Last week, I was heading to town when as I turned the corner I suddenly spun completely around and ended up heading the wrong direction. Quickly I evaluated if any damage had been done and then jumped into righting myself. After a few “Y” type turns I was on my way with a little extra caution added to my driving.
Each day of parenting is a lot like winter driving. We are going along fairly smoothly, perhaps a little fish tale here, a little slide before we stop, but nothing major. Then what seems like out of nowhere, we are sitting in the middle of our day headed the wrong direction. Perhaps we even hit a tree or feel like our wheels are spinning as we sit on top of a snow bank; now what do we do?
Quickly, evaluate if there has been any damage. Have we been unreasonable, yelled, overwhelmed our children, been selfish, …? Assess damage and address it, apologize, do what it takes to fix broken hearts. Perhaps a tow truck is needed, this could be a cry out to Jesus for a complete lift from this impossible situation. Sometimes just a call for shovels is needed; this could be a phone call to a dear friend to set us back on the right road. Maybe it is a mechanic that is needed; this could be our husband when he gets home from work; pulling out his tools of specialty, he can restore that which is broken.
After damage is recorded or for those times when we come out damage free, move on. Just as I don’t stop driving because I spun out of control one time or even more, so we cannot become be defeated when we are caught off guard by unexpected road conditions throughout our day. Yes, move on wiser, even more cautious, but do not stop driving.
As much as I wish you all dry roads and sunny conditions all the days of your mothering; I also encourage you to be prepared for the unexpected. In the north we always bring gloves, hats, and boots along on an outing, in case we are stranded, so we can handle the cold conditions. We also put shovels in our trunks, so we can deal with minor mishaps on our own. The armor of God is our warmth against the cold, and God’s Word is our shovel to dig us out of our stuck condition. Being prepared is the best way to face winter driving and it is also the best way to face each day with our family.