Have you ever had “one of those days”? Well, I’ve had plenty…and this particular day was not one of my best. It was the very first day of spring break. I was thrilled to have the kiddos home for a little while. I had plans, fun plans that I thought were going to be full of great memories and laughter!
When reality hits…sometimes it hits hard. The very first day, I was excited…we were going to go pick up some Chick-fil-A and take it to my husband’s office to have lunch together outside. Something we rarely get to do. I had visions dancing in my head of how great it was going to be…until we got to the Chick-fil-A drive thru.
Evidently everyone else in town had decided they were going to be there at the exact same time I got there…so, we were in line, wrapped around the store for quite some time. I decided I would get everyone’s orders straight while we were waiting…lemonades, applesauces, chocolate milks, nuggets, fries…all the choices, I was locked and loaded. Until one of the girls starts saying “I really have to go to the bathroom!!” Now, if there was an open parking space, I might have considered parking and going in [with all 4 kids] for her…but there were none. And the “Mommy…..I really have to go!!!!” continued…
Next came the yelling at me from the back of the car while I was ordering…”I didn’t order that, that’s not what I want…” over and over while I’m trying to politely place my order…and the “I have to go to the bathroom” statements turned into cries…with real tears.
I’m sitting somewhere between the “hi, can I take your order?” and the “pick up window” when the 3rd child decides she’s going to start crying [yes, real tears] that I didn’t order her the right thing either…I held in there…trying to calm everyone down and get my payment out at the same time. Next came the pick up window…where my last child decides to tell me, loudly, that “that is not what I ordered!!! I told you not to get me a drink!” And that was the beginning of the end of our “fun first day of spring break”.
I thanked the lady as politely as I knew how while trying to think of how to address my unthankful children…whom were all 4 complaining and crying about something different at this point. But by the time I got out of the parking lot and to the light, I LOST IT. I raised my voice, telling everyone to stop, that I couldn’t hear myself think. Then one of them said it…
“You didn’t have to yell at us…”
Oh my… I retaliated with a very loud…”If you would like to hear me yell…I will…” Ugly, I know. Not a pretty mommy moment. For sure not one of the happy visions I had in my head for the day. And they all, in unison, started crying. All. 4. of. them. To which I called for silence the rest of the way to Daddy’s office and drove off.
You see, I had seen a lady at a stoplight we had gone through on the way to Chick-fil-A. In her hands she held a sign saying she was homeless. She was across the way, so my kiddos didn’t notice her…and when we pulled up to the light this second time, I stopped early and asked her [with a shakey voice] if she would like some lunch. I then proceeded to give her the extra lunch I bought…with the drink that everyone was complaining they didn’t order. I rolled up my window and started to cry. And proceeded to sit there at that light, crying. All 4 kids stopped crying. The car was silent.
What do you do in a moment like this? You see, I had planned [in my head] to buy an extra lunch and have the kiddos bless this young lady with it. To teach them hands on how to be a witness of Jesus love. I had great intentions, but all it turned out to be was chaos.
Sometimes in life, we can’t see through the mess, through the chaos of daily life. We have plans or dreams, even visions in our heads about what a day or a year might look like….but all it turns out to look like is just…choas.
The rest of the ride to Daddy’s office that day, was done through tears, and silence. I just knew the day was ruined. I had spoken in a way I wasn’t proud of…and felt like I missed an opportunity for ministry to my own kids. But the first thing those kiddos of mine said to Daddy when we arrived at the office was “Daddy, Mommy gave a lunch away.” They had big eyes and smiles as if the rest of the trip had never happened. While I was still struggling with being upset…they were focused on God. Even though I felt I had failed miserably, God was still able to shine through. He was still able to reach their hearts and speak to them about what was important.
God is so much greater than the chaos going on around us, and…
His love is able to reach through even the toughest situation.
He can redeem any situation, any failure…nothing is too big for Him.
And I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for all of the above. Thankful for His love, His mercy and His grace. Because this life, it can get ugly…but always remember friends…He is faithful.
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