If you know me, you know that I love babies. I especially LOVED my babies. Before Mallory was born we decided that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. It was going to take some financial choices, but Kirby and I decided that we weren’t going to put the kids in daycare.
I was glad I was able to stay home. Being a mom was the best job in the world. It was the best and most fulfilling, but far from the easiest. Most days were great. Most days. Occasionally, there was one of those days that made me think I was going crazy. One of those days where I was hanging on the thinnest thread, afraid if I moved that my whole life would completely unravel. One of those days.
In those days, our house was always noisy. I am not complaining, I usually enjoyed the noise. Even on the bad days, I never regretted my decision to stay home. These days, our house is very quiet. I can’t believe how much I miss tripping over shoes, making school lunches and washing off sticky hands and faces. I miss those days.
Today I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, and the rain wasn’t helping. I went to the mall to walk and force myself out of the house. I was walking through the food court when I noticed a young woman with her 3 small children. They were sitting at a table, drawing a quite a bit of attention to themselves. The children weren’t out of control or disrespectful. They were just being kids. And the mother didn’t look like a bad mother, just a tired one. She was having one of those days.
My next move surprised even me. I took my lunch over and asked if I could sit down with her. I told her that my kids were grown and I hated eating alone. She shrugged and said of course. So I sat down across from the mother, next to the oldest child. The mother was very quiet but the little girl next to me was more than willing to visit with me. Obviously unaware that I was a stranger, she spent the next several minutes telling me her life story.
She told me that her and the whole family had been sick and were out of the house for the first time “in forever”. She went on to say that “mom is crabby and very tired.” The mom was embarrassed, but it made it possible to break the ice. I told her how well I remember that feeling. Those days of total exhaustion. Those days we hate to admit we all have.
I sat with the family for quite awhile. Most of the time I spent visiting with the oldest girl while the mom interacted with the other 2 kids. She was able to get the toddler boy to eat his lunch and feed a bottle to the baby. She even took time to eat some lunch herself. By the end of our visit, the mother looked much more relaxed and all 3 kids looked like they were ready to go home for a nap. We said goodbye and went our separate ways. I told her that I hoped to see her there again.
I hope that I helped her. I know that she helped me. I hope that I didn’t intrude on her space. I hope she enjoyed the lunch as much as I did.
Last Friday, our book study group talked about stepping outside of our comfort zone. Walking over to that table was a giant leap out of what I consider comfortable. My gut told me that the mother needed a little extra help, and God pushed me over there. There was a chance that things could have gone very differently, but I very glad it didn’t. I honestly think that God put me in that place for that reason. I feel like God used me to be His hands and feet today.
I feel so honored when you use me to do things for you. Thank you for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and be a tool of Your love. Please help me to continue to do that would please you.