To That Mom At The Rest Stop

I saw your little boy’s feet first. Under the metal side panel of the restroom stall. I noticed him because my little boy’s feet were on my side.
I heard him go to wash his hands and I soon followed with my own son.

The first thing I noticed was his delightful red hair and wide eyes. While I helped my little blonde wash his hands I saw you keep a restraining hand on your own child’s arm.
There was an aura about you that seemed familiar and when I looked a bit closer …from the corner of my eye…I saw the comfy thick sweat pants and uncomplicated soft tshirt on your child. No coat even if it was cold outside.

I headed to dry my hands and you had already cranked out paper towels for me. Plenty of them. Before I could stop my own son he had thrust his hands into the super sonic loud hand dryer and at the same time I heard your child start squealing and jumping and I heard you say ” I know. You don’t Like that noise.”

I grabbed my own son and the terrifying noise stopped and so did your sons squeals.

I turned to face you and saw in your eyes the exhaustion and pain and constant battle of life and I knew your child was extra special.
I apologized for the loud noise and said I understood and above my own child’s crying at having to stop the dryer I wanted to tell you to keep on.

To keep choosing comfort for your son over cute jeans. To choose a dash in a tshirt through the cold over the battle of a coat and its textures that cause meltdowns. To keep using your two word instructions like “hands up” instead of my long ” don’t touch the toilet ring please.” To keep cranking out towels for people in hopes they won’t use the super sonic dryer.

I didn’t ask you but I think I know because I have done bathroom marathons before in slightly different situations.

Your beautiful son is autistic.
And you are doing a wonderful job!


Fire Engine Red

Over the last holiday when hardware stores were running their big paint sales, we stocked up.

Since we just bought a house for the very first time and since it was a foreclosure and since it consisted of nearly every shade of brown, we were excited to make some cosmetic changes. 

I’ve painted walls and ceilings and dabbled in art work for years, and I still don’t understand the wonder and uniqueness of color and how mixing red and blue makes purple. ( I’m not going to even google that to see I’m right 🙂 

Parts of the house needed painting to pass inspection. Parts of it needed painting because it was so drab and awful it put me in a bad mood. I still have no idea how color can have that effect on me. But it does.

Just  like this floor for instance.

 This is my laundry room and even I, who loves to do laundry didn’t think it was very much fun . We  painted the floor with porch floor paint, thanks to my cousins suggestion. And the brown wall and trim tuned white. 

How about these bricks.

Fake bricks or rocks I should say. I’m still not sure what they are. But now they are a lovely creamy color all over and so much more restful to my eyes. The blue and rose and brown and grey made me nauseous and nervous and restless. Maybe I’m weird like that. But color seriously can wreak havoc with me. At least when it’s in my house. Or my wardrobe 🙂 no worries….I don’t mind what other people choose for their colors so much….it’s just me that’s picky about my stuff 🙂 so if you happen to love multicolored brick, by all means, enjoy it to the fullest!

When I went to paint our house, I was my own worse critic. The living room looked blue instead of grey. The green in the kitchen that was suppose to compliment the super boring oak cabinets looked incomplete. The yellow in the family room was a dream but the purple wall in our room looked  like a fluorescent candy shop. 

Then the red. Oh the red. I wanted a red and gold room for our guests with lovely white trim and ceiling. Well, my gorgeous red turned out to look like a shiny squeaky clean fire engine. And let’s not talk about the gold. How do you make gold paint except for metallic  spray paint? 

Kobe’s room got a bunch of that and it actually looks really nice and fun and playful. Great 4 yr old colors.  Just not guest room colors. 

So what to do? We had bought this paint. And it drove us crazy. Maybe this is where samples of actual paint would have been a good idea 🙂

So I stirred and stirred. White with the purple to tone it down. It’s still a rather fluorescent shade of lavender. But at least theres not a candy shop in our bedroom. 

We mixed super dark grey , from I don’t know where , with our too blue grey and I’m still convincing myself it’s grey. 

I mixed an espresso brown sample can I had gotten with the fire engine red. The espresso was for the trim around the brick. It looked awful. But I think God knew why He had me get such a dark color . It turned my red into a deeper shade of earth red and actually looked sleepable. 

In some ways my house is nothing like I envisioned. In other ways it’s better because color has a mind of it’s own. 

And I thought of life. And how I plan and hope and dream, and things don’t turn out the way I hoped. It’s frustrating and I start to panic and try to take control and change things. Until finally, nothing looks good or right any more and I wonder what went wrong. 

So while my house may not look like I envisioned it….neither does life. Very few of us (if any) are actually living our childhood dreams of endless summer and rainbows and sunshine. But we can still have beautiful lives. Beautiful hearts turned to God, washed fresh , (like a fresh coat of paint ) by His blood and grace. 

All that happens to us in life is for His glory. He gives us breathe. He planned us before we were anything. He permits us to live on this earth and bring glory to His name that is so high and vast and wide beyond anything we can imagine.

Life may hurt. Suck the breathe out of us. Make us want to fight and say “NO way!!” But there’s a little secret to the pain….

“When he sees all the anguish of his soul, he shall be satisfied.”

Because though the anguish Of Jesus, God brought LIFE and LIFE and MORE LIFE! Through the parts of life that don’t go as we planned and it feels like we’ve made a total mess of everything and death stares us in the face…..

God turns it into beauty and life giving fountains pour into our life from the Giver of Life! It’s all about His glory and pouring His goodness out to others! They need to know about that LIFE too! 

I love my house. I love that the colors aren’t perfect and that I made a few smudges. It reminds me that LIFE is beautiful! Even if it’s not the shade you were expecting.