Monday, April 4, 2011

Thanks: When Life Doesn't Go As Planned

I saw her start to pull out and knew there was no way my husband could get out of her way in time. The car shuddered as her car pushed the passenger side rear wheel out of alignment and mashed in its own front bumper. She and I got out of our cars at the same moment. She, so upset and full of apologies - taking responsibility before I could say a word.

Fortunately it was in a parking lot; we were stopped at a stop sign; she had just begun to pull out; no one was hurt. I was thankful for all of those things. I think I even said so, but then began to make a mental list of all the tedious paperwork and telephone calls that were going to be a part of our immediate future. It began at once, with endless phone calls to report the accident, call her parents, the police and the towing service. My well-laid plans for the evening were fast crumbling to dust.

It is my very selfish tendency to get all bent out of shape when life doesn't go according to plan. However, I have a friend who has written a treasure of a book about gratitude. These days I am looking for the gifts the Father pours into my life on a daily basis. Was this little accident, this dent in my plans, meant to be counted as one of those?

The answer is, of course, yes. It is up to me to view it through the prism of gratitude. When seen in that light, it is somehow transformed. So....with thanks:

151 - for keeping us all safe Father
152 - for the opportunity to show grace to a frightened young girl
153 - for her parents who were more than gracious
154 - for the kindness of strangers who stopped to see if all was well
155 - for insurance that covers the cost
156 - for a gracious, competent adjuster
157 - for a husband who called the adjuster's manager to tell him how much we appreciated his work (the manager nearly fell out of his chair, "No one ever calls to tell us we've done a GOOD job!")
158 - for a Father who is with us every moment of every day
159 - for a lesson in learning that my plans are not the most important thing
160 - knowing that people are far more important than things

and other things:
161 - great message from our Pastor - "Don't Worry!"
162 - a wedding gown for our beautiful girl
163 - children leading in worship, and a little girl who couldn't finish her solo for the tears; how I love her tender heart
164 - stars - and You know them by name

linking to the Gratitude Community at Ann's today (where you can print out your very own gratitude journal).



  1. A dent in the plans -- isn't it just like that?

    (And of course, you know I'm loving #156 & 157!) ;-)

  2. My favorite today is 151!!
    Thank you Father for their

  3. Oh, how I need this perspective today. Change in plans? What plans? All plans are on hold until further notice in Lynchburg.

    Waiting to hear back from our adjuster. It could be days...

  4. they're ALL my favorite...
    can i have that many favorites?

  5. Of course I'm thankful you're all fine. So after that, my favorite is 152. That girl needed that witness. Then 153: it's always refreshing to know of parents who don't come out blaming the other person, and then 154: the good samaritans who stopped in the middle of their busy evening to make sure you were all okay.

  6. So thankful no one was hurt. and good for you--that hard eucharisteo had taken root in your heart. I think it will serve well.Love you, Linda. Praying for all good things. (Especially the wedding!)

  7. I love your list. Would love to see that little soloist ( :
    I had a scary thing happen to me in a parking lot. The difference is the other guy was ballistic and ranted and raved and said bad things, called me names I have never been called before was awful. It was a lesson to me though. I had a little 3 year old in the van with me. I should have just got back in the van ( and locked the doors)and called the police and told them I was afraid that the man might hurt us... I should not have listened to his abuse. Soooo glad yours was different.

  8. I am also so thankful you are all safe, Linda. What a remarkable list, and how many reminders for me there are in it. Thank you, sweet friend.

  9. Beautiful list - you did well in a tough situation.

  10. I am so glad no one was hurt Linda! You couldn't be more right, people are far more important. The kindness of strangers is such a gift, one I have been noticing lately. A wedding gown... how exciting! :)

  11. You are physically safe. I'll put that on *my* list!

  12. your heart is so beautiful linda. you shine with gratitude. and yes, i owe you a note... soon, friend. love you.

  13. I truly believe we get these little "dents" in our lives for a reason, keeps us on our toes to not forget just how much we do have to be grateful for!! Thank God no one was hurt in the accident. I was in a fender bender a couple of years ago in a mall parking lot, I had my mom with me and to this day I'm still grateful that no one was hurt. xoxo

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