Today was one of those days where I found myself constantly one step behind my schedule.
It all started when we woke up late.
I’m sure you have been there too.
Yet I don’t even blame Wednesday morning for that. I actually blame Tuesday night.
I had worked a full day on Tuesday and finished late and while my husband was trying to get our kids to bed, I just wanted to hear “one more story” all snuggled up on the salon couch. My oldest talked about a math test and my daughter told me all about her Spring plans as she listed off the activities we would fill our sunny days with and my growing little boy, but always baby, sat right in the middle of my lap, head against my chest, just taking it all in.
Late nights like that, all snuggled in, sharing, catching up, those are my favorites. And yet all the Moms know everywhere, that the late nights always have a way of ruining early mornings.
I know you have been there too.
So here we were, running late with the empty lunch boxes staring defiantly at me as we rushed around eating breakfast, packing school bags and hunting down the forever run away boot. I rushed the kids to school in the nick of time and flew the baby over a few streets to Grandma’s house for the morning and hurried back home for some sweet clients I had managed to squeeze in on what usually is my day off.
Wednesdays are usually my laundry day and the day where I visit the sweet girls at the Beauty Supply store where I make lists of the next weeks clients and stalk up on all the supplies I need. But today, I was going to see a few clients and be done with just enough time to eat lunch, get my color supply across town, pick up my sweet babe from Grandmas loving embrace and run back to the school to pick up our oldest two.
In the hurry of the morning rush though, I had left my full bowl of oatmeal on the counter and I had spilled my coffee down the front of my winter jacket on the walk to school.
Because clearly, that’s what happens when you are one step behind and
also because I can never quite fit that circular plastic seal back into the lids of all of our take away coffee cups, dont tell my husband that.
As planned, my sweet clients came and went, I gobbled down my cold oatmeal for lunch, disengaged Grandmas loving grip from my baby boy 😉 and caught all the red lights across town to the beauty supply store — there and back.
Clearly, right? 😉 #murphyslaw
3:15pm school pick up came quickly but my wee helper and I raced back to the school to pick up big brother and big sister. As soon as I saw there sweet faces smiling at me as they exited the school building I could feel my shoulders relax and my pulse steady. All the rushing of the day added up to this moment where it was finally “us” time.
We walked hand in hand home and marveled at how warm it was out. The kids skipped on the clear sidewalks, the sunshine was out in full force, visibly melting the last of the snow hill in the school parking lot and April first was proving to feel spring like. On the walk home my kids discussed how fast they were going to kick off their winter boots, (because that is why we always have a run away boot) and how they were so happy to try on their beloved sneakers from last year.
Oh the little things!
We got home, they laced up those scuffed up sneakers from last fall and we stared at each other with big smiles; the possibility of a spring afternoon and the adventure to be had, hanging between us like heavy joy.
There was so much we could do tonight. They knew it and I knew it. There were hiking trails to go peek at and our near by pond to throw bird feed at and yet we decided on visiting the library a stones throw away from our house. It was basically decided for us since we had books to return and I am done paying all those over due fines we seem to unknowingly accumulate.
You know, you know.
And besides, I thought to myself, I could finally return the 15 new client messages that were flashing at me from my cell phone.
I could already see what the next hour would look like, returning messages to clients, kids fighting over who got to to get their book read to them next, sharing the library computer games and compiling a stack of books to take home and playing in the fun hand painted castle they have in the children’s area.
Yes, the library and its free play and free wifi understood me and my needs.
So we did just that. We were the only mom and kids in the place and spread out all of our books on the little round tables in the kids area.
I messaged back clients while flipping through decor magazines and my baby learned that “whisper” does not actually mean “whistle” which is is actually just an ear piercing squeal that he imitates when he calls for our family dog.
Kids are freaking adorable.
We read some books, I snapped some pictures of my daughter curled up in the corner of the play castle with a carefully chosen pile of books beside her and I felt like all was right with the world.
That was until we were leaving the library.
I was trying to hold three children’s hands while balancing a big stack of books in one arm. I reminded big brother to grab little brothers hand too and just then, while I felt pretty proud that I was able to balance a giant purse, a lap top, a two year old and a stack of books from parenting to politics with a heavy side of decor magazines, an older woman turned around and gave me a piece of her mind.
The piece was big, hurtful, condemning and not true. She had clearly viewed my cell phone use/booking clients in, as me not being a hands on mother and she wasn’t afraid to tell me what she thought of me.
My biggest most valued title as “Mama” was belittled in a one minute encounter with a stranger.
My heart raced, my excuses fell to deaf ears that didnt deserve a response and those words STUNG.
A few minutes later, safe at home, this strangers spewing had me holed up in our upstairs bathroom, crying my pathetic little eyes out.
A run with my sister an hour later would enlighten me when she gave some sound advice:
“Dont give her words power by repeating them and giving them a life of their own. Just don’t.“
So here will not be the place where I talk about a surprising critiquing of my parenting skills or “lack of”, not because I want to be illusive or vague but because this unlikely and hurtful encounter is not at all the point of this post.
Although at my arrival home, my perplexed husband probably thought this was a sob story, it actually is not.
This is actually a story that has nothing to do with me or that hurting stranger. This is a story about God. And in total, this is actually a post to remind you to continue to listen to that still small voice inside of you.
While I was leaving the library feeling belittled and unrightfully verbally abused, another woman, a sweet thoughtful friend was sneaking up to my doorstep with neatly arranged flowers and thoughtfully picked items.
Best of all, she had attached a note that threw love right in my face as I walked the front steps bewildered and hurt to the core of my sensitive Mama heart.
There was no card and no name but I had a feeling I knew who this loveliness was from.
I had recently discussed the sweetness that flowers bring, the joy they can give and the unreal expectations I was setting for my little girls future husband since I often surprise her with a little potted flower for her to kill in two days flat.
In the midst of feeling stabbed in the heart and ego, this sweet friend then texts me to tell me that she had “rearranged my porch a little bit” and that she was prompted to do so from her heart.
In that moment I wasnt sure of the last time I had felt that defeated. A rushed day made worse by rudeness and judgement. And then, by just walking up our front steps, I was so perfectly encouraged like I cant even adequately describe.
I texted my sweet friend and told her how thankful I was that she listened to that prompting in her heart and she responded back so humbly that I am still in awe.
“It is all Gods doing my friend, I just had the privilege of carrying out the plan.”
To know that the big God of this whole world cared enough about me and my moment of defeat that he timed my friends gift giving perfectly.
God wants to work through people every day. He wants to share his peace that passes all understanding and his aboundless joy to those who need it. He wants the timing to be so perfect that people on the receiving end of goodness cant question whether it is coincidence or serendipity. He wants to work through people to share His care and to show his Divine timing.
He wants to use you and I who believe and trust in Him to share His story. The story of love and giving to the ones we love, but more then that, the story of loving the unlovable and befriending the friendless.
strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is
the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake