It all started out beautifully. Our family had decide to sponsor a little girl for Christmas this year whose family is going through a transitional housing program. This little girl is one of five children being raised by a single mom. She is four years old, curly-haired, kinda shy and absolutely adorable, just like our sweet Abigail. Andrew and I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach our curly-headed girl about thankfulness, generosity and taking care of those who don’t have as much as we do. We signed up to get her a special doll.
As we headed down the aisle I listened to Abigail explain to her little brothers that we were here to get a toy for “a special friend whose momma was working very hard to get them a home.” I was thrilled that some of the conversations we had with her were sinking in. As we picked up the toy, she asked if she could invite this friend over to play. She never once asked for a doll for herself. I just kept thinking, this is what Jesus means by childlike faith.
In true Walmart fashion, when we pull up to check out there are only two lines open and it’s a bit backed up. My son is losing patience by the second. When it is finally our time to check out I put the item he was holding onto the belt and he loses his mind. Full blown tantrum. Screaming, kicking, pushing his brother, who is sharing a cart with him. It was epic. I instantly feel all eyes in the store and perhaps in the next county turn toward me. I leaned down to his ear and quietly reprimanded him, giving him consequences if he didn’t pull it together. Tantrum continues. As I look up, the woman in front of me shoots me a look. I apologize and she leans toward the cashier and says, “My kids are older now, but I never would have let them behave that way in public.”
I am an angry crier, which in moments like this is extremely inconvenient. I held it together for check out, pushed my cart full of children (two happy and one still demon possessed), to the car, get everyone loaded in, read my crazy tiny human the riot act and then sit down in the my car and cried. All I needed in the moment was someone to say, “We’ve all been there.” “They won’t always be two.” “Is there anything I can do to help?” I was ticked at my sons behavior, but equally ticked that I had received judgement from another mother in a moment when I just needed a little understanding.
I proceeded to let this wonderful Walmart moment affect the rest of my day. I was impatient and stressed the rest of the day (wonder where my son gets it?).
Tonight my daughter participated in her very first Christmas program at church. One of the age groups that sang a song that particularly touched me. The lyrics hit so hard that I teared up a bit.
Here’s what I’d do differently
I’d love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on you
–Fix My Eyes by For King and Country
When I am in the trenches of my own stuff it is so easy to throw myself a pity party over the hiccups that happen in my daily life. If you looked at the way I lived my life today you would believe that the most important thing that happened today was my son throwing a fit in a store. But here’s the thing, now that everyone is tucked in bed and I let the lyrics of this song seep into my heart, I realize that incident was far from the most important thing that happened today. Today I watched my daughter give when she wasn’t receiving, love others first, stand up for a weak one and fix her eyes on Jesus. Today, she got to see what it was like to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Today was a good day.