Expat note: No matter the country, the DPS/DVLA are the same.
Things I’m thankful for today:
- Our home in England exchanged/closed today. As a bonus, we love the couple who bought it. It feels good to hand keys to someone kind.
- We will be moving to Frisco, Texas on May 17th. Wahoo. Our option period ends tomorrow at 5:00 pm.
- We have toured Scarlett’s school and love it. Instead of waiting until the next school year, she starts Monday. I’m relieved; we don’t have to homeschool.
- I found an OBGYN. I’m delivering 15 minutes from the house at Baylor Frisco. The doctor comes with rave reviews. I look forward to meeting Dr. Holt on 1 May.
- I found a paediatrician and got all three kids scheduled for immunisations and well-check ups on the same day. The office is spaceship themed and has unlimited popsicles. #onlyinAmerica
- The kids have reconnected with a few old friends, and they played perfectly. We all soaked it up.
- The DPS office was crazy busy and it took over two hours to get my driver’s license renewed.
Wait. What?! #7 seems crazy. When I drove up, I had the same face everyone else did: one of sheer frustration. The line extended out the building and the online system to make appointments was down again. I was irritated. I had so much to do, but I need to fix my expired license- only to update it in 28 days anyway. Oh well. I grabbed this massive book called “Unlocking the Bible” and wondered what would happen first- Would I finish the 700+ pages or get my license renewed first?
After I made it into the building, I got to sit down. No mobile phones are allowed, so I didn’t feel obligated to be signing documents or searching for more logistical answers to my life. I simply read and relaxed.
A few things popped up at me in my reading at the DPS office. Primarily, the book was talking about the failures of the Biblical heroes. They had some major moral flops, but what made them great wasn’t their perfection, it was their faith. When other people were putting their faith in what they could touch, these characters were invested in the qualities you cannot touch: faith, hope and love. It’s the story of God’s grace over and over- that His love is something we don’t deserve and haven’t earned. It is a gift. Out of that gift, your life is transformed. How grateful are you when you get something you haven’t earned? That experience changes people. Last week, the lady at the airport waived over $700 worth of luggage fees just because. That was amazing and gave me such a great attitude and spirit. How much greater is it that God takes care of my yuck?
I’ve been a yuck mom the last few days. I’ve been shouting, frustrated, and exhausted- then even worse- I’ve felt bad about shouting, feeling frustrated and being exhausted so I’ve been operating out of guilt. That has led to horrible parenting like letting the baby eat ice cream for dinner.
When I drove home, I raised my right hand and confessed out loud. “I’ve been way too short tempered with the kids. That’s not right.” I then thanked God for grace to start over. I prayed for energy, for compassion, for wisdom and discernment, for a new attitude, for grace, and for a different perspective that lets me get all this craziness accomplished while having a peaceful home. We have made so many major decisions in seven days; my head is spinning. We have so many more to make and those choices are crowding my headspace. “God you promise to give wisdom to those who seek it, and I need a truckload.” I prayed.
I got home and just started slowing down. I whispered everything I said to the kids. I empathised with them instead of neglecting their ridiculous requests. For example- “It’s so nice of you to plant Uncle David an apple tree, but it won’t grow back here. How about the park later?” instead of “STOP DIGGING! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?!”
Slowly, I saw the kids relaxing, too. I finally bought kid hangers and had to hang every item of clothing the kids own. I got the baby to help me, and we enjoyed doing it together. It took three times as long, but we laughed together. I could see my attitude and my heart changing because I allowed God to change my character.
James had a phone call with our mortgage guy to ask a few questions. He was ecstatic when he got off the phone. “He gave me answers to so many questions- way beyond the mortgage. I feel like I have a lot of clarity about our whole financial picture.” All of those nagging feelings about the mortgage and money and pressure I had been feeling, lifted.
Just like that- a truckload of wisdom, and a heap load of grace. I didn’t deserve it, but had faith to receive it. Thank you God.
Driving home from the park, the kids watched a veggieTale movie. The cucumber and tomato started singing about God’s grace, and I found myself saying AMEN.
Ain’t it good to know a God who gives a second chance?
Why, that’s enough to get a smile from Mr. Grumpy-Pants
So, if you say you’re sorry for all the stuff you do
We know that He’ll be ready with a second chance for you
-Veggie Tales- Second Chances
Before bed, all the kids climbed on my lap and cuddled. Evan gave me a kiss and told me I’m beautiful. It was so genuine. The other kids raced in for their turn.
Truckload of grace, right?
And on the subject of trucks, my husband is sitting across the room looking for his vehicle. He can’t decide. Pick-up truck or electric car? I find this bizarre.