Thursday, June 30, 2016

Traffic Violation

I've had my driver's license for 33 years and haven't read a driver's manual in about 34 years.  You may be far removed from studying for those tests as well, so let's have a pop quiz, shall we?:

If you are driving down the highway and see a policeman who has pulled someone over on the right, off the highway, and you are traveling in the right lane, are you required to merge to the next lane over?

I'll give you time to think on that.

Yes you say?  Bravo because you are right and kudos for you knowing that.  I would have answered no, and not only am I wrong, but I now have a traffic date in court.  

While I was traveling home the other night, I was almost to my exit that takes me home when I saw the above mentioned scene ahead of me.  I looked to see if the right lane was blocked or obstructed, and it wasn't.  Since my exit was just past this scene, I didn't want to get over unless absolutely necessary.  It was about 9pm and the sun was setting in my rearview mirror causing some glare.  As I approached this scene, I saw the cop on the side of the road throwing his arm to the left like he had a charlie horse in his elbow.  I took that to mean "get over" though I didn't get it, but I checked the ability to merge left, and then did.  Shortly after, I merged back to the right lane since I was about to exit.  And that's when my night went south.

I see his flashing lights behind me.  I first thought, "Did I swerve?  Do I have a tail light out?"  Seriously, I had no idea why I was getting pulled over.  It crossed my mind I didn't merge left fast enough so I expected a stern talking to and a pass on a citation.  Au contraire, mon frer.  Not the case.

He came to my window and asked for my driver's license, insurance card and registration.  Praise Jesus I had all those things and knew where to find them!  He was gone for a while, apparently making sure I wasn't on the lam from some high stakes murder ring.  The police officer returned, handed all my paperwork and IDs and said, "Here is your court date."  I asked, "Officer, can you explain the offense?"  He said, "Sure, you didn't observe right of way for an emergency vehicle.  Did you see me motioning you to get over into the next lane??  Did you see my flashing arrow?"  I said, "I didn't see a flashing arrow..." Interrupting the officer said, "Well it was flashing."  I continued, " I saw you motioning and I got over as soon as I could."  Mr. Policeman said, "No you didn't.  You didn't get over."  I replied as calmly as possible, "I did get over.  But I got back in the right lane because this is my exit."  He replied, "Ok, so you got over, but it was past me."  And he walked off.  

It took all the grace of God to keep me from going off.  I'm a pretty level-headed, calm person, but I was furious.  Not only did I not know this was a violation, this citation was court only.  No pre-payment to avoid court, or traffic school as an option.  Given it was June 28, I can only think my citation was to help meet his monthly quota.  

I plan to plead at my court date that I had no idea of this law - friends have told me it's fairly new - and that unless those types of laws are communicated, I can't abide by them.  If we are supposed to get over in the next lane, put a barricade in the right lane and there will be no question.  I know ignorance doesn't stand up in a court of law, but maybe my southern charm will help.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Giddy Up, Eunice!

I'd never read a book authored by Sophie Hudson, even though I follow her on all the socials.  She seems like a fun, southern gal who loves the Lord, and who doesn't need more of that in your life?  A few months ago, she announced a new book being released in June and was recruiting for her launch team.  I was in the midst of my first two launch teams ever - Looking for Lovely, and The Gospel of Mark Bible study - and thought, "yeah, let's do this again!"  

Entering into this journey, I had no idea the topic of the book. With a name like "Giddy Up, Eunice" I assumed it was some sort of Toy Story spin-off where Woody and Buzz rescued Grandma Eunice from the jaws of a Lego crane.  But the sub-title, "Because women need each other" was intriguing and indicated it was more than a toy search and rescue thriller.  

Sophie takes three teams of women from Scripture - Mary and Elizabeth, Ruth and Naomi, and Lois and Eunice (there's Eunice!) - to show the biblical evidence of why women need women.  Each dynamic duo is used to show how God used each one for the other and how that applies to our lives today in our fast-paced, hashtag, social media world. #imexhausted  Now, if you pick up this book and expect an expositional retelling of each of their stories, it's not.  And, that's completely ok!  I believe there is a time for deep, Scriptural study and a time when we look at the biblical story, draw out the truths, and well, Giddy Up!  

As a woman who works at a high school with many young girls, Sophie adds her own spice of life experiences and how they apply to ministering to women.  The most endearing part of the book, to me though, are the stories of her Mom, her Mother-in-Law, Martha, and her Mamaw.  We visualize the legacy of her Mamaw as we tour her farm and Sophie retells her experiences.  Through her stories, we fall in love with those that have invested in Sophie's life and it causes the reader to begin to reflect on their own legacy and those that have played a part in the development.

My Mom passed away in September day after my 35th birthday. I really couldn't fathom losing one of my best friends so early in my life.  I remember sitting in her hospital room on my birthday thinking back on all that she taught me. How to trust God when you are married 18 years without conceiving to finally have your one and only child.  How to love a husband till death do you part.  How to stand for the truth even when it isn't popular.  How to live with a chronic illness and still go on.  How to walk gracefully through the valley of the shadow of death.  All that I was reflecting upon couldn't be absorbed in those moments.  But in the sixteen years following, I've reflected much.  She was and is my hero.

After my Mom passed, it hit me that I was blessed with a godly mother for 35 years, but oh so many more woman have not had that privilege.  In that moment, God ignited a passion in me to invest and disciple women.  The blessings I've experienced on that journey since my Mom's death are too numerous to recount in one blog post.  What I would give to have a few hours with my Mom to catch her up on the last sixteen years of my life and get her wise counsel on so many more things.  

During the time I began reading Eunice, my pastor's wife and I had met to discuss all things women's ministry and discussed our need to train others to invest in women.  That's what I call a God-incidence when His Plan pops up everywhere and all in a beautiful, syncopated symphony.  Giddy Up, Eunice, was a good kickstart to get me back on the horse (pun intended) and get serious about investing in women.  

The world is hurting.  In the last week we've had massacres, shootings and political ramblings and it all wears me down.  The world needs hope.  The world needs Jesus.  Women carry a huge burden of trying to fix everything, and in the midst of what is swirling around us today, we are frustrated and sometimes helpless we can do anything.  It's time to stop navel gazing and start looking outward to those women in our lives who need encouragement, who need a hug, and who need us to walk alongside them through life.  Giddy Up, Eunice will be just the book to light your fire and get you on the road to investing in other women.