My oldest, “What’s that smell?”
It was at that moment that I too smelled it. I also saw the truck up head and we were closing in rapidly. The smell was also growing…exponentially.
“It’s that truck up ahead.”
We got closer…
The smell got stronger…
I am the mom of four children. I have worked in daycares and taught in schools…for YEARS!!! I have smelled stinky stuff, but THIS…this beat all I have EVER smelled. Think diapers and garbage, mixed with a little of my 3-year-old’s boots (trust me on that one). Stir it all together, let it cook in the swamp for a few decades, and then load it onto a truck…
It was BAD…
I read the sign, the passing zone was ending…
“Oh, no, we’re not. Y’all hang on!”
Mama pushed that pedal down and we cruised around that rolling pile of stink as fast as I could manage without lifting off.
“Everyone hold your breath…DON’T BREATHE!!!”
We made it…alive…ok, it wasn’t THAT fast. Everyone was still conscious and with me. So was the smell. It hung on for AT LEAST five miles WITH the windows down.
“Nahnah is going to get behind that truck,” I told the girls. My mom was following behind us at a good distance. I couldn’t see her in my mirror, but she was back there…and we BARELY made the passing zone.
I slowed down to a reasonable enough speed to quickly call her on the phone…no where near slow enough for the truck to catch back up…you can bet your bottom dollar on that one.
“I hope you enjoy the stink.”
“I was just noticing that something smelled.”
“Oh, if you are just NOTICING it, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Just wait!”
I’m sorry to admit it, but I laughed until I could hardly see straight. She was witnessing clumps of stinkage falling out of the back of the truck and onto the road. Thankfully it didn’t hit her van because only dynamite could have solved that problem. I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I described my mother’s (the woman that carried me in her womb, raised me, and continues to love and support me) tortured gasps and chokes to my kids until she was finally blessed with another passing lane. She made it. I warned her the smell would clear in a few miles. It did.
Later that night, she also admitted that she had never witnessed something that horrific smelling in her life.
Did I mention it was BAD?
It hit me that night in the shower…how often does my attitude reek like that stinky truck? How often am I going along during the day with an attitude that leaves people wondering, “what is that SMELL?”
Probably more often than I would be pleased to admit.
It’s hard sometimes…remaining positive when things are just…tough. You know those times…
You didn’t get a peaceful night sleep.
There is not enough coffee and you JUST went to the store.
Finances are not looking good.
The kids are fighting.
The weather is crummy.
The car needs to go in the shop.
You feel like you may be coming down with a cold.
This list is LONG…
Sometimes it’s difficult to “look at the bright side” and remain positive. It’s during those times that we must remain especially tuned in to “what” we say and “how” we say it.
Ephesians 4:29 NIV
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
It is not easy for me…not easy at ALL. Sometimes I feel like a pressure cooker, needing to let out steam to keep from blowing. Music helps my steam vent in a quieter, more peaceful manner.
Sometimes life feels suffocating. To-do lists seem to grow instead of getting, even the slightest bit, shorter.
Philippians 2:14-15 NIV
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
It’s easy to get lost in a world that is constantly telling us that we are not enough and that we need to DO more to be truly satisfied. Find your happy place, friends. Whether it’s music, a warm cup of tea, a hot shower, or a short walk. Try, make an effort…squeeze in whatever you can. Whatever it is that is getting to you, remove yourself from the situation, even a brief second can help. Pray, breathe, and relax. Regroup. Try to change your perspective and see if you can look at your situation from another angle. Any angle, but let your speech be wholesome. Words may not break bones, but they sting, and they leave lasting marks.
Try to sprinkle a little pleasurable fragrance to your attitude and don’t leave others to wonder what the horrible smell is.
Now, let me go re-read this several times and see if it can sink in…