Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lessons from a Car Wash

I caved yesterday, and drove through our local $5 car wash. Right now $5 is $5 and that's sort of a waste when your husband is mostly unemployed, but we can't wash my car at our house right now because our driveway/yard is still trying to dry out from all this wet weather...I was going to wait until it was dryer out, but I was actually growing concerned about my paint job. Not kidding, my car has been THAT dirty for THAT long. We're talking all over, full-out mud streaks, not just country dust. It was past time.

So on the way home from doing some errands today (including a humbling trip to my credit union, who is working with us on allowing a skipped payment next month so we can try to get ahead financially during this lay-off) Little Miss and I drove through the car wash. I talked it up real big, not sure how she'd react. I figured it'd be either fun for her, or terrifying. She's been through it before but not since she was an infant and was too little to have an opinion on such things.

Soon it was our turn. We lined up on the rolling track and I put the car in neutral and hands/feet off the steering wheel/brake. "Here we go!" I squealed happily, as she looked around warily at the rapidly approaching chaos.

Soap and water began to spray, and those giant blue strips that remind me of Octopus legs started slapping the car. "Yay!" I cheered, hoping my enthusiasm would catch on. She wasn't crying, and I thought, so far, so good as I turned around to check on her....

She was hiding. From her car seat, she had both hands thoroughly covering her eyes and wasn't moving a muscle. It was like she thought "if I don't move a muscle, maybe the Octopus won't get me." It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. She stayed just that way, not crying, not moving, just hiding, as we finished the wash and dry and rolled out into the parking lot. As soon as the sunshine shone through the windows, down came her hands, and off we went down the road toward the house.

I think there's a lesson there.

Lately, through the chaos of these last few months since Hubby's lay-off, I've been tempted to hide. Crawl under the covers and ignore reality, hoping that if I couldn't see my circumstances, maybe they couldn't see me. Lately my Octopus has been constructed of bills, bank statements, grocery receipts, dead-ends and dwindling hope.

But even while I cower in the backseat, craving the sunshine and wishing the monsters would just go away, Jesus is still in the driver's seat, guiding me through what I view as danger and what He views as opportunity. Opportunity to grow, opportunity to give and receive blessings as never before, opportunity to increase my faith in my Provider. The car wash was a necessary evil. And I'm hoping so is this season in life. I'm hoping when I get out into the sunshine again, I'll be a little cleaner, a little brighter, a little shinier for Christ.

And hey, maybe even with a fresh Pine scent. =)


  1. What an inspiring post, Betsy! It's true that sometimes we just have to crawl out of the covers, and face our troubles head-on, because with God on our side? Why are we even worrying? He's in control :)

    And your poor daughter! I don't have any children, but I was in the car with my niece once during an automatic car wash. I didn't know she could scream so loud. Poor baby. It took several minutes of her crying in my arms before she calmed down. I don't blame kids for being scared of those octopus arms, though! ;)

  2. Besty, what a beautiful, inspiring post! I'll be praying for the job situation.

  3. I enjoyed your post, too, although I had to laugh (at first) because I name my cars, and for a moment, I thought you were consoling your car. Then, I realized little miss was your daughter.

    I'm praying for your job situation, too. I don't know what your husband does, but mine is a plumber, and he's worked five days this year. Two days in January, and three days so far in February. I've never seen the trades this low. Ish.


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