Mother Torture Lessons

“Tick-tick, tick-tick…”  I could hear the clock ticking as I sat in church with my 6 rambunctious children.

I had looked forward to this all week long.  Going to a church, I had never been to hear an acapella Mennonite choir sing.  Here in the west it is extremely rare have this opportunity.  Rare, in that it’s been years since I have heard an acapella chorus.  Add to that my cousin was to be in the choir which was a once in a life-time opportunity if you live in the west and most of your family is far east.  So to say I was looking forward to this week, would indeed be an understatement.

However, as we sat there waiting for the choir to sing a mere 20 minutes before starting time, I began to wonder what I was thinking.  My children turned into little monsters right before my eyes.  Looking back, I wonder if it was more because of their actions or because of the stark quietness compared to their noisy whispers, the stillness, in contrast to their wiggles.

We were sitting about four benches from the front in one of the most conservative Mennonite churches I had ever been to.  But I knew some of these people and loved them.

When we first walked in one of my friends smiled, and gave me a friendly little wave.  Excitedly, I waved back.  Everywhere else I glanced I was met with sober silence.  Suddenly, I felt like a chicken nugget in a box of french fries. Were these the same friendly people I had eagerly visited with at the local Mennonite store.  Every whisper from my children sounded like a yell, and bickering between siblings, like a megaphone.  All my most embarrassing moments no longer had the label “most”.  My two oldest boys who should have known better were pinching and poking each other, and making faces. Four of my children wanted to sit beside me.  This of course proved difficult, since obviously I was only blessed with two sides. I quickly put one on my lap and threatened the oldest with a  stern warning.

Just as we got settled in and I was ready to sigh a deep breath of relief my youngest boy whispered loudly, “I have to go to the bathroom!”

Then beside me another loud whisper, “I do too Mommy!”  Now normally, in our own church this would have been a great time to say this, before church had started, but here…well I was mortified.  They loudly, and rather clumsily stumbled out of the bench with their Dad.  Of course when they came back there was more bickering about where they wanted to sit.  Mortified, I vowed to myself that I would be doing some serious training about bickering as soon as I got home.

“Tick, tick…” On went the clock, what?! only 5 minutes had past?  By this time I had only died several deaths of mortification.  Oh where is a sink hole when you need one?  The minutes crept on and on with one child wanting to draw, but then not liking the colors I gave her with which to draw.

“More, More!” She demanded,

I died again, “No, mommy doesn’t have any more, ” and she had another fit, on and on it went.

“Tick-tick” on ticked the clock….finally the chorus filed in and the children were focused on the singing for a short time.  I soaked in the first song letting the beauty of it get to my heart.  That was about the only song I was fully able to enjoy.  The rest of the time was spent wrangling kittens, on a church bench, of this quiet cathedral.  The mom guilt came on strong, and my pride got a good beating.  “I should be training my children better,”  I thought, ” I really just need crack down and demand some better behavior from them.”

Thankfully, we got through the service without a whole lot of mortifying experiences.  Then it happened.  The last song was finished and the pastor was praying and again the clock ticked, and suddenly, in a moment of complete silence, the youngest sitting on my lap, chose that moment to very indiscreetly relieving herself of some gas bubbles.  It was not a quiet little relief people!  I suddenly lost ever ounce of my pride I wanted to giggle and cry all in one puddle, and then disappear forever.  😉

Thankfully, everyone just kind of acted like they didn’t hear it.  I know they did because my dad sitting on the other end of the bench mentioned it later as we laughed out loud about it.  The minister stood to say a prayer.  Finally, my night of torture was over.  As he finished his final “Amen”.

And then my youngest who is at this time a sweet 2 years of age, piped out a loud,”Amen!”

For the first time that evening I saw amused smiles sweep over the congregation and the chorus members.    A dear lady afterward, complimented me with an encouraging word of, “Your little girl was a testimony that your family prays together.”  In those kind words the embarrassing night fell off of me.  I was relieved to be free of it.  I enjoyed visiting with friendly faces that moments before I had felt so intimated by.

