
When you walk, you won’t be held back;
when you run, you won’t stumble."
Proverbs 4:11-12 NLT

Has God surprised you with a better route lately? Tell me about it!

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

Counting my next 1000 Gifts, joining Ann in The Joy Dare--like a scavenger hunt for graces, gifts and glory!! Wanna come along?  I dare ya!!

The continuing JOY DARE: 
#1148-1168 (February 19th-25th)

19. 3 gifts that were 'Plan B's'
       University of Phoenix instead of community college
       Mommy's longer than expected stay in the hospital that works to her benefit (Home on Tuesday!!)
       Countless adjustments in our plans to accommodate schedule changes, basketball games and dream fulfillment
20. a gift at breakfast--Craisins
       a gift at lunch--the delicious Indian food made by Hero Husband
       a gift at dinner--time with Hero Husband, eating baked potatoes while watching The Voice
21. 3 gifts white
       paper that cradles words
       snow in other people's pictures, since I don't have any here
       fruit blossom petals falling like snow in a spring-y wind
22. 3 gifts that changed today
       starting the Book of Proverbs--oh to gain wisdom!
       our fun friend Dianne back at Peet's--we enjoyed our visit!
       voice mail from Mommy to let me know their package arrived
23. a gift of tin--garbanzo beans for my homemade hummus
       a gift of glass--windows that let me see out
       a gift of wood--the cross my little brother made that hangs (when I'm not wearing it) right beside my computer where I can see it
24. 3 gifts before 11 AM
       a little bit of needed extra sleep on a weekday morning
       phone conversation with Mommy & Daddy--always so much fun
       time at home to bring some order to the laundry
25. a gift nearly worn out--the old pillowcase that serves as my favorite pressing cloth, holes and all
       a gift new--special tape for my knee that really helps  
       a gift made-do--the glasses I wear, the ones with the frames that are showing signs of wear and tear, the ones that bring me a measure of clarity

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