149: The Series of Unfortunate Events

On Friday night I was sitting on the hotel bed in Columbus, Ohio – Room 149 – when my husband, Steve, asks, “Where’s the toiletry bag?”  He’s referring to the big navy blue bag that I pack for every trip.   It houses all the Farish family beauty supplies:  shampoo, flat iron, hair gel, etc.  I look at him, he looks at me, and we instantly know it’s at home – 2 hours away.   It’s too late to go gather the supplies, so we agree to make due and stop at a Wal-Mart on the way to my son’s soccer games the next morning.

Morning comes. My hair is a crazy mess from hotel shampoo, no flat iron, and no hairspray.  We have toothbrushes, but  I have no make-up.  If you know me well, this is a travesty!  As we drive from Columbus to Springfield, there’s not much of anything – no Wal-Mart or any mart in sight.  Steve opts to take Owen to the soccer fields, leaving Hannah and me to locate beauty products. He gets a grrrr…. because I feel abandoned in my time of need.

My day goes from bad to worse.  The GPS fails me, telling me “I’ve reached my destination” while I am driving on the interstate.  Hannah sees a Target, so we exit – woohoo!  I’d rather go to Target than WalMart!  As we exit the car, my purse strap breaks.  My watch, a part of my cool watch collection, breaks.  I finally locate my sunglasses – in the floor, under my computer bag, earpiece snapped off.  After paying $93.00 in Target for make-up, toiletries, and a flat iron, I discover the Target bathroom has no electric outlet.  My hair remains crinkly.

The entire time Hannah is watching me carefully; I can tell she’s being cautious.  Hmmm…wonder why?   I know why:  usually such a succession of events would put me over the edge.  I might not yell or scream or anything like that, but I am just not as joyful or fun – I’m perturbed.  I can tell Hannah’s thinking…mom’s going to be in a bad mood.

Except, I wasn’t. I show up at the soccer fields with crinkled hair, no make-up, lopsided sunglasses (yes, I wore the broken ones), a safety-penned purse, and a black watch with a blue fastener (yep, I fixed my watch with another one).  I take a seat only to watch my son and husband (his coach) lose their first game of the season.  (Oh, and our sunscreen is in the toiletry bag, so we all get a nice burn!)

In my head, I am a mess – look a mess.  Funny, no one else thinks so – least of all my family and friends.  In fact, I share my sorrows with them, and we all laugh about this series of unfortunate events.

Fast-forward a few hours.  We’re checking into our second hotel of the weekend; this time in Springfield.  Being the trooper that I am, I unload the car onto the luggage cart as Steve checks in.  As I surprise Steve with my efficiency, the lady behind the desk explains that pulling around to the back would be easier.  No way!  I’ve already loaded the cart, lady!  So, the kids and I begin looking for the room while Steve parks.  OH MY WORD!  We could NOT find our room.  Finally, Steve helps us find Room 149…yes, that’s right…the SAME room number!

I am stuck with 149.  I do what most everyone does when stuck:  I Google.  In fact, I Google Psalm 149.  I know, I know.  That’s the equivalent of opening the Bible randomly, placing your finger on a verse, etc.  Shallow, huh?  Maybe.  But, Psalm 149 said this:  Praise the LORD!  Sing to the LORD.  The entire Psalm is one of rejoicing.  I won’t provide a two-page contextual analysis of Psalm 149; I am not that adept at Biblical analysis anyway.  Yet, I can tell you this:  Praise Him – in all things, at all times.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in this world.  I should know.  As I told my friend, Tracy, while we watched her son play soccer:  If I were headed to school on Monday, I would not have even come to the soccer tournament.  I would’ve spent the entire weekend in my classroom preparing. Instead, I was honored to be Owen’s mom and Steve’s wife throughout the weekend.  I felt so blessed and content to simply sit on the sidelines and cheer for them – both figuratively and literally.  I also know that teacher Sarah would’ve been stressed to the max by those little life interruptions – especially the crinkled hair!  But, instead I laughed  – and simply enjoyed the weekend.

As summer comes to an end and each of you readjust to schedules this week, I pray you delight in your family – and don’t sweat the small stuff:)  Instead, find contentment in Him, brushing aside and even laughing at the small things – those things that build and often lead to outburst or breakdown.  My prayer is that you follow 149:  Praise him!


Psalm 149

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