I told John today that for at least one week out of the month I should not be allowed behind a wheel. Two weeks, if I’m being honest.

Driving home from church today, I checked out of defensive driver mode and slipped into number crunching mom mode. It was not my grocery budget that had me mentally counting today, however, I was actually thinking about altering Isaiah’s nap schedule. At that moment, he had been awake for two and a half hours, and I was thinking through eating and sleeping and what I would need to do to maximize both when we got home. This lead me to planning for the beginning of the school year when three o’clock in the afternoon will necessitate us being in the car.


There was a time when my mental capacity was probably meant for great things. At least I’m keeping mentally fit, I tell myself.

Anyway. I about rear-ended the suburban in front of me when I abruptly caught up with the detoured I-40 traffic that was backed up on Clemmons Road.

Later today, creeping out of my space at Harris Teeter, I glanced in my rear-view mirror just in time to see a smartly dressed woman’s hand shoot up while a very distinct four letter word shot a dagger into my reflection.

I rarely creep out of anywhere. I don’t know why I was creeping, but thank God I was.

(If I had hit her, I was going slow enough to do minimal damage, though I’m sure those wedges would have had very little to offer in the way of balance after being tapped by a big black minivan.)

I felt a little bit bad. Honestly.

The final moment came in the Staples parking lot, which shares space with the Lowe’s Foods parking lot, which, to this day, my children know as the one place on Earth where it is most imperative that they hold on to an adult’s hand because it is the one parking lot in which they are most likely to die.

Old people and teenagers galore.

Today I could have been elected honorary member of either group.

I don’t even know what happened really, but I have a distinct mental picture of the convergence of three cars heading in different directions, stopping, glares, and then several simultaneous fist shakes in my direction.

It is really hard to be inconspicuous in a big black minivan.

What’s that saying? Grace for the journey?

Well I’m saying grace for the groceries. Today.

In all my near misses, resulting in little more than behind-the-wheel-anonymous-shame, I have to wonder if even when I think I’m at my worst, there’s a God who is answering a prayer I might have prayed months ago. And praise that very same God for such a reserve tank of goodness, today, and this week, and probably two weeks out of every month, if I’m being honest.

Because I am running on fumes right now.

For a one week dance camp (a mere fifteen hours total) I refused to go out and buy new leotards, tights, ballet shoes, and tap shoes. And with one Facebook plea, our living room currently runneth over, with all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Then, a friend calls with an invite for playtime and lunch this week. She’s providing both.

Small town social life (the kind I used to loathe) reconnects me triangularly to people I haven’t spoken to in over a year, and two quick emails later entail words of encouragement that I didn’t even know I needed until I received them.

Many of us, on Sunday mornings, are presented with some version of this question: so what are you going to do with what you have heard today?

And I fear that too often the answer is some lofty goal of a mission or a ministry or a service that inevitably remains undone.

I have long since given up on the weekly action plans that both originate and terminate in guilt.

But I’m realizing right now how greatly I’ve been in need of a seasonal blessings count. Did I say seasonal? I could probably benefit from doing this about every two weeks, if I’m being honest.

Near Misses
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