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Becoming Me

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post here, and for that I am sorry.

I’ve been dealing with some issues of the heart issues. (Not actual medical issues.)

Some family issues.

Some spiritual issues.

Some God issues.

You see, I’ve been trying to “help” God. Trying to show Him, and get Him to understand what I feel I truly need.

I’m sure y’all can guess how that’s been working out for me.

And if you can’t guess, I’ll just tell ya: IT HASN’T!

Lately I’ve been struggling with this comparison of who I am and who I think everyone wants me to be. Ive spent so much time on my knees, calling out to God:

Just CHANGE ME! Make me different than who I am! Just make me more like what they want me to be, who I should be! Help me be different than who I am right now! Or harden my heart, because Lord, something’s got to give!

I’ve screamed out to God, and I’ve prayed this prayed with tears streaming down my face!

I’ve tried so hard to be this person I thought I needed to be. This person who doesn’t let others see hurt and pain in my life. This person who closes the door and says “you can’t see my mess.” This person who wants to appear perfect and whole, and not a little bit broken.

But God says different.

And I find this written on my heart today!

Don’t you know, my child, that it always looks worse before it gets better? Don’t you know I have a plan for you? Have you not learned to quit leaning on your own understanding?

Does the planter not tear up the ground to plant the seed? Do the trees not shed their leaves before they bloom again in the Spring? Does the Mother not labor before she holds her baby? I’m not punishing you, or hurting you on purpose, I’m shaping you! And when I am ready you will be who I want you to be! Just as you wouldn’t rush the artist, be patient with your journey. You were created for a reason. You’re gifts are special and unique to you. You’re headed in the right direction, your road just looks a little different is all.

Uncategorized

Number Three!

Vacation.  Summer.  I don’t know if the two should even be in the same sentence.  All of august I was processing where I stand on life.  We just found out we are pregnant with baby #3. My husband had started picking up more hours and my life felt like it was just dragging on.  

As many of you moms know pregnancy is not easy.  We had been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half and had thought we could only get pregnant on meds.  So we had stopped taking fertility medication in February and we wouldn’t be able to start back until July. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t get pregnant.  Craig and I finally sat down one night and talked. Decided that we would quit fighting Gods plan and just give it to him and stop worrying.  

About a month later I was late but didn’t think much of it.  I had been doing a new diet/food plan and thought maybe it screwed with my system and I was just late.  Then I was in a minor car accident and assumed the stress of it again was why I was late. About a week and a half later I decided I better take a test just in case.   

Sure enough It was positive.  I actually didn’t even believe it.  I ended up taking 4 more tests in a 2 span day.  Craig didn’t believe me either.  

Baby number three doesn’t like food. My nausea has been pretty intense in the evenings and I’m pretty sure my kids think I live in my bed.  I live on Carbs and fresh produce.  

I hope to keep updates and fun facts going on with this pregnancy.  What I am planning to buy, use, don’t use.  Stay tuned for baby Shetler #3 and don’t forget to subscribe!!! 

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Expectations!

Recently we were blessed with the opportunity to get away for an ENTIRE WEEK, just Henry and I!  I knew it would be wonderful to get away, it would be like the honeymoon we never got to take 7 years ago!

Henry’s parents kept our children, and we headed out to northern Wisconsin. I had a whole list of things that I was expecting to do!

  1. Go to lake Superior, and take the tour of shipwrecks, sea caves, and light houses.
  2. See the waterfalls.
  3. Eat at the restaurant that was on one of those Food shows.
  4. Go canoeing/kayaking.
  5. Spend as much time as I could in the water!
  6. Go to Hayward’s candy shop.
  7. Get dressed up and go out for our Anniversary.

As you can see from the list there were quite a few things that I WANTED to do on MY vacation. I wasn’t thinking about OUR vacation. When we headed out Sunday afternoon, I really had no idea what he wanted to do, but these are the things that I expected to do, though I am not even sure I made him aware that I even had these expectations.

