The bittersweet taste of humble pie

Sometimes it's a lot easier to bite into the bitter and almost impossible to sense the sweet. I understand these things are necessary, yes, but if I'm honest sometimes I don't enjoy it.

For example, I have already sobbed the story of Bonnie, the sad silver 1995 Pontiac that has graced the all-important, distinctive Meridian neighborhood in South Austin. But, there's more! After multiple trips to Carter's Transmission on South Lamar (during which my new mechanic friend Doug and I practically had each other on speed dial and after our multiple encounters I thought the shop deserved thank you brownies... they weren't so sure:), it was established that the Bonneville's fate was a slow power steering fluid leak, which means that I will continue my absurd little routine every time I leave or arrive at the new house on the corner.

This slow, determined leak is producing a lot of things - perseverance for one. Each day I inspect the cardboard placed ever-so-carefully after pulling into the drive the night previous. I try to do a sweeping glance of the usually calm neighborhood before I kneel on all fours to pull out the corrugated, cricket-infested layers, but I can never be sure who sees the ridiculous ritual.

In addition to the placing and removing of the cardboard, I also had to figure out a plan to clear the drive of the small dark spots my leaks caused. I tried: coca-cola, baking soda, dish soap, coarse brush, detergent, and even limes. Our neighbors saw me frequently bent over the same area: scrubbing, rinsing, sweeping, and praying the devils away... I finally gave in and bought some top-notch concrete de-oiler that gas stations use. It looks like that did the trick.

In addition to the cardboard and the cleanup, I had to send out an SOS to the parents for a little financial assistance. ... Something I was hoping I wouldn't ever have to do.

I could keep adding 'additions' to the slices of humble pie I consume - at work when I wear the same thing twice in one week, on the highway when it takes me a while to get up to speed, in the parking lots when I get into my banged up driver's side, at home when I feel bad about staying in and bad about going out.

Even though this may seem to be a pity party, it's really just my being vulnerable with things I can't hide. I guess that's not the vulnerable part, because everyone can see it. What feels vulnerable is admitting that these 'tantamount trials' are very trivial. And... ironically the more I insist I'm eating humble pie, the less humble I am about it.

Sigh. Such is the plight of the sinner. But, that's where the sweetness comes in - though I have no good thing in me, the Lord restores and redeems me in this life. He makes strong my weakness and makes sweet my bitterness.

It took me awhile to finish this (there's no end to the humbling moments! But I finished writing this on Sunday 9.16) but in the meantime, I have felt blasted with blessings!!

Just this morning the Lord brought Dawn and I together at the coffee table outside church to plan ways to bring Him glory through outreach on campus! She works for Campus Crusade and has been trying to get on my campus for almost 2 years - and now we have each other to encourage and challenge.

Also, my good friend Ben is coming this weekend, which will be a much needed time of fun and fellowship that I am so looking forward to!

So, with another bite I raise my pie high and say thank you, giver of oil leaks, denter of doors, and keeper of thrifty budgets - I've got a LOT to be thankful for!

It's been brought to my attention that my drama has got the best of me again. My apologies!