The whole thing has left me feeling a little curious about some things.

  1. Is this typical for a conservative church, the sober silence?
  2. Do people come into my own church not from my background feeling just as intimidated by it?
  3. If they do, what can I do to change that?  I like the quiet reverence of preparing your heart for worship.  However, I think a friendly smile and wave goes a long way in making people feel comfortable.
  4.  Do I let what other people think to often dictate my parenting?
  5. Do I let what other people think to often dictate what I think about myself?
  6. What can I do to change that about myself?

As I contemplated on the night and these questions, I realized that I was proud of my children.  It didn’t matter that they didn’t sit like perfect little robots on the bench.  For one thing  they had just sat an hour on the way here, I really should have taken them on a walk before we just walked into this quiet sanctuary.  I also realized that the people there probably didn’t even notice me or only felt compassion when I felt all eyes and judgement were upon me.  Perhaps judgement of others comes more through our own hearts than reality.  The Lord has a lot of work to do in this mommy of 6.  My children are my little teachers, and God continues to use them to smooth out my many rough edges.  I was reminded how far I have to go still in my “people pleasing” vs. “God pleasing” journey, and how easy I feel shamed.  There are many things to learn through a night of “mother torture”.  Perhaps one day I shall 😉

 

Advertisements

Midnight Musings

Today I was at a funeral of one of my husband’s uncles.  It was a beautiful service, and tribute to not only a man, but to the extra chromosome that made up so much of who he was, and how he blessed the people around him.  I have a lot to say about that, and hopefully I will someday, just not tonight.

After the service, we had a meal,  as we were sitting and talking a sweet lady came up and gave me a hug.    Her and her family attend a more conservative church a little distance away, but they live close by.  Although a distant relative in a matter of speaking, she often meets me with a sweet smile, a hug, and a, “How are you doing?” I’ve always felt so comfortable with her even though I really do not know her very well as our paths don’t often cross.  Tonight, I suddenly realized why, she reminds me of some of my dearest friends from home.  I’m not sure if it’s her sweet, quiet spirit, or her neat cape dresses, the smell of her perfume, or the way she carries herself, but I began to feel all nostalgic, missing them, and on came the trigger.

It may be hard to understand how difficult it can be to move far away from your roots, your foundation, the people who grew up with you and the people who helped you grow up, and the things that can trigger…a certain homesickness for the people you grew up with.  With it comes a deep pain and you just want to weep, and sometimes you do. There are other triggers like family reunions, deaths, weddings, graduations, feeling misunderstood, or like people don’t really know you, or ever really can. Even though it is not realistic or affordable, there are days you  would give the shirt off your back, just for a moment in your hometown, and give that person a hug that feels like home.

I am not alone in this.  I have talked to enough people whose experience is very similar to mine.  I remember talking to an elderly lady, years ago when I first moved out here. She mentioned her husband who moved far away from his family.  She said, even after living far away from them for years and years, his eyes would often well up with tears, as he talked about his family from the place he grew up. At the time I thought, wow, 40 or 50 years from now, will this still hurt.  13 years later and I  believe it. Not as often or aggressively as it did in the beginning, but still there are those triggers.

It’s like experiencing several deaths in a lot of ways.  You experience the death of separation, of friends, of dreams, of family, of consistency, and I’m not talking about adaptation to small changes, more like smack you in the face and make you feel like a teenager kinds of changes.

It’s not that I don’t love my church and the people out here.  In the past that accusation has come to me at times…and to others.  It is extremely frustrating   because the people here are very much a family to me as well, and my love for the friends and family I grew up with does not make the love of those I am with now any less. I know if ever the Lord called us to move far from them, I would miss them in the same way as I do the people from the church I grew up at.

