The adventure of an impromptu car date…or when a couple chooses to count blessings in stressful circumstances

SATURDAY

So it’s a typical Saturday morning and we are out and about in town when our Volvo starts making some very peculiar noises. I mean really loud, really clunky and somewhat scary.

Now Beauty, as we call her, is prone to groan at times from age {2004} or the weather {she literally screams when it rains heavily or she wades through a puddle, befuddling two mechanics who have been unable to find the source of her complaint!} but this sound was unlike any she has uttered before and is getting worse with each passing mile. We pull into a local strip mall just in time for as we do Beauty lurches to one side and then doesn’t want to budge but Michael manages to pull her into a parking spot.

And then we are stuck at 10 a.m. with a list of errands and places to be.

Out of the car my Michael looks underneath to see if anything is amiss and I spy a penny from heaven, all scuffed up but minted the year we married — 2011. So I pick it up remembering what they say and pocket it knowing that God is holding us through this situation just like I’m holding that tiny copper.

PENNY

Blessing #1 — He is always with us.

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

After repeated attempts to get through to roadside assistance Michael learns — at about 10:45 a.m. — that the tow truck will be here to rescue us and Beauty by 1:03 p.m.  Time to hunker down and decide. My husband and I have to choose to seek out the blessings in our waylaid plans or get grouchy. Thankfully we both choose the former.

Blessing #2 — In any given moment God gives us the gift of free choice and our choices determine outcomes.

Blessing #3 — Our tow cost us only 64 cents since we were a mere .17 over the mileage limit.

Blessing #4 — The mall where we park is in a familiar, safe neighborhood and contains a pizza cafe, a sushi bar and our favorite health food store.

Growing hungry I venture into Nature’s Pantry in search of hot, yummy, food and am rewarded with delicious slices of quiche. His — ham and swiss; mine — gruyere, bacon and zucchini, both with a flaky, gluten free crust. As I wait for our quiche to slow heat in a conventional oven I wander and come upon a display table with NON-GMO Verified Project snacks as free samples. One for me and one for him.

QUICHE

MKS PICNIC

Blessing #5 — Instant car picnic!

Blessing #6 — Bonus of a clean bathroom located in the store!

Blessing #7 — Chocolate!! Dessert on the house. And the dark chocolate almond Bark Thins is the only gf package in the basket! Thanks for saving it for me, Dad!!

BARK THINS

After lunch we stretch our legs a bit and walk hand-in-hand around the parking lot as part of our impromptu Saturday car date. Nearby is an auto dealer and Michael admires the white Audi RS sports car no doubt with visions of trading in old Beauty! Returning to the scene of the crime we content ourselves reading, him online and me flipping the pages of complimentary health magazines I grabbed when buying lunch.

And what date would be complete without kisses? Michael gets all giddy from them and poses a silly question to Siri.

SIRI

Blessing #8 — Gift of laughter in the midst of a trying circumstance.

Finally, 1:03 p.m. arrives, and we’re ready to move on but there’s no tow truck anywhere. A call to the service at 1:15 p.m. let’s us know that “the driver is new. I’m sorry but he’s slow.” It would be at least another hour before his arrival and our expectations take a nose dive.

Blessing #9 — Patience renews with more chocolate consumed!!

BARK THINS 2

We stand outside the car in the nippy autumn air and strike up conversations with shoppers getting in and out of their working vehicles who were only too kind to share a few words and help pass the time.

Blessing #10 — The comfort of strangers.

Blessings #11 — While it is a bit chilly it isn’t raining  — or worse snowing!

Blessing #12 — Gift of protection. It is daylight while we wait and we are not dangerously parked alongside the busy road with cars whizzing by.

MICHAEL PHONE

At 2:03 p.m. we are still waiting and call the service again to be assured once more that help is on the way.

Blessing #13 — Grace and patience to carry us through and keep our attitudes positive as the minutes tick into hours stranded.

At a little after 3 p.m. the tow truck driver calls us directly. He’s on the road where we live looking for us! While the end must always be kept in mind as we venture through life, we really need him right where we are at that moment!

