When Life Poops On You

Last week, I had coffee with my friend, Gloria, before a lunch conference six miles away from her house. After an energetic conversation, I slid into my car pumped about my novel and excited about the 12:30 meeting.

My clock read 12:02.

Before I drove off, I realized I forgot her food processor, I’d been meaning to take it off her hands since before Christmas. I left my keys in the ignition, didn’t bother to shut my door, and dashed back into her house.

When I returned, a large gray bird had taken up residence on my dash.

The clock read 12:06.

Still plenty of time to coax the bird out of the van and make it to the meeting on time. Gloria and I opened all the doors, called to the bird, pleaded with the bird, and negotiated with the bird. Problem was the bird thought he’d fly straight out my front window. Through the heavy glass.

After watching him butt his head for five minutes, Gloria reached in and encouraged him to hop toward the driver’s side door. Wild wings flapping, he had a massive panic attack.

When birds freak, guess what they do?

That little guy pooped all over my dash, all over my steering wheel, and all over my leather seat. When he finished defiling the entire front section of my van, he flew out the door. Gloria had a stash of Clorox wipes handy. By the time we mopped up the mess, my whole car smelled clean. And orange.

The clock now read 12:33.

A little flustered, I typed in the address for the restaurant in my GPS, and left. Ten minutes later, my GPS shouted—Destination on the right. I squinted through my sunglasses. I’d pulled up to a vacant lot.

The clock taunted me at 12:39.

Because I didn’t have one phone number plugged in my cell for any of the five people I was meeting, calling was not an option. I had amazing forethought that way. If I forget to write down information, I always needed it. If I kept a painstaking detailed note, I never used it.

Sometimes life poops on you. Right in the middle of a major upswing, just when you have your stuff together, and you’ve made plans. Your day is going places. Then along comes the bird.

I could have freaked, let the upset ruin my day, and accepted the anxiety that came with the mishaps and the ticking clock. Sometimes the little things mess me up, steal my joy, set me up for failure. And those little things take me by surprise because I’m not prepared for the pebbles when I’m expecting rocks.

Luckily, my friend Linda had my number. She called, rerouted me, and I did get to have lunch. And two diet Cokes. I told my story over lunch and laughed about the bird’s incontinence and the fact that my GPS is geographically challenged.

When life poops on you—and it will—brush it off, move on with your day, and find something to laugh about. Find your joy in Someone solid, sure, and unshakeable. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7 NIV).


  1. Lyndie Blevins |

    Thanks for sharing this somewhat ‘sticky’ story

  2. Lori Freeland |

    I love “sticky” stories!

  3. This is great. It is an encouragement though my situation isn’t a spontaneous “poop!” hahaha we’ve known for 5 mos that my husband is deploying for 6 mos…but now that he’s leaving tomorrow it really feels very poopy and like there was no way to prepare for how sad I feel. :-( but God is ever faithful…

    • So sorry. That’s a long time. Pat lived her for six months and I stayed back in WI to sell the house. Not fun. But we made it through.

  4. Fantastic story and a great lesson. Thanks for sharing! Poor little bird. He must have been so scared. At least he went out the door and not in the back of the van.

  5. Due to my bird phobia, I’m sure I would have been “done” for the day. :)

  6. Love it ~ Thank you for sharing!!! I needed that today! xoxo

  7. Funny!

  8. I think that’s kinda like me. I get disoriented in this “writing thing” and mess things up. Thanks for the freedom! ha ha

  9. You make me sound a TON more useful and heroic than I was, Lori.

    I’d rather deal with live bird pooh-as-a-shoo-away aftermath, than a bird who kills himself by repeatedly bonking his head on the windshield.

    Toting THAT away would have come down to a rock, paper, scissors decision.

    • Lori Freeland |

      You were totally useful! My car still smells orange. Can’t wait to try the food processor. I’m going to make some of those cauliflower “mash potatoes.”

  10. You need to write this into a short story. This just begs to be written. Sometimes life is funnier than fiction.

  11. What a great and inspiring story! I am one of those people who hate hate HATE to be late to anything. For some reason it brings out the worst in me. Inside I’m all aflutter and panicky, even if I’m only one or two minutes late. Another item to add to the list of issues to talk through with my therapist. :)

  12. Sabrina Barfield |

    It’s funny how this same situation happen to me on Friday, just not with the bird, but with my timing how I had everything mapped out and one incident through Me off my course,but I preserved anyway!! Thanks for sharing

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