Under The Influence

I dedicated a big section in my book to helping all of us decide when we are busy versus when we are distracted.  I figured out the difference during a “light bulb” moment (thank you Oprah for the catch phrase) while raising young kids and it’s been a good thing for me to recognize and define.

So I work really hard to make sure that even when I’m busy I don’t forget about WHAT matters most – people…that I don’t forget WHY I’m doing all these things – I’m okay with saying “no” when I need to…and I remember HOW I got to this place of exhaustion – it’s more than likely my fault because no one made me do all these things 😮

All of that being said I am still very much human and I am learning so much each day that sometimes I can become completely distracted!

The other night I was running errands, trying to fit in everything that needed to happen before I went to speak to a group, we left town on a road trip and before the stores closed.  I looked at the gas gauge and realized the needle was on the E.  So I decided to take the time to fill up so we wouldn’t have to do it the next morning.  This little pit stop at the gas station cost me precious time and suddenly I was prioritizing my to-do list.

As I left the gas station my mind was teaming with where I’d go next and what things could be left for tomorrow.  I had driven quite a ways, made it to the light where I needed to turn and saw the car behind me flashing their lights.  I looked down and realized I had been driving this entire time without my lights on!

I waved to say thank you, pulled into the parking lot and began plotting my attack on the store, the aisles and the people who were going to try to slow me down. 

Suddenly my scheming brain stopped as my eyes focused on the red and blue flashing lights behind my van.  A Cop?! Why was there a policeman behind me?  Was it now illegal to pull THROUGH the space?

I rolled down my window – stuck my head out and asked, “Can I help you with something?”  I thought maybe he was confused. 

This baby-faced, very serious policeman came up to my window and informed me that I’d been pulled over for not having my headlights on.  I apologized, explained that I had been at a well-lit gas station and I simply forgot.  He asked for my license and insurance card and I was shocked!  I had no idea you could get a ticket for such an innocent mistake!

He came back with my information in his hand.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that little notebook they use for tickets was conveniently absent.

Here was our conversation (for the most part) P= policeman, M= Me:

P: You don’t have any outstanding warrants or tickets on your record so I’m going to let you go this time.  You should know that we always pull people over who drive an extended period of time without their headlights on because that is one of the best indicators that a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

M: (with my jaw dropped and a confused look in my eye) – Ummmm, is this where I walk on a line or touch my nose or something?

P: (with a slight grin on his face) – No Ma’m, just remember to turn your lights on next time.

M: Sir, do you have children?

P: No Ma’m I don’t

M: I know they probably don’t teach you this at the academy, but I am under the influence of 3 children, 2 careers, a husband and an exhausting day and I am truly sorry for forgetting such a simple thing!  I won’t EVER do it again.

P: (uncomfortably long pause) – Well, good luck with that Ma’m

With that he returned to his police cruiser and I tried to wonder what in the WORLD possessed me to say so much to this guy! 

I guess we’re all kind of under the influence of something – aren’t we?  I mean we work at least 3 jobs everyday – and that doesn’t even include parenting!  Whether we are driving a shuttle (our van), planning meals, continuing our career or education – the list could go on!

I’m learning that the influences that surround me are mostly there because I ASKED them to be there.  I like the influence of my husband, my kids, and my dear friends.  But the extra “stuff”?  I think I could live without that.

I’m human, I’m gonna make mistakes, but I hope I can learn how to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit more than this world at ALL times – no matter how busy or exhausted I become.

One of my favorite books is “Practicing the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence – it’s more of a journal than a book, but I love how he approached life. He was a monk – a monk that washed dishes – and he learned how to seek, hear and enjoy God’s presence every single day with every single activity he undertook.

He didn’t wait until the church service began or his Bible was in front of him.  Nope.  He decided that even while washing dishes he could seek the Lord’s guiding voice and spend time learning how to listen.

I’m working hard to seek God’s voice even when I’m vacuuming, mowing, driving…any activity where I can be active and still listen…I’m excited! I can’t wait to hear what God says…

Let’s be moms that literally practice the presence of God – practice listening and obeying.  No one said it would be easy but really – nothing that has real value is ever EASY to attain.

You are a gift to your family, friends and to me!  Thank you for visiting the site, for leaving a comment when you can and for giving your best to your family!

Have an awesome day in HIS presence!


4 Responses to “Under The Influence”

  1. 1 eicats7 October 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Kasey – I laughed so hard because I totally saw you in that conversation. I sometimes have the “chocolate foot” syndrome too. 🙂 Praise Jesus that He loves us despite ourselves, our families, and our hectic lives. 🙂 Thank you & may God bless you for being transparent so others can see Jesus through you! – Stacie

    • 2 Kasey Johnson October 14, 2010 at 9:54 PM

      It’s so wonderful to read your thoughts! You are so funny – I always knew we were a good fit as friends because we could do 10 different things at one time and still carry on a conversation!!!
      Love you friend! Thank for visiting, for commenting and for being such a great mom!

  2. 3 jamers2344 October 7, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Thank you friend for this great reminder!! Your last two posts have really spoken to me!!!

    Thank you for doing what you do. You are a blessing to so many!


    • 4 Kasey Johnson October 8, 2010 at 6:57 PM

      Sweet friend – I loved reading your note…it’s so nice to know that you are out there, reading, and that God is using what He’s teaching me…Chip probably wouldn’t find this quite as funny as I did – but I’m sure he’s dealt with crazy people like me before … Love you friend!

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