And he carried with him some plans or expectations of his own. He planned to be locked in the cabin for most of the trip, spending time that was a little more on the intimate side than I was planning. He planned to pretty much spend the whole trip dry, not really wanting to get in the water! He had this plan of just taking everyday as it comes and I had this whole itinerary planned.

We had a wonderful 8 hour drive up to the cabin which lead to some realizations! Henry and I have both grown and changed over the last 7 years. We are still very much in love, but somewhere along the way we put getting to know each other on the back burner.

I’m not saying we don’t know each other, but our likes and tastes have changed over the years. Sometimes it felt like we were two ships just passing in the night. Almost as if we were living the same life together but apart. I am by no means saying that we were in a bad place, or anything, we just seemed to be having a little bit of a disconnect. We had a lack of communication, we were reading the same book but we weren’t on the same page.

I learned a lot during our trip. To start I learned that spending one on one time with Henry just being us and talking about whatever comes to mind beats sight seeing any day! I learned that once we were on the same page all the “me” things didn’t matter anymore. I learned that it doesn’t take much to have a good time and while getting dressed up is fun, I can have a great anniversary just spending time with Henry by the water, and vacations are so much better when they are more about us than about one or the other. Henry is quite content just being inside watching the water or sitting on the pier feeding the ducks. I knew he didn’t much care for being in the water but I didn’t realize how much he got out of feeding the ducks.  I, on the other hand, love to be IN the water, and while he knows that, he didn’t realize how much joy it brings me!! 

When we left that Sunday, we were kind of miffed at each other. We both had these expectations of what our trip would be like, and hadn’t communicated them to each other. Once we were able to talk them out and come up with a planned that worked for both of us, that seemed to fit both of our needs and desires we were much happier!

Our realization about carrying our expectations got me to thinking about what expectations did I have for home? For the kids? In my friendships?

I have been challenging myself to communicate them, to let them be known and listen to the expectations others have! And life has been so much more pleasant!

My challenge for you this week is to think about what expectations you are holding on to in your relationships, have you been open with your spouse/friend/partner/ect about them? Are you finding yourself upset when your expectations are not met but the other party has no idea about why?

Open up and share about your expectations and see if there is also a change for the better in your relationship!

xoxo

Drena

 

 

Food

Mississippi Mud Cookies (With a Dash of Memories!)

Growing up in the South, it’s hard to steer clear of the cakes and cookies. There’s always someone’s Mama, Auntie, Cousin or Granny forcing you to eat from their kitchen. And by God, if you turn it down, you’ll wish you hadn’t!

Now, as the direct descendant of one of the finest cooks the Arkansas Delta had ever saw, you can guess I’ve had my fair share of delicious southern treats; but, this recipe I’m about to share with you trumps all the recipes I’ve ever partaken in.

It’s fast.

It’s easy.

And…It’s a real memory maker- in the way that it brings the whole family together in the kitchen.

Y’all. I have memories that go way back, before I even started Kindergarten, sittin’ on top of my Granny’s kitchen counter, feet a-danglin’, heart a-poundin’, mouth droolin’… just waitin’ on that Godly Mississippi Mud Cookie mix to get done boilin so we could get it out on the wax paper!

Memories like that time Granny told me not to touch the hot stove that was cookin’ those mud cookies and I did it anyway. Man, I burnt the holy Moses out of myself. And I cried out in pain. My Granny ran back in and before she even rounded the corner, (I remember this as if it were yesterday!), she said, “Now I told ya not to touch the stove but a hard head makes a soft behind!” She then made me go pull a hickory switch from that worn out tree in the backyard and she licked me a few times. Y’all, I didn’t touch a stove again until I was learning to cook on one! HAHA.

Now, my Granny cooked just about everything under the stars, and there wasn’t a day that went by that she wasn’t in the kitchen, cookin’ her little heart out. I remember to this day, this woman cooked 3 course meals at every meal. I wish I could be a fourth of the woman she was! Amongst the kids we played with on our road, several would come out of the wood works when that sweet old woman would yell to us that cookies were ready to eat. Granny’s Mississippi Mud Cookies were famous in our small piece of earth. The town knew her formally as the wife of the Chief of Police, but more often than not, people referred to her as the “cookie” woman. 

