Heather Gemmen Wilson
About the Author

Heather Gemmen Wilson loves to laugh. She says, "Through all the circumstances of my life, I have gained more than I have lost ... and I'm not just talking weight." Heather is married to her best friend, Lawrence W. Wilson, a pastor, and they have a colorful blended family of...

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. The point you made was fantastic BUT, I must confess, I seriously laughed out loud when I got to the end of the story. That will be something your son will tell over and over through the years – “the day mom cleaned out the wrong car”. Thank you for adding joy to my morning!

  2. Seriously this is a great story and well written. I followed you all the way – and felt the same things you did. That discovery reminds me of my discovery of beer bottles behind my son’s captain’s bed. I did discover them while cleaning and he had some explaining to do. At least you were in the wrong car.
    I totally agree with you – that following our Lord makes my life joyful and listening to Him is the best thing I can do each and every minute of every day. I wrote about Wandering on Tuesday and about FIRST today – both deal with keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.

    • My youngest of six kids is 15, so I certainly know how difficult those teen years can be. My mom, who raised many foster children, always told me that the children who loved the Lord when they were little always came back to him—no matter how awful their teen years were. That’s been a comfort to me. Hope it is to you too.

  3. Heather,

    Loved your post, especially about cleaning out the wrong car.

    You are right on with the sentiment about “clean trash” – we must always try to make right choices and remember that people are watching our every move – even private ones. I want to walk in integrity always!!

  4. You did it. I have *those* chills.

    I thought of two things…1) how we can misrepresent ourselves and other people can think they know *us* when actually they are cleaning out someone else’s car, so to speak. And so we have a responsibility to honor our true selves and live our own lives, not someone else’s. And, 2) His Grace covers all of this. Even our muck and yuck He grows beauty out of. Sometimes I worry that people will know the true me, and then I realize that He is helping me to live it each day, and to be free in knowing that even the ugly part of the true me is used for beauty-telling.

    Amen, sister!

    Rich blessings…

  5. great article Heather. You made me belly laugh( imagine the horrified son:)) and then you made me think. Great combination! If we do not have integrity… what do we have? We are fake, phonies and kidding no one. Blessings to you.

  6. Oh my! First I felt fear in the pit of my stomach because I’ve been through those teenage times and found things in the car I wish I hadn’t. Then relief and laughter. Then sober as I contemplated my own trash. So many emotions in 60 seconds. Now I’m exhausted! 🙂

  7. Great post that makes you think. I could picture you with the plastic bag just cleaning away – being very productive then I could see your son’s face. I laughed.

    A great reminder about integrity – God knows and sees all even when others don’t know or see all. We can not hide anything from him.


  8. What an absolutely adorable story! And just like a mom, to get worked up about something, only to find out that SHE’S in the wrong! It’s happened to me more than once with my son.

    And I must confess, like you, I thought things would be easier once my son was older. But you’re right – it’s hard to keep a clean house or car when you’ve got teenagers hanging around!

  9. Hahahaha…what a great story as the bait and what a great lesson as the catching point. Loved it! Laughed out loud and also made me think. In fact, I had already started a draft of a blog on this topic, but after reading yours I think I am going to spend some more time meditating. Great stuff! ~Jessica

    • Whoops! Sorry for stealing your thunder. 🙂 Authenticity is an important subject today, especially because so many use hypocrites as their excuse for not going to church. I’m sure you’ll write great thoughts on it too!

  10. Oh my … that is totally something I would do! Thanks for the laugh!

    But you’ve also turned my brain on … thanks, again.

  11. This is the second post I’ve seen floating around the blog world that talks about the importance of sharing secrets and letting people see your “trash”. I am a firm believer in the accountability that comes with community and relationships; I believe when we share and admit things, they begin to lose their power over us. We are freer, happier people when we are not walking around with secrets. This was a great post–simply written but carrying a heavy message. Thank you!

    • You bet. Not hiding things is a much healthier way to live … though of course we have to have boundaries too. We don’t need to post it on facebook every time we play solitaire or call our mom every time we gossip; instead, we need to have an accountability partner or small group that is safe and loving. Knowing how much to share takes discernment; the goal is a blameless heart before God. Thanks for your comment!

  12. Great post, but I’m not sure I was ready to hear the part about teenagers being messier than toddlers! I vacummed out my car today and it was a very rewarding experience with my two little ones messes! Thanks for the good word and you gave me a good laugh that I needed!

  13. This will definitely be a word picture I will never forget, especially since my car is usually sooo embarassing! I thought of the “trash” we take in – the things we read and watch and listen to, we think we can still live clean and holy lives and look good while ingesting such junk from the world. But it eventually spills out. Thanks for this great story!