I’ve heard trouble comes in threes. I had one such day on Monday, the second day of the new year. I however, do not say it was a bad day. No day is bad since it is one more window of time the Lord has provided with much potential, and always full of blessings. Even if we can’t see them through the mud on our panes, they are there.  I was blessed with the laughter and chatter of two little girls in my house that day. My great-niece and our neighbor’s little girl had a play day and they never missed a moment, filling the house with activities for the dolls and imaginary pets. I stayed out of their way and got a kick out of listening to the scenarios they created. Oh yes, I was about to tell of my trio of troubles that day.

First, as I finished ironing a shirt, (and it just had to be one of those long ‘boyfriend style’ shirts, light blue and white) I missed the hanger and dropped the shirt into the wax warmer plug-in that WAS beneath the ironing board. The scented wax was red. The red wax was scattered along one sleeve and shoulder as well as the hem. Luckily it dries quickly and seemed like it would peel off, but no, I soon saw that the color and waxy feel were not giving up. I decided to put the shirt into the freezer and hoped that would cause the wax to chip away cleanly, and the warmer found another receptacle in which to reside. I finished my ironing and made lunch for the girls and myself. A while after lunch they wanted popsicles and I sent them to the freezer to make their selection. The shirt! They hadn’t found that to be an obstacle, or even something to report to me. You’d think finding a shirt folded up in the freezer drawer would seem odd to 7 and 8 year olds, wouldn’t you? When I remembered it, I hurried in there to find the shirt wadded up and moved aside, but no worse off. The wax hadn’t let go, either. Spot remover and rewashing took care of the situation just fine; so the blessing is that I’ve moved a potential problem that could have involved a not so easily laundered item.

Later on the girls wanted to watch a movie. Upon return with the DVD from another room I was met by a kitchen floor full of milk splattered over an area of about five by ten feet and a little blond-haired girl down on her hands and knees trying to wipe it up  with a single paper towel. I couldn’t think of where to start so I heard myself exclaiming, “I just don’t understand – lunch at the dining room table was over – where did this come from – I thought you were waiting for the movie – Izzy please just go back and get a bunch of paper towels for me.” She brought both, yes, both the remaining two towels on the roll. I decided to get their movie going before tackling the clean up, just to find the stupid DVD/TV/Remote team weren’t playing nicely together and it was getting rather warm about that time. Finally the movie Frozen was playing and I thanked Izzy for trying to help clean up, reminded her of the “only covered cups for the living room” rule, and fetched my mop and bucket. My blessing? Izzy had dropped the cup on her way into the living room, not on the sofa one foot away, not on the rug beneath the table where she started, and hallelujah! not on the king sized quilt tent covering the breakfast table two inches from the edge of the spilled milk. Floors, chairs, and walls can be wiped down and little girls can be happy again. As I finished the second mopping, the thought popped into my head that troubles come in threes.

Now, the incident that got my blog brain going happened when I took the girls home. Neighbor delivered to her parents, and niece delivered to her home, I was contemplating going home for a nap versus stopping to visit my dad. The idea of getting home prevailed as I was leaving the final drop off point. Then my phone rang and my dad said, “What happened to you?” I asked, “what do you mean?” He replied, “well, you just took off  without saying anything, is something wrong?” “Daddy, I’m just leaving Jessi’s driveway; I haven’t been by your house”. Pause. “Trisha, we just saw your car out here in our driveway, and it looked like you were on your phone so we waved at you and waited, but then you just backed out of the driveway and slowly drove on down the street.” He was so sure of what he’d seen that I almost questioned my sanity (after all it had been a full night and day with my guests) but I assured him that no, I had not been anywhere near his driveway. I told him I had thought about coming by to visit, but was not dressed to be seen, hair uncombed, and felt like going home for a nap. To which he uncharacteristically said, “we don’t care what you look like – we’d just like a visit”. By then I was nearing their neighborhood and felt like my car was going to turn in his direction even if I didn’t, as if a force was exerted by the puzzling experience and I  looked forward to hearing details of what they saw that made him think it was me. We visited for about an hour, more or less, and they both explained in detail how she had looked out one window, told him I was in the driveway, he looked out a door, waved and stepped back inside to find in a few moments that the car was leaving, and the two of them said I had to be called right then to see if something was wrong at home perhaps. All of that at the very moment I would have been traveling toward the state highway on my way home. Later, as I actually was driving home after my visit, I encountered a clean up crew about half way home where there had been a fairly serious accident. My blessing? I don’t think I have to explain that one for you. I have a chill just retelling it. Now, arriving home, engine turned off, I heard the third trouble for the day. My right rear tire was spewing loudly and I found a piece of metal in it. Obviously I picked it up on my way home, probably where the accident had occurred.  The leak was slow enough that I had time to drive it over to my husband’s shop where he could take the tire off under shelter and, long story short, it was a $12.50 repair the next day. A piece from a windshield wiper is what the repairman said it was.

Now, some would say that if I hadn’t stopped at Dad’s, I wouldn’t have damaged the tire; and that things don’t happen for any reason. Others might say the timing was too close and if I hadn’t stopped I could have been involved in the accident myself. We never did figure out who has a vehicle so much like mine that my own dad thought it was me. Some say we entertain angels unaware. No matter which camp you’re in, I say I am one very blessed woman; a daughter of the King, and of a very good daddy too.

“I walk with the King, through pastures so green; by quiet waters still to do His good will. He lighteth the way, from darkness to day, I’ll hold to His hand, I walk with the King.” (words and music by Alton H. Howard) I’ve always loved that song.

The whole thing really stirred my heart with that “providence of God” thing we wrestle from time to time. Whatever we do in word or deed, we are to do all in the name of the Lord. So I don’t want to sound ungrateful by denying His hand in how things turned out. Neither do I want to say everything is guided by or happens for a purpose. Too many things happen that we just cannot find a good reason for and I think partly, stuff just happens. Minor things like flat tires and major things like loss of life; no apparent reason. But, the more I think about God, the more He engages my life, and the more I am influenced by His will. Those little voices in our heads that make our decisions are guided by something, the influences in our lives,  kind of like ‘out of the heart flow the issues of life’.  So deciding to spend time at Dad’s really was something I had been considering because of several influences. One, various proverbs from the bible caution us to respect the elderly, appreciate time spent on others, and so forth. Then there’s the blessing from God of still having a parent around to visit and still learn life stuff from him. Thirdly, because I love that Jesus said the kingdom of Heaven is ‘of such ‘ as little children, I love spending time with them and learning more of those traits. So in those three ways God did orchestrate my day. I guess what I can take away from all that is to train those voices that you hear to be good ones, and then listen to them. It could save the day – or not. Think what you will, I’ll always believe an angel or the Lord Himself was guiding me that afternoon. A good day, or a bad day? Definitely it was a good day!