Waiting: Puke & Potty Breaks


“Mama, I don’t feel good,” is typically mended with a listening ear and reassuring words. This was not a typical moment.

The motel rested like an altar an hour or two down the road behind us. I caught a glimpse of her whitewashed face and dread rushed through my veins. How would this moving day play out?

Two plus years of unexpected life events forced me to learn something counterintuitive to my nature:

Stay calm.


Circumstances are Temporary

Most of the time we cannot change our circumstances and most of the time God isn’t asking us to do so. Our circumstances are temporary and when we look to God…

the unexpected unexpected

the overwhelming


the daunting or


impossible that surrounds us is diminished, soothed, and reconciled by Sovereign care, provision and consolation.

But puke happens because this side of heaven is messy.

Already the drive began with tired eyes, but that proved an asset. Energy reserves nearly depleted I didn’t have extra to react, pout or wallow. I went straight to the throne in prayer and then I reminded my daughter, “Roll the window down if you need to puke.”

Those words came just in time. Her window slid down and her head popped out followed by the expected sights and sounds that accompany throwing up. Often the case with tummy bugs she felt instant relief (though that lasted but an hour).

Fortunately for Sugar I’m sympathetic to sickness and full bladders but on these less traveled roads opportunities for proper breaks were illusive. When the next declaration came, “I need to go poo” an hour later my patience twinged.

Nature’s bathroom is great but these desolate roads made me uncomfortable. Already we were pulling up the rear of our small caravan and I felt vulnerable. I grew uneasy as “what if’’s” slowly filled my head. Without cell reception the area felt primitive.

What if we get a flat tire…

What if I get stuck because of the trailer

What if we crash or run out of gas….

Rolling recently cut fields meant privacy, something over-valued in the city and suburbs we came from, was impossible. When least expected and most needed a sign for a “town” appeared. I honed in and encouraged my daughter, “We’ll be in a town soon. Please wait.”

If I’d know then that it was banjo territory I’d stopped on the side of the road earlier. But that’s hindsight, not how things played out.

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