Playing with purpose

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Sliding in Grace

It is said; “every level of life comes with its own devil.” That may be true, but even then, it is all under the blood. I suspect; however, it is more accurately a reflection of my personal growth. The challenge to me is not the presence of difficult or embarrassing times. But rather, my ability to see the hand of GOD, the consistent melody of His voice, the surety of His purpose in every situation.

We had been blessed with a 12-passenger van. This was most welcomed as part of our duties required school transport. Often the last part of the childcare day occurred at a local park, convenient to parent pick up. I needed a large vehicle to carry all our snacks, toys, porta potty, diaper changing station, change of clothes, blankets, and etc.

This van was an old lumbering metal giant, that set so high off the ground; the children used a step stool to get into the van. It had three rows of seating with bucket seats in the front. Once I got inside I did not need to exit to get to the opposite side. I would swing my legs to the center aisle; strand up from my seat and walk to the other side. This was not a perfect van, but for $1,000.00 it was a perfect fit for us.

I mentioned already, that the children needed a step-stool to climb inside. Sometimes their little legs so short that the step-stool only placed them chest high to the van’s floor. So, they would crawl into the van and run to their seats. Getting into the driver’s seat could be just as problematic.

Despite these obstacles, I preferred a larger and higher seated vehicle. You only needed to see me exit from a low vehicle, just once, to understand. Cooler and more sophisticated people might gracefully, swing up and out; I usually crawled to exit. Bent in the driving position, pitching forward arms flailing, hands grabbing; while I attempted to ‘right’ myself before I fell on my face.

I learned to wear maxi skirts when driving this van. This allowed me to throw one leg up on the platform. Reach over and grab the steering wheel and hoist myself up into the seat.

The largesse of that van brought out the Cowgirl in me. I swear it was like wrangling a proud two-toned brown steer. Other cars cut a wide path for me. I was tons of metal. Their pretty fiberglass bumpers were no match for me! But, that steed could buck, and sometimes I would forget how to safely dismount. So, on the day I took it to have tires replaced, there was a slight incident.

As usual, I swung open the door, extended one of my feet, stretching for first contact with the asphalt. I don’t know. Maybe I was trying to be cowgirl cute, in front of the shop full of watching men. But, my foot never found the concrete.

Still, I had forward momentum. So instead of gracefully and competently stepping out of my van; I slid down the side of the open van door. Once my hips cleared the floor, I tumbled to the asphalt.

I may have grabbed the door frame, thus holding myself above the asphalt. I honestly don’t recall. I pulled myself upright and reached back for my purse, slammed the door closed and tried to act like it was just a ‘fine day’ to purchase a tire.

Trust me when I say, there is no dignified, sexy, or ladylike quality to your walk after you have fallen out of your van! But, the employees of the tire shop were true gentlemen.

As I stepped inside, there was not a snicker, or horse snort to be heard. Until the guy waiting on me, took my order then causally remarked; “I saw you kind of fell out of your vehicle, are you alright?” That’s when the giggling and smiles came out of hiding.

Needless-to-say, when my business was concluded all eyes seemed to focus on me. But, my cowgirl was back! She swung her foot up into that van and in one smooth motion, climbed inside and clicked her seat belt. You know why this did not happen more often? Because normally I would stand and walk over to the kid door and step down without any awkwardness.

The upside of this purchase far outdistanced the downsize. Thank GOD for grace then, thanking GOD for grace now. Considering what the Lord continues to do in my life; I am more than happy to slide into any blessing He gives me. Happy Friday!

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