  

Without further adieu, here’s my Granny’s famous Mississippi Mud Cookie recipe. Lord knows, that poor woman is probably turnin’ over in her grave while I’m sharing this family relic! Now this is comin’ straight from the torn out newspaper scrap she wrote it on, and for all y’all that don’t understand the southern slang, I’ll do my best to translate:

Ingredients:

About 2 handfuls Sugar (2 cups)
Quarter glass Milk (½ cup)
½ Stick butter
Heaping Cocoa Powder (4 tbsp.)
Quarter glass Peanut Butter (½ cup)
Dash of Vanilla (1 tsp)
3 cups of Quick Oats (yes, actually 3 cups)

In a heavy sauce pan mix sugar, milk, butter, and c. powder then bring to a rolling boil. Boil 1 minute and remove from heat.

Add peanut butter, vanilla, and oats. Mix it up good.

Drop a dollop of the mix with a spoon onto wax paper and let it stiffen up. Put in a butter bowl when cooled off to keep em fresh.

 

That’s all there is to it, folks! I promise, you’ll have a swarm of people in the kitchen with a sweet tooth after this hits the stove. The smell these cookies will put through the house is out of this world amazing. 

Let’s hope Granny doesn’t haunt me in my sleep tonight for putting her recipe out there for the world to see! 

Uncategorized

Dear Younger Me

I drove home the other day with the windows down and music blaring My mind was on the road, and getting myself home as quickly as I could to be home with my babies. I wanted nothing more than to give them a big ole hug, and squeeze them tight!
I was reminded about how fleeting life can be, about how little time we have here in this place. Earlier this week I had the privilege of helping in a small way at a funeral for a young man in our community. I couldn't help but be reminded of where I myself was 14 years prior (almost to the day) when my brothers and I lives were changed.

Dear Younger Me,

Sometimes you'll be the mom, taking care of your children, running your household, delivering the kisses to the skinned up knees and elbows. While other times you'll be the 12 year old girl longing for the arms of her momma simply wishing to be told what to do next.

Sometimes you'll be on top of the world and at other times you'll feel like you're being crushed by it.

Sometimes life is gonna seem unfair. You're gonna make mistakes, and people you thought were forever won't be.

You're gonna get hurt. Your heart gonna feel like it's crumbling and you'll wonder if it is all worth the pain.

You're gonna want to run and never look back. You may even wish that you could just disappear.

I can't shelter you from all that pain, I wouldn't anyway. You don't know it yet but these hardships are shaping you and your life. You're going to look back and see everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for you and it is beautiful!

You're gonna find great love one day, and that sadness is gonna fade. Jesus is going to wrap his arms around you and he's going to pull you closer to him. He's going to bless you with arms that hold you together when your life feels like it's crashing down all around you.

Oh, love, your heart is going to break and it's going to be repaired hundreds of times. You're going to wonder if these dents and breaks will change you for the worst, but younger me, they are going to be what make this soul of yours so much more beautiful!

You'll more than just survive life! You're going to live it! You're going to do wonderful things, and you're going to know great love! You will meet other beautiful souls, and you'll learn so much about life!

You're gonna me just fine!

Love,
Older You!
XOXOXO

Motherhood

The Sisterhood of Motherhood!

Yesterday for me was a mom’s worst nightmare. The tiniest Smo had, against my better judgement, a piece of string cheese. You know, the cheese with all that dairy she’s not supposed to have… yeah… I’m quite the glutton for punishment, apparently! Any parent out there that has a kid with a milk allergy knows where this is going. For the rest of you would-be empathizers, we had a little case of vomit-the-rest-of-the-day-all-over-my-mom-osis, and yes, literally- All. Day. Long.

Boob milk? Blagghhhh…

Applesauce? Yaaahghhhhhh.