So what’s my point to all this…well not a lot beyond the fact that I was just feeling the need to write in order to sort out my feelings to some degree.  Perhaps I wish to understand and be understood, the latter is not very noble, but it is truth.

Also there is a part of me…maybe it is my personality, and my fierce sense of loyalty, inherited from my mother, because of this there is a sense in which I feel the need to let these people know how much they still mean to me, how much I miss them, perhaps I don’t want to stop missing them, because that would betray my loyalty.

Don’t think that because people miss their roots that they don’t live fully where they are at.  On the contrary, they tend to throw themselves into life fully and passionately, wherever they live.  Perhaps that is the reason it is so heart breaking to leave.  But then what is the alternative.  Someone once said that the extent, to which you feel pain, is the extent to which you will feel joy.   I have been tempted at times to close my heart to pain,  to ignore it and tell myself somehow that it doesn’t exist, but a hardened heart would be the end result and not worth the temporary relief from pain.  Pain draws us into a Savior who cares and heals.  Pain keeps us from getting too content in a world that is not our home.

So for you who have moved far away from the home of your youth.  May I encourage you when those triggers come and they will, embrace the pain.  Take a moment or two to cry on the shoulders of your Saviour, who understands all, and cares.  Then praise him.  Praise Him for the beauty of having a place and people who meant enough to you and you to them that you miss them. Few have that.  Praise Jesus that your heart is still soft and beating, and that you can still feel pain, because to love means to open your heart wide to pain…and that is beauty that is always worth it in the end…it means you are whole, it means you are alive.   Lastly, thank Him for the new life, places, and people that He has placed in your life today, and embrace the today’s.  Live passionately and fully where you are at…today. Knowing that God has an abundant purpose for you in this place where He has called you.

This is  a little of what I have learned in the last 13 years since moving to a different world in so many ways, there are many more lessons to learn, I am sure, perhaps these lessons can encourage another in my midnight musings.0303191453.jpg

He sees you…

I am writing this post today for moms. I don’t often single out a certain group of people, but I felt that you needed to read this today. You moms who get up everyday and show up. Who get out of bed in the middle of the night once again to soothe that crying baby, or pray for your scared child. You mom’s who make that meal again, when you know it’s going to be consumed in about 15 minutes even though it took hours to prepare, and another hour or more, to clean up the mess just made in 15 minutes time. I write for the fight you have to solve again. Those words you tire of saying, “Do your homework, brush your teeth, wash your face, be kind, get dressed, where are your shoes, no you may not have another cookie, etc, etc, etc…” I write for those days that you long to be alone for just 10 minutes, and the other day when you long for another adult to talk to for just 10 minutes. I write for you moms who feel lost in the mundane of laundry, dishes, and house cleaning, who find folded, clean laundry in a dirty clothes hamper…again. Who teach that child who doesn’t want to be taught. You moms who come to the end of the day feeling like a failure.  You moms who never quit, never run, never give up.  Who choose love every day, and in choosing it you stay, and keep moving, keep doing, and keep being “mom”.  I’ve talked with you. I’ve been with you. I am you.

 

I write to encourage you! You are not alone, you are seen, you are important, so important! Don’t give up. Don’t give in, you have a Heavenly Father who loves and cherishes you. He keeps a record of your tears. He cries with you. He sees the times you choose to do the hard thing even though it’s painful. He smiles when you choose to praise him when you feel like crying. He sees when you think nobody sees or cares, He cares for you, and as long as you show up.  As long as you don’t quit, you are amazing! You will never be the mom you want to be…but keep striving to love and cling to Jesus and you will be more than enough.  You will be just right. Because your Father is the perfect mom and dad for your children.  Lead them to him and they will know love and they will know perfection that you can never be.  May you know that today. May you feel the Father’s love in the deepest part of you. May you know that nothing you do is done in vain. When you do it for Jesus, it is of greatest worth, the greatest treasure. It is an alabaster of oil poured at His feet, and He will not reject it. The King of Kings, the Creator of the universe, and you, He treasures your work, always! He sees you, mom, He sees you.IMG_0667

