I woke this morning after a very poor and short night of sleep...reading the mail right before bedtime is NOT something I recommend. Yesterday I got a fat packet from the Colorado DMV, which included all the items (even the payment) for the registration renewal of our Suburban, which we had mailed in mid-May since it was due at the end of the month. The letter simply said that the form we had sent was outdated. Never mind the fact that Ted had printed it from THEIR web site, and never mind the fact that it was dated 2010, whereas the "right" form had 2008 on the upper left hand corner!
But that wasn't all--they also sent MORE paperwork that needs to be filled out: an out-of-state form to verify that yes, we do have insurance (never mind that we sent copies of our insurance cards), PLUS a form for verifying our VIN, which, it was indicated, should be done by a military policeman since the whole reason we're in this mess is that we're not living in the state of Colorado at the moment. All this because we don't have current emissions test results saying the Suburban doesn't cough black smoke as we run hither and yon...in a state two time zones away.
My stress level shot up after reading all of this. It seemed utterly overwhelming at 10:30 p.m. It took me awhile to get to sleep, because I just wasn't sure what I needed to do about it all. I stewed about how government agencies certainly don't make being in the military any easier and ranted inwardly about how every time we renew the registration, SOMETHING HAS CHANGED and we have to fix it and mail the packet back again. This time definitely surpasses any other, though, with all the extra (and seemingly unrelated) paperwork.
This morning, I stumbled into the kitchen after my alarm went off at 5 a.m., made some hot tea, and settled down for my quiet time and lots of prayer. I became convicted that no matter how absurd the circumstances or requirements, I was responsible for MY response alone. God does not call me to infuse a government agency with common sense; He DOES call me to be like His Son, Jesus. I repented (reluctantly, it must be admitted) of my bad attitude and asked for God's help in doing what I needed to do with grace and humility. My human nature wanted to fire off some spicy correspondence, but really, what good would that accomplish?
Part of my morning walking and driving time involved reviewing all the chapters of Scripture I've been memorizing of late, and I had to stop when I got to Proverbs 31..."Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." I had sent some messages to Ted asking what to do about various aspects of the situation, and let's just say I probably did not leave him with a feeling of confidence that I could handle this well! So again, I determined to let the Spirit direct my actions and attitudes.
I am pleased to report that I am nearly finished with the paperwork. Further review this morning revealed that it's not as terrible as it might be, and the fact that I was able to get an MP to sign off the paperwork with absolutely NO wait time or hassle was a HUGE blessing and, I think, a confirmation that I was right in thinking this situation is not simply a mass of red tape but an opportunity to glorify God. I still think a lot of the boxes that need to be checked are less than relevant; for example, I need to locate our tape measure and figure out how long and how wide the vehicle is, plus find out where to get the GVWR and CWT figures. (What exactly do those mean, anyway?!) Ted said if in doubt to leave it blank. :-)
So, Lord willing, I will get these papers in the mail in the next day or two, and this will all be behind us...just in time for the van registration to be renewed!