GRAPES? Blupakahhhh

BANANAS? Yumm–ohaghhh

PEDIALYTE?! Anything?!!

AHGhdiofheaoiwehfeadlkfjdlfjwghhhhaghhhhhhhhh

You get the gist.

Before I move forward, I have to back up. I need to paint this picture..Because it wasn’t as soon as the cheese hit her mouth that we had to perform a gastrointestinal exorcism. It was after we had raided the fridge and fell asleep in my sister’s recliner for an hour. She finally come home to find us clonked out like Goldilocks and the two little blonde-headed rascals and proceeded to kick me out of her chair. Moving to the couch was the last thing I remember before Tiny Smo sprawled out on top of me, boob-in-mouth and comatose. Now picture it: I’m so far gone to Sleepytown, that on any other day it would’ve taken me an hour to come back. There we are in all our snoozing glory when Tiny Smo fidgets juuust right… and out comes a line of chunks, heave after heave. She’s spewing on the couch, herself–like everything in the path was down for the count. And I’m over here in a haze trying to piece together what’s happening. (In my Kevin Hart voice)…noooo… I wasn’t ready!  

Big sis said later that I didn’t even flinch, I just sat there and stared at the baby- Which I totally believe. Blind as a bat, I’m sitting there squinting at this little bath bomb, thinking, “Is this a dream? Is this kid really throwing her weight in puke up all over me right now or am I just peeing my pants.. Why is there so much? Someone turn off her water valve… It just keep comi—”
“MALLORY! GET OFF MY COUCH, SHE’S PUKING EVERYYYYWHEREEEEE!!!!”

Ok, so yeah.. Not a dream… Maybe.. Definitely a surreal one if it is… Hippity Hop all the way to the Baby Boiler (shower, either way) and as I’m slowly coming back to reality, my nightmare has been slightly derailed by possibly the best sister ever. Instead of telling us to pack our crap and hit the highway like any sane person would, she told us to stay. To get in the shower. She ran around like a mad woman for a good fifteen minutes grabbing towels, cleaning puke (poor girl..), running water, doing all the mama hen duties, etc etc. In the moments following, I was just incredibly thankful that I wasn’t alone, which yes, I know, seems so dramatic.. But it made that craptastic mom moment easier to deal with. To handle what was happening without losing my mind in the process.

Reader’s Digest Version, We spent the rest of the day puking, nursing, changing clothes, sleeping– in no particular order. Every blanket my sister owns was used and christened by Tiny Smo’s stomach contents that day. Poor Trisha. Poor previously-non existent laundry pile… All the girl wants is her house to stay clean for more than 20 minutes and she had US there!

Finally the end of the day is rolling around. Everyone is tired of swimming in puke and showering for the 4th time, and I feel so bad I’ve stayed and she’s STILL puking. Discouraged and thinking, “well maybe it isn’t from her piece of string cheese.. Maybe I should get her away from her cousins in case it’s a virus”, I tell Big Sis I’m going home to fester in the vomit and let her have some peace. She adamantly says I’m not going anywhere. We are eating dinner and it will all be fine. She’s suggests we stay the night. Again, I’m overwhelmed by her. And the generosity she has exhumes. How could I ever be that kind of mom? Or person in general? And how did we ever make it without one another? (Though I feel like what I do for her pales in comparison for what she does in return!)

About that time, she remembers there’s pedialyte in the cabinet. Of course there’s pedialyte in the cabinet. I often joke to her how she’s excessively organized and over prepared for whatever life throws at her- torn clothes, uninvited guests, puking kids. Well, jokes on me because it always comes into my favor. Tiny Smo doesn’t even come up for air as she’s drinking this Pedialyte. We are all gathered in the kitchen enjoying the kids as dinner is on the stove… and we hear a gurgle. We hear a “bloop bloop”… you know it’s coming.