Photo by Justin Nice

Kitty Rescue Mission

36993197_10216799632052008_6738755338977148928_oThis evening, I and two of my tenderhearted children spent an hour or more trying to rescue our kittens. They had found a spot under our deck where they were inaccessible. Earlier today my children had tried without success to get them out. Finally, I told them just leave them be, we would keep the shed door open with their food and bed and surely their mom’s would make sure they got back home, but when I went out to check on them tonight the mother cats came right to me, seemingly trying to get my attention. The kittens refused to come out, and their mothers refused to get them. Finally, I was able to slowly lure most of them out with some cat food. This was a slow and tricky process. I had to push the pan of food toward them with a stick and then slowly pull it out until a kitten was close enough that I could reach it and take him to the shed, and come back and lure another kitten out. 36950649_10216799615451593_737666714761691136_o
We were down to the last two and they both refused to be lured out by food. Choosing instead to stay in their “safe” little corner. I believe they saw us as the enemy. Trying to lure them away from their safe place. We finally were able to get one kitten by prodding it with a stick. But the other kitten just slipped further back into her little pocket under the deck. Marcus and I were down on our stomachs trying to no avail to get her to come out. I tried food, even giving her some lunch meat she grabbed that, but took it from the pan and was too smart to be lured any further out of her hole.
By this time it was late, the other members of our household had gone to bed. I wondered if I should just leave her there. But how could I? She most certainly would be frightened all by herself, and could be eaten by a wild animal. What could I do? Didn’t she realize I was trying to rescue her?
As I thought about this. My mind went to my own life. How many times has God tried to rescue me from what I think is a safe place, but He knows it to be dangerous. Perhaps, he sees the danger of complacency, or pride, or selfishness, but all I see is safety, and when He tries to get me to step out of my comfort zone into His hands where true safety lies, I resist. I trust my safe place not His. How foolish I am. My Father, my Creator, has a much greater understanding of what I need. If I come into His Will, His Way, His loving arms, that’s when I find the safety, I truly need. The safety of my soul, the safety of His heart and mine being one, together. 36980930_10216799624411817_1191013943217225728_o
Well, every story needs a happy ending and this one has one. The kitty was at long last rescued. I finally thought, what does a kitten hate enough that they will run from it and to something better? The answer, water. My son got his newly acquired water gun and squirted it at the kitten and sure enough she came dashing out of her safe place into my waiting arms, and she was truly safe. My two children were quite proud that we had managed to finally rescue the kitten. Memories were made and I’m sure they will enjoy telling this story to future generations. The night they stayed up until 12:00 with mom on a Kitten Rescue Mission. My son believes this was training for his future career as a firefighter, on a search and rescue mission. My oldest daughter can now sleep happy knowing that her kittens are safe.
Me, I am happy they are safe, but more than that I am happy, I am safe…in my Heavenly Father’s arms. May I always lean toward him, when I’m frightened, overwhelmed, confused, and in need of rescuing. His heart, His will, His loving arms are indeed my safe place. 37019274_10216799632892029_6098690364447653888_o

Remembering…

35847172_10215711070557045_408431401071804416_n

Most days I don’t even think about it….that day 25 years ago, the day our family was changed forever.  But June 21, comes around, and I just need to remember, cry a little or a lot, rejoice because God was there and he is still good.  Remember how it was to be the big sister almost 12 years old, holding her 18 month brother.  Knowing in my little mother’s heart I was special to him. Remember His cheeky little grin, and big hugs.  Yes, today I hold my own children a little closer, and just remember….

