Author: Livin' What You're Given

I'm a dancer, a writer, a speaker. I love all these art forms and work at my crafts and sharing my gifts with others. But the bulk of my work as an artist is to teach others they are artists too with gifts the world is waiting for, no matter what their age, stage, training or ability.

Some Gave All

 

“He was  a hero you know.”

A stranger announced this while I sat at my father’s grave in Ft. Logan National Cemetery. It was Memorial Day Weekend. She was moving from grave to grave, placing small American flags in front of each headstone.

“Was he?” I asked.

She put a flag at my dad’s headstone, and then turned to face me.

“Why yes. All these men and women were heroes.” She swept an arm around the immediate vicinity.

“They paid a high price for our freedom. Some paid with their physical and
mental health; and some with their lives. We must never forget or dishonor
their sacrifices, or that of their families.” She said as she resumed her
journey.

I stared at my father’s tombstone. I hadn’t made many visits to this site
during the forty plus years since his passing. When I did visit, it was out of
obligation. Over the years, I practiced keeping thoughts and feelings about my dad far from my mind. That morning, however, I felt compelled to make an appearance at the cemetery.

“Here we go, water for the flowers and a screwdriver to dig out the metal
vase.” My husband, Keith, had dropped me at the graveside, parked the car and brought the necessary equipment to decorate the grave.

“What’s wrong?” Keith asked when I made no acknowledgement of his return.

“I thought you wanted to come here today.”

“I thought I did too. But when I got here, all the old feelings of resentment and fear of this man I barely knew came flooding back. Then some
woman in a red dress declared him a hero,” I snorted.

Keith went about adorning the grave with multi-colored irises. I watched him in silence until he finished.

“Do you want to go now?” he asked.

“No, I want to just sit here for a few minutes.”

It was a warm day with a slight breeze moving shadows of leaves from the
massive tree that grew a few feet from my father’s grave. I watched the lady in red walking among graves and placing flags. I thought about what she said, wondered why she spoke to me and how she knew anything about my father. I didn’t even know very much about him.

“Maybe it was a mistake to come here, Keith. I didn’t know much about this
man other than he had a bad temper that erupted at the slightest provocation.”

I directed my remarks to my husband but kept my eyes on the grave.

“Maybe you just don’t remember the good things about him. Maybe it’s time
you stopped hating your father and made peace with the past. What did she say?”

He nodded in the direction of the red-clad stranger.

“She said these men and women sacrificed their health, even mental health…” I trailed off and grasped.

“Where did your dad serve, Laura?”

I whispered the answer as I let out my breath. “Northern Africa. He was a
munitions expert on the front lines. He always said his hearing wasn’t right
because of explosions and yells from his fellow soldiers that were injured or…” again words failed me.

“Keith, do you think my dad had PTSD and that was why he had such erratic
and violent outbursts? I know he died from a service-connected disability in
his fifties, after decades of suffering. But do you think what they once called
“shell shock” was the major factor in Papa’s mental instability?”

“I don’t know, Honey. I think it’s very likely. What else to you remember
about him, besides his temper? Papa. Is that what you called him?” Keith asked. I nodded.

I sat for several minutes allowing the warm breeze and sunshine breaking
through the tree’s shelter to form a safe place for unpacking memories. I shook my head to clear almost fifty years of mental cobwebs laced with resentment.

“Well, he had a great sense of humor and quick wit. He loved music and Ed
Sullivan. He fancied himself quite the dancer. He and my mother went dancing a lot at the old Elitch’s Tracadero Ballroom. They won quite a few contests, you know. He was passionate about gardening too and particularly loved his trees.”

“He loved baseball and even though he completed school only through the
fifth grade, he had a photographic memory that allowed him to tell you who won most World Series contests and who was on the pitching mound at the time. One of his happiest days was when he could afford to take his family to see the New York Yankees play an exhibition game at Mile High Stadium. All his favorites were there – Mickey Mantle, Roger Marris and Yogi Berra. Papa smiled and stuck his chest out like those men were his personal friends.”