Ta-Da! At this point in the day, I didn’t even flinch. Just cover me, child. I couldn’t care less. It’s not like I could have moved fast enough, anyway. After the day we’d had, there was every reason in the book to be upset. A house that was no longer clean. A sink that would be finding more dishes soon. The towering laundry pile of blankets and hard-to-clean pillows… And now, a kitchen that would need to see a mop once again. The purge splashed so forcefully to the kitchen floor that it sounded just as it would when a woman’s water breaks in the movies.

Call it insanity.. Call it what you will. I death stare into Big Sis and scream, “Oh, Lawdy! My watah broke!!! Hep me Lawd!!!” Big sis and I laughed hysterically, until our eyes were filled with tears. I couldn’t catch my breath. She was clinging to the fridge to not fall over. My stomach hurt from laughing. After what seemed like ages, I stood in the pool of vomit as we attempted to compose ourselves. Big sis took off through the house once again.. but this time the laughter bellowed through the house and for a moment, laughter had broken us free from the strain that can be motherhood. I know I couldn’t do this alone. Today I realized that, as mothers, we’ve come so much closer as sisters. We are both winging this parenting thing most days, but I’ll tell you, she does it flawlessly and it’s inspiring. And no one will understand where you’ve come from, where you’ve been, and where you’re going like a sister can.
As she searched for more towels and clothes, I stood there with Tiny Smo, snuggling, smiling, puke running down both of us…And as she come trudging back in with a towel… all I could see was our Grandma. The Grandma who instilled so much goodness in her. The one who shines so brightly through her granddaughter and her very being..it makes me want to cry.

Our Grandma would be so in love with this moment. Our children, playing together. Sisters, reunited with a bond stronger than ever. Mothers, coming together to support one another.

The Sisterhood of Motherhood!

Hope y'all enjoyed our Guest Writer Mallory Smothers! We hope to feature more post from her in the future!

Motherhood

Motherhood is a Journey

When I was a little girl, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted kids. I can remember outgrowing my baby dolls fairly young. 

I didn’t dream of weddings and babies and all that most little girls dream of. 

I didn’t really want to take care of others. I didn’t want the responsibility of having to teach and train another person to function in society. Especially since I felt I was failing at it so miserably. 

Fast forward to a few years later…

I’m being wheeled through a hospital puking what feels like my guts up! I’m grabbing trash cans as we make our way down the halls. I’m in the most physical pain I’ve ever been in in my life! The nurses are helping me change. I’m like a cd on repeat mumbling “I can’t do this” to myself! 

Within 3 hours, I’m holding my baby girl (whom I was CONVINCED was a boy) in my arms, marveling at the fact that I am in deed now a mother! 

I drug my husband to every birthing and  parenthood prep class that hospital had to offer! I was going to go into this motherhood thing fully prepared!! (I wasn’t!) 

My little girl and I figured this thing out. I learned to be a mother to this perfectly created being! She learned to roll and talk and crawl and walk! I was teaching her things! Important life changing things! 

She learned to feed herself with a spoon, and to say yes ma’am and no ma’am and please and thank you. She learned to say she’s sorry and to ask for forgiveness. She learned about forgiveness and about God! I felt like I was on top of this motherhood thing!! 


Soon life threw me a curve ball! A blessing in disguise really. My older handicap brother was in need of a new home. He needed someone with less health problems to take care of him, someone who could focus more on him! 


I grew up with Joe, he’s always been there! We didn’t even talk too much into detail about it when Henry and I agreed. I mean how hard could it be? I grew up helping take care of Joey! 

Well let me tell you! There’s a huge difference between helping take care of your brother as his sister and caring for him as his main care giver! It became my job to make some of his bigger decisions in life. It feel to me to make sure he was staying safe. We switched some rolls, I wasn’t just the little sister anymore. I was who was going to make sure he thrives in life! Help him not lose the life skills my mom and aunts helped him learn. When he was a baby the doctors didn’t think he’d ever walk or talk! And boy let me tell you he talks (especially when he doesn’t want to do something!) 