TOW

Blessing #14 — At 3:27 p.m. our very polite — “Yes, Sir” “Yes, Ma’am” — young driver named Matthew shows up. After filling out the obligatory paperwork he gets Beauty up on the flat bed and I feel sentimentally sorry for the old gal.

Blessing #15 — The adventure of riding high in the tow truck together. Either one of us could have been stranded alone.

And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesistes 4:12

TOW RIDE

Blessing #16 — Our mechanic’s garage is only a quarter mile from home and a friend promptly picks us up and transports us back to the house.

Blessing #17 — At 4:20 p.m. we are home at last!! Safe and sound even though carless. Home never felt so sweet!

When I think how the day might have gone if Michael or I or both of us had given into our lesser selves and gotten angry or pouty, I cringe.  A bad attitude only makes a bad situation worse, increases stress between a husband and wife, leaves an unhappy memory of the event and makes our good God sad.

Lesson in the moment — choose wisely!

Blessing #18 — Grace! Always grace!!

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

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13 thoughts on “The adventure of an impromptu car date…or when a couple chooses to count blessings in stressful circumstances

  1. Awe, what a romantic way to spend your unexpected delay. 🙂 My van is a 2002, and after 14 years, and three boys, it’s looking a little worn, but it’s still running strong. I sometimes (oftentimes!) want a new vehicle, but can’t justify it when the van still runs fine. Hope it’s an easy fix for “Beauty,” and that you have her back up and running quickly. ((blessings))

    • Thanks, Brenda, but as of Tuesday we are still carless 🙁 and the word from our mechanic is a huge OUCH to the tune of more than $770!! YIKES…But God…May your van run strong and long 🙂 PS I am mom to three sons also and once drove them around in a big red minivan. They are all grown now — 28 and married, 25 and 22. ENJOY!!

  2. What an awesome testimony of seeking grace in every moment! Such blessings in abundance are there if only we have eyes to see them as you and Michael did. I’m so glad your story had a happy ending, and so blessed to read about how you both waited with godly patience and a hearts looking for joy in adverse circumstances. There’s a great lesson there for all of us. Thanks for sharing, Sheila! Hope the car’s roadworthy now? 🙂 Xx

    • Yes, Joy, God’s grace was flowing in lavish abundance AND our hearts were willing to receive it!! Which made the day much more enjoyable. But as of Tuesday we are still without our Beauty. She is being “held ransom” to the tune of more than $770. YIKES and Double YIKES!! But God… 🙂

      • Yikes and double yikes indeed! One can see how God was preparing you to receive this news by revealing His loving Father hand at work in the daily minutiae with blessing upon blessing coming your way. May you remain at peace as you deal with the financial fall out. As you say, “but God..” Thinking of you, lovely friend. Xx <3

  3. I love this post! Any time that we are with our true love can be a blessed event — even if the circumstances are not what we have planned. Filing your words away in my brain for the next time I am tempted to wreck something with my negativity!

  4. Sheila,

    Just a short note to say, I was truly touched by your post, deeply moved, and more than willing to put it into use should I ever get stranded. Keep them coming! Turning what could have been a disaster into an charming unexpected date…..WooHoo! 😉

    Blessings,
    Sandy

    • Why thank you, Sandy! I am so glad you left your note for your words have encouraged my heart especially as Michael and I were just discussing how to pay the more than $770 un-budgeted bill!! Jehovah Jireh is ever faithful…Blessings and hugs to you!!

  5. Sheila, so sorry to hear about your car and I pray that the repairs are inexpensive and done swiftly, but I must say I really enjoyed this post. Your positive attitude and sweet pictures made me smile and brought a sense of joy to my heart. Thanks so much for sharing! GOD bless both you and Michael! 🙂

  6. Hey Sheila … I love how you both chose, grace, humor, joy in the midst of a really frustrating situation. I’m forwarding this on to my man … you KNOW he’ll enjoy it!

    Blessings to you and Michael, both …