So what is the biggest bind you’ve ever ended up in due to your own forgetfulness?
I have two stories that make me hang my head in shame.
Monday morning I was home with my oldest who was sick. We were sitting on the couch together. He was watching TV and I was doing some research for a lesson. There were a few knocks on the door and then the doorbell rang a few times. Still in my pj’s, I decided not to answer. And to add a little perspective, we get monthly visits from neighbors who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I just wasn’t in the mood. It was about time for them to come around again, so I was pretty sure it must be them. They are lovely people, but this just wasn’t the time.
A little while later my son started up the stairs to get his inhalers, and announced that there was a van in the driveway. I went to peek, and couldn’t for the life of me think of who might own that van.
Pretty soon the phone rang. I answered. Much to my mortification it was my friend…who I had invited over…who was supposed to be at my house for the first time for a life coaching session of all things. Who wants to be coached by someone who CLEARLY doesn’t have her own life together when she invites someone over to her house and leaves them sitting in the driveway, worried, for 30 minutes??? I had remembered on Friday. By Monday, all vestiges of the arrangement disappeared from my mind. You would have thought the ringing doorbell would clue me in.
I opened the door and she and her other friend stepped in and we chatted while the egg dripped off of my face. They were so gracious. My friend even prayed for me, which I obviously was in need of!
Will you feel better about me if I remind you this was right after Easter weekend?
My second story occurred about two years ago. I simply shake my head as I think about it. My husband and I pay off our credit card bill in full each month. We never carry a balance. I forgot to pay the bill, was slapped with a heavy penalty, and then of course had to pay the interest. I was horrified. As a stay-home mom with no means of income, I had no idea how I was going to correct my mistake. I refused to waste my husband’s hard earned money due to my forgetfulness.
Fast forward a week or so later. My college-aged nephew was talking about donating plasma. I started asking questions. An idea began to stir in my brain. A few days later, I finally decided on a brilliant plan to donate plasma myself. It would just cover the cost of my error.
I wasn’t about to tell my husband any of this. Not that he would be mad, but I knew he would make fun of me.
I scheduled an appointment when I would be kid-free. I knew the boys would rat me out if they came along. Like a good girl, I ate a healthy breakfast. I had convinced myself that not only would I be making money, but I was doing a good life-giving thing. Additionally, my nephew would make a little extra for referring me. Win, win, win.
Lose, lose, lose. After filling out the paperwork and doing some preliminary stuff, the lady sat me in a chair and put one of those rubber bands on my arm and started poking around with her finger. Did I mention that nurses often have trouble drawing my blood? I’ve had bad experiences with needles. I was near terrified, but dang it, I needed that $60.
She removed the band, and looked at me apologetically. “I’m sorry. Your veins are just too small. The needle we use to get plasma is bigger than a regular needle. Maybe you could try again another time. Exercise your arms for a few weeks and maybe that will help.”
Two emotions washed over me. First of all, incredible relief that the large needle would not be going into my arm. Second, extreme dejection. Crud. This was my last hope. How would I ever compensate for my ridiculous mistake? My desperation had sunk me to the level of poor college students. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t concerned about saving lives, I was concerned about covering my rear end.
The story was too ironic, and frankly hysterical, to not share with my husband. He was gracious, as I knew he would be, but I swore him to secrecy. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I may never live it down with some members of my family.
So for anyone who knows me that has the false assumption I have it all together, now you know the truth. Me and my mess for all to see.
But here’s the thing. I am blessed with people in my life who grant me grace. It’s hard to give yourself grace when you screw up, but what does fretting about it really do? Doing so only makes you more anxious and disgusted with yourself. I stuffed down feelings of inadequacy all day Monday. If others can grant me forgiveness, then surely I can forgive myself. Everyone messes up sometimes. EVERYONE. There is no such thing as true perfection on this earth, so we might as well get used to laughing at ourselves.