Candid Motherhood – The Worst Case Scenario: My Car


So, I was watching an episode of “The Worst Case Scenario: With Bear Grylls” where Bear’s SUV breaks down in the desert during a road trip.  In true Bear Grylls fashion, he proceeds to tell everyone how to survive using the contents of the SUV, the surrounding desert landscape and the vehicle itself. No episode is complete until Bear eats something gross, gets naked and drinks water wrung out of his sock. This one was no different.

I couldn’t help but imagine how many more resources this survival guru would’ve had at his disposal if he’d been driving my SUV instead…

I have a week’s worth of food dotting the floor of my Land Rover.  There’s practically a treasure trove of dehydrated goods shoved under the front seats. Chicken nuggets, French fries, crusty macaroni and cheese… You literally have everything that you need to make chicken noodle casserole!

He would also find an entire wardrobe, an inverter, two cordless drills, three tubes of toothpaste, eight left shoes and a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast.

I have never been able to keep my car clean for any length of time.  I’d like to say that it’s my kids’ fault, and while they DEFINITELY compound the problem, it predates them.  Part of the reason for this is that I see my car and an extension of my purse and my purse is a mess. Besides that, there are certain things that you just can’t fit in your purse, even if your purse is the size of mine, but that’s another blog post…

I don’t want to be without a possible necessity, so I put it in the car knowing that where my car goes, I go. I’m never caught off guard when the need arises for essentials like bug spray and a fresh pair of Spanx!

My husband thought that if he bought me a nice car that I would be more inclined toward meticulous cleanliness.  He bought me a nice car.  He was sorely mistaken.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “She’s probably just a slob in general.”

Really, I’m a pretty clean person.  I am not super organized, or super neat, but I like having a clean environment, and despite wanting a clean car, that desire never translates to long term tidiness.

I have resigned myself to the fact that this is a deep seeded flaw that has no easy solution.  And so the question I ask is “why?” I have a theory.  We all need a place where we can let our mess hang out.  We work so hard to mask our junk and disorder, and we spend countless hours trying to manage our chaos.  But, when it comes right down to it, we all need to be able to let our “image control” rest for a while. And truth be told, the individuals that appear to be the most put together and orderly on the outside, are often the most unsettled and screwed up on the inside.

Having an outlet for the chaos that is at the core of human nature acts as an exhaust valve and testifies to our brokenness apart from God. My place is my car.  Maybe yours is your hall closet, your bedroom, that corner drawer in your kitchen or maybe even your dreams. But if we’re honest, then we’ll admit we’re all a mess.  It’s why we all need redemption.  My car is a constant reminder to me of how much I need it. Every time I look at the irreconcilable bedlam that is my car, I am reminded of the Grace by which my spiritual chaos has been redeemed.

On the up side, if someone were to jack my car, they would have a whole lot more merchandise then they anticipated that they could sell on Ebay!


Karis Murray is a Scottsdale, Arizona native and mother to daughters Riley, age 7 and Lydia, age 6.  She is currently the Creative Director for the Family Matters Minute Radio Show and serves as Lead Writer and Editor for the show.  She has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years and is a poet in her own mind!  Learn more about Karis at her blog:


  1. Karis- That is too funny. It got me thinking about my car, and how you could literally have been living out of it for the past month. We went camping, and then we went fishing and somehow most of what we brought never made it out of the car. We have been driving around with fishing gear, gallons of water, clothes, a tent, and snacks 🙂 I always wonder what people parked to up wonder when they see inside the car…

  2. Ok.. this is TOTALLY me! My kids school has a carpool line and I am forever embarrassed at the mess the teachers see as they open up the door to let Josh in! EEK! This is even me down to liking a neat house.. a little messy at times but generally ok.. the car is the worse! ALTHOUGH I must admit with two little kids if I am not cleaning CONTSANTLY I definitely get a messy house quickly… but that does bother me more than my car and it grates on me until it’s clean and pretty again. The car though? I think for my birthday in December that was my present?

  3. Which explains why, after you’ve borrowed mom’s car, they charge me triple to clean it down at the car wash. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen them use a power washer on the inside of a car.

  4. You. Are. Me! Although we don’t have quite the abundance of food (more empty water bottles than anything else) in our Tahoe (and NOTHING at all in the brand new Prius…but that’s only because it’s brand new), but other than that, we have the same contents cluttering our cars. And I love your perspective that it’s because your car is an extension of your purse. Talk about an Ah-Ha! Thanks for the laugh…..and for making me realize I’m not alone! 🙂



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