For the next two hours, we sat under the big tree as shadows shifted on and
around us while I told Keith about my dad. I alternated laughter with tears and silence until I realized why I felt compelled to visit his grave.

Keith was right. It was time to begin the healing and understand that my
father was not an angry, brutal monster. He had something no one diagnosed in those days – one of the effects of war – PTSD. He had no way of understanding or controlling it. As we strolled through my childhood there were as many, or more, good memories as bad. Those memories were buried under years of anger,  resentment, and lack of understanding and even unprocessed grief.

As evening approached Keith reminded me we had a dinner commitment. I
reluctantly agreed to leave, but not before cleaning off my father’s headstone and rearranging the irises. I stood for a few minutes searching the massive cemetery for the lady in red but couldn’t spot her.

“Keith, did I tell you Papa’s favorite flower was the iris? He grew them you
know.”

“No I didn’t know that, Laura. “ Keith took my hand and with tenderness,
guided me toward the car. I turned to look back at the grave of Albert
Carvallo, Tech 5 U.S. Army WWII Veteran. Through tears of new-found recognition, I thanked him for the gift of my freedom that cost him his sanity, his health and ultimately his life. For the first time, I saw my father as a true war hero.

I’ve since cried many tears of loss and released my resentment toward my
dad. I’ve processed where our country would be without the brave men and women in uniform who selflessly sacrifice to protect and defend our freedom. And I’ve acknowledged that even from his grave that day, Papa gave me a new kind of freedom – that only found in the reconciliation of forgiveness.

There are still many things I don’t and probably will never know about the
man I called, “Papa.” This I know for sure: future visits to the final resting place of my father will no longer be out of obligation.

Reposted on May 27, 2019 from original post February 2018

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

Accidental signing

“I know you. Well, I know your name anyway, and I’ve heard of this book.”

These words were spoken by a woman I had never met before (to my knowledge). I had handed her my business card to provide contact information because she and another party were traveling together when they were involved in a car accident. This happened right in front of my husband and me. We witnessed a car try to crowd their lane, hit them and leave the scene. Keith recorded the license number and we gave it to the gentleman driving the car that was hit.

When we got off the main road and into a parking lot, we assessed the situation to see if there were injuries. Thanks be to God, no injuries were sustained. Then the police were called.

While waiting for the officer to arrive I asked the woman with my card, “Where did you hear of me and my book?”

She said “I don’t remember where I saw this but the title of this book caught my attention somewhere.” She continued looking at the images on my card.

The police officer arrived and began taking the accident details. The lady who knew my book, (and knew of me apparently), asked how to get a copy. She said she had been thinking of buying the book. I told her I had several in the trunk of my car as I had been selling books along the way on our latest road trip.

During the next several minutes the lady, who was no longer a stranger, and I discussed the book. She wanted to know how I came up with the title, why I write short stories and why I wrote these in particular.

She bought a copy of Jesus in Shorts, asked me to autograph it and said she was looking forward to reading it and sharing it with others. I thanked her in my fog of a whirlwind experience in the middle of Moscow, Idaho where we witnessed a hit and run accident, came to the aid of strangers and sold a book – all within an hour’s time and almost 1,000 miles from home.

With details settled and police report completed, everyone went their own way. Keith and I got in our car and drove for dozens of miles before either of us spoke. Then he asked, “Who would ever believe this story?”

I knew who would believe it. I called my sister, Mary, and told her what happened. She said, “Whoa. Laura, you have to write this story. ” Sister is always right.

As Keith and I continued on our way I reflected, “It is unfortunate people will sometimes leave the scene of an accident, especially if they caused it. But one thing is for sure. The woman we just met was meant to have a personalized copy of Jesus in Shorts. And by God’s lens, there are no accidents.”

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Copyright May 2019, Laura L. Padgett, Lakewood, Colorado

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

Nailed It

There it was again, a memory I thought I’d left behind twenty plus years ago. But in the early hours of a cold Colorado morning, I awoke with this as a bookmarked entry on my mind’s playlist. Was it a dream? Did the memory awaken me? Was I already awake when it surfaced? It made no difference. There it was.

