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A couple weeks ago the girls and I drove to church in a light rain. Mark was a few minutes behind us, driving separately so he could help with tear down after service (our church meets in a school). As we pulled into the parking lot, I hesitated. How was I going to get the three of us inside without getting soaked?

Finally, I decided that a.) I really needed to buy one of those giant golf umbrellas and b.) I would park by the front door, run the girls in and then go back to park the car. Surely my seven-year-old could corral my one-year-old for the three minutes it would take me, right?

Heh. That was never going to happen, but it was the best plan I could come up with that morning. So I put the car in park and hustled the girls to the front door, scooting them inside as I rattled off directions: Just stand here. Hold your sister’s hand. I’ll be right back. No, stay here. I’m coming right back!

One of the door greeters — and a friend — said good morning right about then. He often looks amused as we bumble our way into church, one of us with crazy hair because she pulled out her ponytail again, one of us with tangled hair because she screams when I get close to her with a hairbrush, and one of us with wet hair . . . because who has time for a blow dry? But this week, the greeter simply smiled and said, “Do you want me to park your car?”

Limp with gratitude, I handed over my keys and stood with my antsy girls as he jogged through the drizzle to my car. In less time than it took me to smooth our hair and clothes, he was back. I thanked him and we were on our way.

When I got into my car after church that day, I looked at my clean floor mats and wondered if my friend had noticed how neat my car is. (Mark and I have an ongoing debate about the required level of cleanliness for a family vehicle.) (Because one of us is a nut about keeping a spotless car.) (It’s not me. In case you were confused.)

Then I turned the ignition and glanced at the dash, and I thought, “I sure am glad I had the radio on K-LOVE!”

As if my friend would have cared if I’d had the radio tuned to the pop station, like it so often is.

To read the rest of this story (I promise the cake part is coming!), join me at (in)courage.

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