Do You Make This 1 Mistake?

james 1:19 melindatodd

It was one of those hard mama days where I was flustered.

My four kids were fighting with each other and I couldn’t wait to get out of the store and go home.

I raced the cart across the parking lot to our white van, threw open the sliding side door and told them to, “GET IN! And then I stomped back to the back door, clicking my unlock button and wondering why the door wouldn’t open.

And then I realized there was no Camp Gilead sticker on the back window. Gulp. I peeked around the back of the van to where my children stood, wide eyed and mouths hanging open, looking at me like I had lost my mind.

“Oh my gosh!” I said as I walked over to the children, spying seats inside a van that did not belong to me. My eyes widened further as I glanced inside and discovered a man sitting in the driver’s seat.

I apologized profusely. Embarrassment danced across my face. Of course there had to be someone in the van. Not only could I not find my own vehicle but I had to pick the same van with someone inside it!

I shut the sliding door and looked around for my vehicle. It was parked in the exact same location, one lane over.

When we got to our van, I turned around and caught the attention of the other owner of the identical van. I laughed, waved, and pointed at my van. He smiled and waved back.

Once we were all safely inside the van we actually owned, I laughed. I laughed until tears danced down to my chin. And the kids giggled right along. I had to apologize to them for telling them to get in a stranger’s van.

It can be so easy to get so caught up in our busy lives that we miss the details telling us we’re making a wrong decision. Like hijacking someone else’s car in a parking lot.

Have you ever made a mistake like this one? Maybe you missed a word while reading and it changed the whole meaning of what you were taking in? Witnessed part of an event and made assumptions about the entire story?

Or have you ever tried to get into the wrong vehicle? Please tell me I’m not alone!

When we are feeling frazzled, we need to make a conscious decision to slow down and calm down before we make any decisions.

“Emotions are indicators, not dictators.” Lysa TerKeurst

I love that phrase. But I admit that it can be hard when emotions are overwhelming your soul to see things as they really are. When anger and frustration roll in, I lose sight of what’s going on around me because of the tunnel vision of my own emotions.

Calming down requires deep breathing and prayer. Once I get myself under control, I start to see the big picture of my current moment life. Emotional tunnel vision has consequences. Like scaring the bajeebers out of some innocent man waiting for his family in a parking lot.

What do you do to refocus when emotions start steering you in the moment? Please share in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends. Maybe they need a little giggle at my mistake today.


Mel signature



  1. Love it! Oh, yes I’ve done the same thing several times.

    Once, my key even fit into the door lock of the tan mini van. We were all tumbling in when the key which even fit into the ignition (!) would not turn. Only then did I notice the items hanging from the rear view mirror. Kids standing there looking at me…luckily the van was empty of occupants. I got out, locked the door

    We always joked that the reason I always took them (made them go) & their crew shopping was so they could help me find my car. Alas, if I’d only listened. 🙂

    Deep breathing. Apologizing to them. Deep blushing. and lots of laughter. The Only Way.

    Thanks for the chuckle and the chance to remember. Shandra
    Shandra White Harris recently posted..Taxes – Transparent Tuesday 4/15/2014

    • I’m SO glad to not be alone! As embarrassing as it is 🙂 Love that your kids joke about going with you to help you find the car. Someday they will understand when they have a million things on their own minds while trying to function with children in tow 🙂 Thanks for visiting and sharing your story!

  2. One day I made this ridiculous gesture to my 10 month old (as if he could understand) and my daughter mocked me— then we burst out in laughter. I like these instances because they reflect the humanness of myself to my children and they get to see that I can roll with the punches of my mistakes. I always try to say to my kids that I’m not perfect and please to not put me on the pedestal meant for Jesus. This situation illustrated my words very well.

    Thank you for sharing that anecdote. I’m happy that the driver handled the situation with understanding.
    Meredith Elizabeth recently posted..Positive Labeling Proactively

  3. Thanks for sharing, Mel! Great story, although I’m sorry you were so embarrassed! Thanks for the reminder that we can’t react based on emotion.

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