The thought of leaving my warm bed was not attractive in the least. Still, I decided a hot cup of herb tea and a few minutes in prayer would help me regain my slumber. I padded out to the kitchen in my fuzzy slippers and robe to put the kettle on.

As I sat in the dark, sipping the hot liquid, snuggling in my fleece blanket and favorite chair, I was hit by waves of guilt. The haunting infraction replayed without missing a single, unpleasant, vivid detail. I shook my head back and forth, trying to clear the image of directing anger and frustration at a loved one two decades ago.

“What am I doing back here, Lord?  Why are you punishing me? I’ve tried to make up for this. I’ve apologized to you, to the one I hurt and have felt forgiveness from both. Why am I still standing on the guilt meter about something I cannot change?”

The room was silent…and cold. I waited.

The memory of the incident replayed. The hurt on my loved one’s face seared my conscience and pierced my heart.

“Lord, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. Will I live forever with this awful memory of terrible behavior fed by an unleashed temper and untamed tongue?” Tears of shame crawled down my cheeks, then progressed to a steady stream in a matter of seconds.

“Father God. Please forgive me.”

On the flat screen of my brain a New Testament verse appeared, edging out the glaring transgression. “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17 NIV).

I felt God was saying, “I have forgiven you child.” His truth filled my heart and ears as we sat together in a once familiar room, now made foreign as regret framed the dark, shadowless space.

“Then why is it still here? Why tonight? What must I do to remove it? Please Lord, what must I do?” I wailed.

There is nothing more valuable than the Scriptures at any time, but especially when we are in pain.  My mind focused on another memorized verse. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).

I sat stunned as I realized God was saying that in this case, I was the “one another.” I needed to be compassionate with myself and forgive the person in this scene I continued to condemn – me. I had been assured over and over of God’s love and forgiveness. I also had been granted forgiveness from my loved one. Yet, I still clung to my guilt, shame and human fallibility with a death grip.

Billions upon billions of sins were nailed to the cross at Calvary.  And it never occurred to me, until that moment, my lack of forgiveness for myself was in essence un-nailing of sin that was covered by His precious blood. Yes, even this sin had been borne by our savior on that rough wood, in His wounded body, so that I wouldn’t be rendered sleepless, immobile and at risk for use and abuse by my own thoughts. My revisiting this event and resisting the healing balm of Christ’s sacrifice was, in a way, showing ingratitude for that sacrifice.

I closed my eyes and sipped the now tepid tea. I handed my pain, my past, my guilt and my unforgiving heart up to the Lord to be placed where they belonged. Even when my unconscious mind unleashes memories of wrong-doing on my part, I can see a nail driven through them like billions of other sins. My tears dried as I gathered my blanket around me and felt Christ’s arms enfold me.

After a few minutes, I walked back to my bed and crawled in with my fleece blanket still wrapped around me like God’s sweet truth. There is no need to hold onto guilt. There is no need to continue letting memories of a past and painful time consume me to the point of distress. I was forgiven at my first confession decades ago. And Jesus took that sin to the cross with innumerable others over two thousand years ago; and there it was nailed.

hammer and nails

Copyright February 2019

Laura L. Padgett

Lakewood, Colorado

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

“Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

For Such a time as This

“I’m tired, God. I don’t want to write anymore.” This was my cry one night after my second book launched.

The book took three years to write and another six months to put into publishing format. Now the work began. The marketing journey seemed impossible from my lens. Searching for  book signing opportunities was time-consuming. The demands of on-line marketing and promotions left me no time, or energy, to consider new writing projects.

God’s silence on the matter led me to believe He was in agreement with this course of action. I told my husband I was freeing my time up so I could do things I was meant to do, as soon as God told me what those were. I admit I was not totally at peace with this revelation. But I figured I would come into comfort with “our” decision as time passed.

