A New Thing

A New Thing



Adhering to sibling advice, Speed Bumps is receiving a follow up via A New Thing.

Intentionally recovering from the inner and outer physical, financial and emotional damage caused by speed bumps requires patience in accepting advice, wisdom and understanding in getting the most out of unexpected shake-ups that take you by surprise. My goal: learn from set-backs, adding to your lack of experience in dealing with hardships, uncovering beneficial information to pass on to unsuspecting friends and family who may eventually experience the same disruptions in life.  And above all hone your ability to deal with everyday problems with a positive and humble attitude.

The first consideration of speed bumps centered on those that take us by surprise like new drivers experience as well as those in plain sight but strangely constructed. Most speed bumps are difficult to navigate without some jostling bodies and belongings.  Overlooked are those that are humongous as well as poorly placed. However, some challenges are absolutely chosen because encountering them adds growth, progress if not just excitement to our lives. Several responses address unchosen and chosen bumps, some lasting a lifetime involving family members as S shares. Some life speed bumps are assumed primarily to keep peace in a family business and continue because there’s no easy way to quit without disappointing family as well as employees as J laments. Many of us are very familiar when a family member’s needs become daily speed bumps as L. accurately describes.

A family business, enjoyable in many ways for many years, has recently become a speed bump in my life slowing me down considerably with hardships. It is not my normal behavior! Many friends have advised me to quit. It’s too much work at my age. I guess I will stop. A hard decision but all things end. J.


Speed Bumps!  came at such a much-needed time for me and thank you for it!!  Unexpected bumps for sure as I have been babysitting my seven-month-old granddaughter as her babysitter is dealing with Chemotherapy and radiation treatments. My stepfather’s dementia has gotten much worse and my mother is leaning on me for support and help and my husband is away for work. If I were younger, it wouldn’t be as difficult. I’m taking your words of wisdom to understand I’m serving my purpose in many unplanned areas.  I have experienced many speed bumps in my life for sure and am learning not to get angry or frustrated when bumps occur but look for the blessings in everything. They can so easily be overlooked by selfish thinking. L.


I hit a massive speed bump when as a young teen I was diagnosed with Scoliosis and admitted to The Crippled Children's Hospital. That unexpected speed bump consumed my life until I was discharged at age 17, continuing until February 2021. I have had many conversations with a younger sibling about "the lost years" that he lived through without my being close there as his shield and protecting agent from our dad. He admits that he mentally knows that I didn't CHOOSE to have Scoliosis but emotionally, at age 69, he still feels like I abandoned him. That's a speed bump that I am unable to smooth out for him. S.


My staccato-like speed bumps three weeks ago pale in comparison with others’ experiences, but I wanted to learn how to deal with this massive type of problem-solving. Knowing how to wisely get the most out of the experiences falls into a different category. As I gathered my wits in recovering from the bumpy trips, the last one being a bad case of Shingles, despite my getting the Shingrix Vaccine, which modified the intensity. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself for being slowed down regarding working on projects, not feeling my usual 100% and missing meetings, counseling and church.


Being slowed down does not fit my temperament but totally stopped in my tracks? “How do I want to handle this spiritually”, I coached myself. As I continued my normal reading in Isaiah 43, I found the answer!  “A new thing”.  I acknowledge that this blog hinges on the more spiritual angle because of my personal experience, so if that’s not your thing, just skim through.

I know from experience that dealing with one problem at a time with a positive attitude is a good plan regarding any situation. Taking time to read scripture, meditate and pray is the best approach. And it works!  Here’s where it really gets good. I turned to Isaiah where I was already routinely reading. I had my notebook ready to record my thoughts. I read: Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isa. 43:18-19.

Another scripture was penciled in: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:6 NIV

As I toyed with the image of a new thing, my mind raced back to when as teens we were adjusting to Dad’s absence and the necessity for us to buy whatever it was that we needed or wanted on the small wages garnered from part time afterschool jobs.

In the late 40’s there was no TV (not for us, anyway), no Internet, but window shopping was in vogue in seeing what was new.  In our situation, we purchased our school supplies, shoes and most of our clothing, and once in a while a small bag of cashews.  When Mom and I shopped on Saturday for absolute needs, one day, she splurged and stopped in at Erdman’s drug store for root beer floats. That was the first time I had ever gotten to do that, a new thing, and I remember it still.  That contributed to the special bond that was developing between Mom and me.  We were forming a new companionship.  I wasn’t just one of the noisy kids running through the house, I was her partner in doing the laundry—yes, hanging everything on the clothesline in Grandma Annis’s yard.  We did our washing in her machine and wringer set-up.  We didn’t have water at our house.  Another new thing was a partner with mom in ironing all those clothes (in those days we ironed sheets, pillow slips, cup towels, underwear, and shirts, blouses, jeans etc.) I spent three hours a week substituting for Mom in that department.

What a lot of new things we had to deal with.  Getting rides to church or parties was another forward-type request to which we adjusted.  Most of the time we walked or rode our bikes. But remember, all this was new to mom, too, and she didn’t object, complain or let deprivations get her down.  We followed suit.  Not having much, for the first time in our lives, taught us to be thankful for what we did have. That new thing also taught us how to be generous. But the best new thing in our lives was becoming personally acquainted with God.  A crisis is one of the best times to find people open to considering the claims that God has on their lives and His promises. 

I was feeling very sad and personally abandoned by Dad and hearing about something new sounded good to me even at 10:30 pm outside with sister Jane and my brother Mac, when she told us about the new life that we could have.  I remember my first thought— “that must be a brand-new thing”.  I had no idea it had been God’s plan when he created the world giving people with free will to accept His promises or ignore Him. Without a prayer or scripture, I said “I’m in”.  That was a new thing and the next day I was filled with peace.  No kidding!  I can still remember how astounded I was at almost 15 years of age to feel so peaceful and full of joy.  That was 75 years ago!  Then, to realize that my teenage siblings were experiencing the identical thing. The relationship of deep peace continues. I highly recommend it.

Until I read these scriptures, I was feeling a little defeated.  The unfinished projects were waiting.  Every day is new even though ‘old faith’ is smaller, there is always healthy green growth and worthy--and perhaps a blossom or two.  I was restored spiritually and energized to address one speed bump at a time. I recommend asking God to give help direction and encouragement in solving any problem. 

When we feel weak and inferior, we have more difficulty resting in God’s strength, promised presence and love. When the apostle Paul felt discouraged with physical problems and begged the Lord to take them away, he received this message: But He (God) said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  II Cor. 12:9.

Another new thing: I learned yesterday from my doctor that I am in the 20% who get PHN Postherpetic Neuralgia, the most common complication of shingles. It causes a burning pain in nerves and skin. The pain lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles go away and can last a month, 9 months or many months. I share all of this to encourage everyone to get the Shingles Vaccine before it gets you.  I would have a more serious case if I had not received the Shingrix Vaccine.