I found myself figuring out things I didn’t think I would have to learn at 22! Like all the behind the scenes stuff for his insurance and what not. 

I’ve had 2 more babies since Joey came to live with us! And I can’t tell you how many times he’s been mistaken as my husband because he goes everywhere with us! (Can you say awkward?) 


But I have to say it’s been amazing watching him and his nieces and now nephew grow together! Watching the child like excitement on his face as well as theirs when they do things like play in the pool or on the trampoline. Listening to my youngest daughter ask Joey to hold her hand as they walk through the sand to the lake! 

Motherhood is a journey! It often catches us by surprise with some of life’s curve balls! And for a journey I wasn’t sure I really even wanted to take, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else but right here right now! 

Xoxo

Drena 
Enjoy this pictures of Joey with his date at the special needs prom last month!! 

DIY, Food

DIY: Pie


I’ve had a bunch of people ask me what my secret is to my pie creations.  I’ll be honest there is no secret. 

 

When I was a freshman in high school Ihad the  opportunity   to live with the amish.  This is where my love for making pie began.  My amish mom made a pie for supper one evening and pie filling as well.  This was so interesting to me as my family didn’t make pies growing up.  No, I was not sheltered but we just didn’t eat or make pie.  

My love for pie has grown over the years and within the last year has really taken off. I love to make them for potlucks, dinner, and just for fun.    I have found stock piling my pie filling and even having crust in the freezer makes for a quick dessert. 

I’ve since tweeked my recipe and found my favorites.  Pie really isn’t has hard as it sounds.  I make mine in my food processor!!  

Recipe: 

2 1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup COLD butter
1/2 tsp salt
pinch sugar
1/3 cup cold water

I throw everything into my food processor  but the water.  I process until it’s crumbly then I slowly add in the water.  
after the dough has come together in a lump I will use it right away or you can chill your dough.  This makes enough dough for a double crust pie and probably a little extra.  

To bake I start single crust pies low at 350 degrees but for double crust I start at 425.  

I often make a few batches and freeze them.  I freeze them in single lumps.
 

I love being creative with my crust tops!!  I always felt pie tops were always so boring so I started looking around for cookie cutters or ways to make pie tops more fun.  

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013JEIVHW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OT9NJ88/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PXDV7YC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These are my favorite cookie cutters for pie.  

From here I just create.  I sometimes have an image in my mind but I just start cutting and placing them.  
The trick to having such beautiful tops is making sure everything is cooked evenly!!  The bottom crust, filling and top crusts.  It’s hard.  

I’m still working on cook times.  

 
  Tips:  

  • Using COLD ingredients like butter, water  helps keep your dough from shrinking in the oven.
  • When rolling your dough out put the dough between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper so you dont have to dirty your counter and have a nice handle on the dough.  
  • Watch the pie. Don’t leave and expect it to bake like a cake.  Check back make sure it isn’t burning around the edges
  • Place a pan under the pie for catching spills.
  • Have fun making it.  It shouldn’t be stressful.
  • Practice. If you want perfection in a pie make a bunch. experiment with baking time, ingredients in the dough.  

I hope you enjoy what knowledge I have about pie making.  Would love to hear your tips and tricks on baking!

Asenath XoXoX… 

Food, Uncategorized

Kids’ Favorite Macaroni Salad!

In our house on of our go to meals is Macaroni salad! I make this a few times a month, and often will just eat it for supper. 

It’s great for when it’s so hot out you just don’t wanna cook or eat hot food! Growing up in the south, that was a regular thing. 

My kids love it! 

You will need:

  1. Macaroni noodles
  2. Tuna
  3. Mayo
  4. Cucumber
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Hard boiled eggs optional 

Start by boiling your noodles to your preferred doneness and in a separate pan hard boil your eggs.  When your noodles are strain and run under cold water til noodles are cool to the touch. Add noodles to large mixing bowl. Open and drain your can of tuna. Add tuna to noodles. I prefer tuna in water but you are free to use whatever you’d like! (Can chicken works also). Dice as many cucumbers and tomatoes as you would like.( For a 16oz bag of macaroni I use 2 medium tomatoes and 1 cucumber). Add diced cucumbers and tomatoes to the noodles. Add diced hard boiled eggs if you have them. Add enough mayo to lightly coat the salad and stir! You are welcome to season with whatever you’d like! I like to use season salt and garlic with a few pinches of sugar as my husband like his on the sweeter side! 