A week later, my husband and I went on a mission trip to the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Eureka, new direction was revealed.

While we were on the trip, I met a young lady named Esther. At one of the prayer times I noticed Esther sitting in a corner and writing in a journal. I approached her and asked if she liked to write. She said she did and we began to talk about the writer’s life.

I’ve always loved the name Esther. The story of Queen Esther’s remarkable life and mission is one of my favorites in the Bible. The book of “Esther” tells of a beautiful young Jewish girl who was sent to the court of the Persian King Xerxes (or Ahasuerus), when he was searching for a new queen. Esther was chosen to fulfill that role.

During her reign, it became necessary for Queen Esther to admit she was Jewish. This was in attempt to stop Xerxes’ administration from destroying her people, the Jews, exiled in Persia.  Esther was not keen on the idea until her uncle told her that perhaps she was in this position, “For such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NIV).

During the mission week in Alamosa, the young writer Esther and I became friends. We talked about writing, music and even led the congregation in a dance to the song, “We are Family.”  When the trip ended, Esther and I agreed to meet weekly, so we could continue talking about writing while enjoying beverages at Starbucks.

I was thrilled at God’s idea of how I would use my education and experience in the world of writing without actually, well…writing.

At our first meeting we explored some aspects of writing, talked about what we liked to write and how our future time together might look. At the conclusion of our coffee date, I assigned Esther a project for the following week. She asked, “What will you write, Laura?”

“Me? What? Well I don’t… I mean I really hadn’t thought… I guess I could…” I stammered. Then it hit me. I was not finished writing at all. God had a plan not only for me to help a budding writer, but to keep me moving along the path He set before me several years before I published anything.

The frequent coffee/writing times with Esther are precious. We have expanded our art exploration to the Denver Art Museum and have discovered we share a passion for fashion and many other areas of art including dance (don’t you know?).

I don’t consider myself as important as the nation of Israel when it comes to being rescued. But I believe that in my self-imposed exile from writing, God sent a beautiful young lady to help me find my way back to doing His will. I am convinced that Esther entered my world how she did, and when she did, for just such a time as this.

For Esther, my friend, my student and my teacher.

esther

Copyright January 2019
Laura L. Padgett
Lakewood, Colorado

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

“Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

The Why of My Writing

Jesus with an award

“I won’t buy your book unless you allow me to read a story or two first,” a young lady at a craft fair explained. She said she had no intention of buying without trying. She also informed me that she did not know or care to know my Jesus. But she had an uncle whose birthday was coming up.  He was a retired pastor and she thought it might be a book he’d enjoy.

I voiced no objection, cleared the seat next to me and patted it. I gave her a cup of coffee and told her I would attend to other customers as she read. I got lost in conversation with another buyer and didn’t look in the direction of the woman sitting next to me for well over five minutes.

People who write books do it for a variety of reasons. The writing is enjoyable to me, but the marketing can be daunting. At some point almost all of us have asked, “Why am I doing this?” It’s easy to become discouraged by few reviews, poor rankings or tiny royalty checks.

Then this woman who did not believe in my Jesus but had a pastor uncle who did, sat down to take my book for a test drive. When I had some breathing room from other customers, I looked at her and began to speak. The words I planned to share were prohibited in their progression when I observed tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

She nodded and said, “Yes, Ma’am. I’m so moved by this piece I…”

In the silent space we shared, I prayed no one would invade. I waited. When she did not say anything for several minutes, I broke the silence.

“What story did you read?” I asked.

“‘Last Waltz’, the one about your work as an elf at an event where you danced with a dying child. It is beautifully written but so sad. Did it really happen?”

“Yes, all the stories in this book are true,” I told her.

“I’ll take three books please. Sign one for my Uncle Robert and one for me. Please  sign the other without addressing it to anyone in particular. I don’t know who I’ll give that one to yet.”

I did as she asked. When she walked away with her package, I sat back in my chair and thanked God for opportunity to see the impact of the book in real time. This is a gift not often given to authors. I praised Him for revealing why He asks me to write and why I am unable to resist His request.

