Neon Lights, Purses and Metaphors

I want a flashing neon light pointing me in the right direction answering my questions.I ask Him often for one, but God has yet to send me one.

This week he sent me a purse instead. Let me explain.

I have a friend that has great purses. This week at a dinner I shoved my disheveled purse under the table and didn’t think about it much until I saw hers. It was beautiful. I think what I liked most was that it was clean and sat there nicely. I didn’t look inside, I’m sure it was organized though. I was jealous of that purse.

The more I thought about it I was almost embarrassed of my own. For one, there is a blue paint stain on it. I have no idea where from. It is as old if not older than my youngest child, I think it is closer in age to my 7 year old actually.

It was old and tired looking, just as I’ve felt the past couple of weeks. My friend’s purse, if it is a thing, looked like it had energy and was ‘put together.’ I wanted to feel put together, not old and tired.

I wasn’t going to buy one. We are a large, single income family, and our budget doesn’t have a “mama needs a new purse” category.

I didn’t look online or go to a nice store to look at one. But…as I was getting groceries at Wal-Mart yesterday, I perused through the purse isle. I saw a cute little purse. It didn’t look like my friend’s purse, but it was small and would lay across my body and I would not have to worry about it falling off my shoulder when helping kids and carrying everything else I carry. Better yet, it was on clearance for $7! It came home with me.

I didn’t have time to switch it out before I picked up kids from school. When we got home, I put one backpack over my shoulder, my old purse on the other shoulder, grabbed my water bottle, coffee cup, and a lunch bag. I walked around the van and used one arm to help my son out of the van. As I put him down, he was on one foot and couldn’t hold his weight. He fell to the ground. My son with weak muscles fell because my hands were full. I didn’t even realize how full they were until I set everything down to help him up. He was okay, but I felt horrible.

Our day went on. Eventually, I switched my purses out. I found 4 little people princesses, 20+ grocery receipts, 13 or so pens, dollars worth of loose change, 2 toy cars, gum, glasses. The worst though was a piece or several pieces of disintegrated gum had left sticky residue over everything in the bottom of my purse. That left over residue was holding everything down. I cleaned up what I could, tossed the rest, and put only 4 things in my new small purse. It felt therapeutic!

This morning with my new purse slung crosswise over my torso, I used both arms to gently and easily lift my son out of the van and put him securely on two feet safely on the ground.

It hit me just at the moment. It wasn’t a flashing neon light, He didn’t use the purse to hit me on the back of the head to wake me up, it was just a simple thought.

When you don’t carry so much, you don’t drop things.

In full disclosure, this happened after a therapy appointment for my son. I am the mom that hijacked some my son’s therapy appointment. I love when health professionals see the whole family. She reminded me that our situation is unlike just about anyone else’s. When I need help, it is because I have a lot and it’s okay to need it. I knew everything I was being told, but it makes me feel better when someone licensed says it.

But that conversation, my new purse and my literal and metaphorical lighter load all were telling me the same thing. When I don’t carry as much, I don’t drop things.

Holding everything yesterday and still thinking I could help my son out of the van is a metaphor for what I’ve been doing the past couple months. I’ve been holding everything and still thought I could help everyone. Maybe I didn’t get the easy flashing light answer I would prefer, but maybe then I wouldn’t have learned from it.

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