Enjoy! 

Uncategorized

It’s only an accident.

My week started out like any other week. Church on Sunday. Woke up Monday to go walk at 5am.  Came home and got ready for the day.  Brice had had a reaction around his underwear line so I decided to call the doctor and take him in to make sure he didn’t have any poison ivy or reaction to his pull-ups.  Monday’s are my days to work at an assisted living facility so we decided to go up early and eat lunch at daddy’s work between places.  Celie was clingy Monday and was acting weird so I gave her the option to come with me or go with grandma.  She chose to go to grandma’s.  We headed for town.  Dropped Celie off at grandma’s and went to Iowa City.  Brice didn’t have poison ivy.  YAY!!!  I’m extremely allergic to it and so I’m always happy when it’s not poison ivy.   

After the Doctor we grabbed lunch at and went to Craig’s work to eat there.  It pored rain for the time we were there.  We left and headed to the assisted living facility where I do hair.  I was only going for a bit because I needed to get Brice home and on his medicine so he’d stop itching his rash and I needed to go to target, I thought, and get some last minute things before we headed to the zoo this weekend.  

I finished my appointment and we left.  As I left I called my brother’s girlfriend to see if she wanted to go with me and that i’d come pick her up.  I got in the car and left.  I was driving in an area I’ve driven many times.  I was comfortable.  Maybe too comfortable.  

I turned right onto the main road.  Heading towards my friend’s house.  I remembered my watch had been charging all morning and decided I would put it on.  I glanced down for maybe a second and when I looked up I realized I was going through a red light.  I thought to myself “whoops, hope no one is driving through….” BAM!!!   I hit a crossing car.  My air bags deployed. We spun. 

I don’t really remember how I reacted except I needed to get out of the car fast.  I turned around yelled at Brice to unbuckle.  I quickly hoped out and opened the sliding door and pulled Brice out.  Here’s the scary part.  Sometimes we let Brice sit in Celie’s booster seat and today was one of those days.  He does really well and I didn’t see why not.  Yes, I know dumbest idea ever. And now I know why.

Brice hoped out and we ran over to the other car.  There was a young kid driving, 16.  He couldn’t open his door so I told him to go out the other.  We both made sure we were all okay.  We were all okay just shooken up.  We were right by the police station so two police officers came out and helped us.  We exchanged all our information. Tow trucks were called.  Family members were called. 

After everything was figured out we met with the police officer.  I was issued a ticket for running a red light. I was nauseous, scared, sore, embarrassed.  My pride was definitely bruised.

Here’s what the whole point of this post I hope helps with.  Sometimes we make big mistakes.  Sometimes we become distracted while driving.  Let’s work on not being distracted while driving. I know as mom’s this is so hard.   This has even shown to be hard since Monday as we drive to day to day places.  I decided to sit down and talk to my kids.  I explained to them why it’s so important for mom to watch the road and not worry about what there picture looked like or how they looked in their sun glasses until we were in a safe place.  Yes, i still have to make comments about waiting until we stop or get to our destination.  My kids are getting better at waiting and are more patient.  

James 1: 2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” 

There is so much of God’s work behind this whole situation and I could go on for days about how and why but I remembered 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  You may not see that running a red light and totaling our new minivan a God thing but believe me.  This could have turned out far worse.  No one was injured.  We don’t have a car payment anymore.  Brice was fine.  I’m sore but nothing but time will heal that.  God was so good to us that day.  We can’t help but praise Him for his faithfulness.

So please put away the distractions.  Talk to the kids about being distracting in the car.  And be safe!!

Asenath Shetler XoXoX…