As I watched the young lady walk away,  I heard a man clear his throat. “Did you write this book?” he asked, picking up a copy. “It looks interesting. I love the title, and the cover.”

He turned the book over to read the back cover and told me he too was an author who has published a few books.

“Would you mind if I read a story or two?” He asked.

“No, not at all,” I said, “Not at all.”

Copyright December 2018
Laura L. Padgett
Lakewood, Colorado

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and all major online retailers.

“Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available at  Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where Laura will be selling and signing her books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

 

 

Help from my friends

“We look to God a lot for our future. But He’s not done with your past. He’s still attentive to things of the past.” These are words from a Christian friend and fellow author as she talked about healing through writing her debut fiction novel. She was giving a radio interview. Her words offered me a spiritual “Aha” moment. I looked at my husband and smiled. Another piece of the wholeness puzzle was placed in my wounded heart with such truth and exquisite gentleness, it brought me to tears.

That lady’s name is Jan Fallon and her first book, “Campsite Six” is full of opportunities to know her and ourselves a little better. That day as I listened, again, to the podcasted interview I felt gratitude for those God brings into my life to help me resist temptation to isolate in times of pain.

Jan’s statement came at a time when I was studying a book by another Christian author and dear friend, Paula Moldenhauer. In the final installment in her four-part “Soul Scents: A Spiritual Journey in the Son’s Embrace” devotional series, Paula talks about flourishing by giving God permission to drain abscesses resulting from hidden, unhealed, and deep past wounds.

As I reflected on the words of these two friends, I remembered a luncheon I had with Dawna Hetzler, a precious sister in the Lord and author of “Walls of a Warrior: Conquering the Fears of our Hearts.” Dawna and I have embarked on different kinds of healing journeys in recent months. But we have found great similarities and shared feelings when looking into our past experiences. During lunch, we prayed, held hands, cried and set the stage for the great spiritual surgeon to clean places that keep us stuck in dis-ease, unable to move forward into the His anointed assignments.

As a child, I was taught to “suck it up and move on” because no one wants to be burdened with the emotional baggage of others. I’ve become a master at doing just that in my adult life (for the most part) until I suffered a severe financial and physical assault one year ago. The injuries were difficult to process because they came from a trusted friend and employer, and were reminiscent of past wounds. The incident sent me into a downward spiral challenging my faith, threatening my marriage, and calling my sanity into question.

I remember standing in my basement one night and screaming, “How could you let this happen to me? Where are you God? This feels the same as it did when I was a little girl. I’m lost. I’m scared. I’m confused. Was this my fault? Why didn’t I see this coming? And I’ve already processed all this icky stuff from my past – the wound, the infection that threatened to devour my soul.”

He was silent. I was persistent, resistant, defiant, and in His face until exhaustion forced me to my knees.

In the surrender of understanding that I did not understand, I heard Him say, “I am with you beloved. We must deal with the old wounds or they will forever be the basis from which you process the imperfections of others. What happened to you recently is not okay or deserved. I will deal with the perpetrator. But I want you to see that this level of pain isn’t so much about today. It’s about a buried, festering yesterday.”

“What do you mean, ‘we’? I cannot see you in any of this. I cannot hear you in any of this. Where are you in this ‘we’ business?”

He said three words, “Jan, Paula, Dawna.” Then He added, “These Christian siblings bring my words and my love. They are there because they understand. I have worked through, and am still working through their pain, their pasts and their scars in order to help others. These sisters are not in your life by accident, little one. Listen to My servants, your sisters. Then do not fear the crying release that authors authenticity. When you empty yourself and bring your burden into the light, you will be able to grant permission for me to work on the tender spots that cannot heal without My touch.”

Today the current and past wounds are healing. Progress is slow but moving in the right direction. With God’s guidance, I sought professional help from two brilliant Christian counselors. The injuries have left scars. That’s okay.

