Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Day I Locked Myself Out Of The House

I don't remember anything particularly unusual that started off the incident. I was  cleaning the kitchen when kiddo started crying in her crib. 3:30. Nap time was officially over. I figured I still had enough time to run trash out to the alleyway. So just like every time I've even taken out the trash, I grabbed the trash out of the bin, tied it up, and walked out the back door. The dogs wanted to come out too, so I let them come with me, and then shut the door.

It was only once I came back that I realized just what had happened.

The lock on our back door is old and wonky.  If the latch is already half-locked [which it usually is, being that its old and wonky], oftentimes it will finish locking itself when you shut the door. Usually this would happen and I would lock myself inside the house. This was the first time I had actually locked myself out. With no keys and no phone. With the dogs out in the back with me, and my baby inside, in her crib. At least I was wearing shoes.

old and wonky and half-locked
I think I tried to open every window at least three times. Good news was, they're hard to break into when they're shut and locked [burglars, take note!]. Bad news was, I couldn't get back in. I ended up having to meet my neighbor [finally!] so I could borrow her phone to call Josh.

He, of course, had class for another 30 minutes so he wouldn't be answering his phone anyway. All I could do was leave about 50 messages explaining to him to get home as soon as he could because I was an idiot and locked myself out of our house. In every sense of the word.  There was literally no way to get back in without either a key or a locksmith.

So I spent the next hour and a half talking to my neighbor for the first time since we had moved here three months ago. I learned a lot about the neighborhood. Apparently we aren't the only ones with a scorpion problem. The entire neighborhood has a scorpion problem.  Explanation: Our neighborhood sits right off one of the 5 plus highways that go in and around Phoenix metro.  When the city built said highway however many years ago, all the scorpions had to move somewhere.

Consequently, they decided to move into our walls.

Good news is, however, scorpions do hibernate during the winter.  Super creepy news: they're asleep in my walls.

Just typing that sends shivers down my spine.

Anyway, as you have probably guessed, Josh did finally come home.  Husband neighbor was kind enough to drive up to ASU and pick up Josh and bicycle and get him back home a little before 5:00. All was well and we ate chicken with roasted sweet potatoes for dinner [I do love roasted sweet potatoes].

I'm pretty sure this whole incident is God's fault [don't freak out yet, just keep reading].  Why? Because this: I have not wanted to meet our neighbors since moving here, despite this spiritual tug [if you will] that kept nagging me to just do it.

Why else am I convinced it's God's fault? Because my child  fell back asleep.  This kid never, ever falls back asleep once she wakes up in the afternoons.  But that day, she did.  And even crazier, she stayed asleep until 5:00.  Never has happened before, nor since. Because of that small grace, I could focus on talking to my neighbor without stressing out about a crying baby inside.

Lastly, if I had taken the trash out five minutes earlier, the oven would have been on, and there would have been food cooking on the stove.  And I've walked out of our house many times before to change over laundry or throw out trash while food was cooking. The timing could not have been any better.

God wanted me to meet my neighbors; it's as simple as that. And because I was being a complete knucklehead, he decided to orchestrate my house to lock me out and force me to talk to my hippie mama neighbor for an hour on my front porch.

So why on earth am I telling you this?  Well, because I said I would in my Thankful post. And to let other moms know that I, too, have locked myself out of the house with my kid inside.

And because I feel like there's a personal side of me that doesn't really come out in this blog.

I am a Christian, and I believe that God and I have a personal relationship.  Oftentimes, our relationship is one where I don't believe I see him work in my life.  That afternoon, God decided to show up in my world in a very deliberate way.  This story is a sweet story for me personally.  I saw God act as my dad kicking me out of my house and making me grow up a little.  I saw him also make sure that nothing seriously wrong would happen with my child or my house.  He took care of all the details, and he took care of me, too. While I totally get that this story may not really be all that interesting to you, I am realizing now just how much this day has mattered to me.  And that's why I am sharing it.


  1. Great post, is amazing how sometimes all things fit together in a way that the only explanation is that God is in control. We know that is true all the time, but it is nice to see the immediate impact sometimes. :)

  2. Seeing His fingerprints so clearly in this situation encourages us to look for them in all life's circumstances. Those are the personal proofs that cement our faith! Thank you for this post, Shelby.

  3. And thanks for your comment, Robin! It is true, I have now been far more attentive to my circumstances and looking for his work in them. It's been incredible to see how my perspective changes on life's events when I let myself place God in the midst of them.

  4. I'd better take heed and get those cookies delivered to the new neighbors!