I’ve learned to no longer bury pain or “suck it up.” I weep when I need to, pray because I want to and hope someday my words and my story will touch/help others. I thank God I don’t have to lie about my past or my personal journey.  I ask Him to make me willing to open up, share my healed wounds and say to another, “Run to God for what you need dear one.”

My friends, through their words and books, have shown me how to say, “And I will run alongside you. Listen to the stories of those who have trod a similar road. Take strength from me when you feel broken by weakness. I am not in your life by accident.”

As I walk fully into this season of my life, I ask God to use me in ways I never imagined when I entered His holy operating room (imagery from Paula’s work). If you are hurting today for whatever reason, hold fast to Him and His people. He designed us to live and thrive in community. I believe my year-long journey back to health and wholeness has convinced me of that more than ever before.

Today, I am not shy about asking for, and accepting, help from friends. That has been a valuable lesson. But it is even more valuable and important for me to be able, and willing, to offer another person help from a friend.

Friends

Copyright October 17, 2018
Laura L. Padgett
Lakewood, Colorado

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and all major online retailers.

“Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available at  Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

 

Holy Humor Saves the Day

Stop and go traffic is not uncommon at any time, on any day, when one travels a busy motorway in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, called Wadsworth Blvd. Friday afternoons can present stressful driving conditions with traffic congestion. During one Friday this past summer, I learned a lesson in letting go of a situation, letting God take control and relaxing in the fact that indeed there is a funny side to most things in life.

I was moving at a snail’s pace and had given myself plenty of time in order to deal calmly with the line of break lights I knew would greet me along my path. I’ve traveled the Denver Metro Area all my life and I learned a long time ago the clock is only my friend when I don’t try to challenge Father Time with excuses for why I couldn’t leave room for possible (probable) delays.

I sat in line with other cars waiting for the light to turn and allow traffic to move a few yards forward and heard the screech of brakes. When I looked in my rear-view mirror I saw an SUV skid to a stop just inches from the rear of my car. With my eyes fixed on the car and realizing I was almost in an accident, I let my breath out between clinched teeth and said some words that could not qualify as a prayer of gratitude.

The driver of the SUV shook her fist and waved her arms at me as if I  was sitting there in traffic, stopped behind dozens of other cars, in order to personally cause her a delay. Although I am always happy to see another Italian individual waving arms in wild gestures of self expression (a trait we Italian people are famous for – with good reason), I was pretty sure this lady wasn’t attempting to relate to me from an ethnic identity corner.

My own Italian-Irish temper began to infuse my thought pattern as I became more annoyed with her hand signals and horn honking. I’ve seen, and been the victim of, out of control road raging. I’ve learned there is nothing I can do to make it better, but tons of stuff I can do to make it worse. So I sat in my car, kept my eyes on the driver behind me, my own hands (prone to return gesture engagement) and prayed for temper control. I also asked God for a temporary case of lockjaw if she got out of her car and came toward me.

I  prayed out loud, “Lord, please intervene and use something, anything, to return me to my previously serene mindset.”

As the traffic crawled forward, the driver in the SUV decided we weren’t moving fast enough and took matters into her hands. She swung around my right back bumper, missing it by inches, and put her foot down hard on the accelerator of her vehicle as she traveled the right turn lane for several blocks.  When she passed me, she showed me the lovely manicure she had on only one finger of her left hand and shouted something I’m glad I couldn’t hear. As she sped past I saw a sign in her back window. It read, “Please drive with care – baby on board.”

I burst out laughing and thanked God for his impeccable comic relief timing. I also petitioned Him to keep me from thinking, “Baby on board indeed – behind the wheel.” Okay, I admit I did think that.

As I made my way to my meeting, I continued thanking God that even in the most irritating situations, if I turn to Him in prayer for deliverance, He will show up without fail. He has my backside and, in this case, my car’s backside. He chose to use something that can usually pull me out of a situation where I can make things worse. He used His glorious sense of humor.

 

Copyright September 10, 2018
Laura L. Padgett
Lakewood, Colorado

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and all major online retailers.

“Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available at  Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.