I’ll never forget where I was that evening.  Sitting on our wooden-backed benches it was the ending of the first VBS night at Central Mennonite Church.  My parents were both involved in Bible school that year.  My mother was a teacher, and my father was supposed to be superintendent.  In our VBS that meant he would lead out in the opening and closing assemblies.  Pulling out his guitar and singing songs like “Come to Bible School, Come to Bible School, every weekday evening, Come to Bible School…” and “Praise ye the Lord, Hallelujah.” While we intermittently took turns singing the “Praise ye the Lord’s” and “Hallelujah’s” Rising from the bench as we did.  Then we would giggle at the 2 or three   VBSers who would always get caught standing at the wrong time.  There was always someone.

But tonight, as we sat down in our class bench, I noticed something wasn’t right.  My dad wasn’t standing up front, someone else was in his place.  Looking around, I noticed my mom wasn’t on her class bench either.  What was going on?

I started whispering questions to my fellow classmates. They didn’t know anything more than me.  I turned around and asked the older ones in the bench behind me.  My older cousin leaned in and said something like, “I can’t tell you what happened, but it has something to do with your youngest brother Kevin.”

Right away my heart dropped down to my toes.  Something was wrong?  What was wrong, and why couldn’t they tell me? Was Kevin hurt?  He must have been.  How bad was he hurt?

As soon as VBS was over and we sang the final line of, “Our Bible School is over, and we are going home, good-bye, good bye, we’ll see you again tomorrow,” I headed out with my best friends. We walked onto the playground and sat on the old wooden swing, a favorite hangout back by the woods away from the crowds. I remember crying with them and talking, the way only 11 year old best friends can.  “I don’t get it why won’t anyone tell me anything? I’m worried…,”  and  they comforted me, and we walked back to the church.

At this point the details get kind of fuzzy, but I remember people gathering us kids in the basement, and someone telling me, “Kevin’s been hit by a car,” I can feel that sinking feeling just like it was yesterday.

I asked them because I needed to know, “Is he going to be ok?”

“The ambulance took him to the hospital.  Your mom and dad are with him now.  We are waiting to hear from them. “

“But was he hurt badly.”

“Let’s pray”

We gathered there in the basement and for some reason, I especially remember Edna Yoder, an older lady in our church, who was great at pulling practical jokes, loved making people laugh, and would blow bubbles in our business meetings 😉 .  She was so kind always, but I especially remember her that night.  I remember others being there and their kindness and love surrounding me, but for some reason I can’t remember anyone specifically other than her.  I do remember praying so hard that God would save Kevin.  “Please help him be alright God!  Please!”

Then we got a call, they wanted us to go on over to my aunt and uncle’s house.  I remember lots of people there gathered around, and I was so glad to see my parents. Somehow I  knew even before they took us back into a bedroom and told us kids that Kevin had passed.  We all cried, but my little sister Dorcas, about 7 years old at the time, burst into tears. They told us the details of what had happened.  “They think he ran out in front of a car, while he was chasing a kitten.  My uncle had stepped inside for just a moment to check on the baby.  It happened so fast, no one was to blame.   The doctors did everything they could to save him, but they think he died instantly.”  They said, “He’s with Jesus.”

I cried until I could cry no more, and I still prayed frantically, “God please raise him from the dead!  Please God that would be an awesome miracle.  Other people would know that you are God.  Please God!”  These are the desperate things that a young girl prays when her heart is broken.

Next, I remember the hugs from people that night, and they were crying with me. They were so comforting, and I felt safe to cry too. I remember feeling surprised when one girl who had, I felt, always sort of disliked me, giving me a hug, crying with me, and saying, “I’m so sorry.” This was a start of a mending of our friendship. It’s funny the things you remember…

After a while, our family rode home together, I remember asking a lot of questions.  Talking and crying on the way home, still praying that God would raise Kevin from the dead.   From the very beginning, there was no condemnation expressed against anyone, no bitterness, nor unforgiveness.  Not against the driver of the car that hit him, not my dear aunt and uncle, no one was to blame, not even slightly.  I remember, at one time my parents expressing how much harder it would have been, had it happened on our own farm.   We grieved with my aunt and uncle, and the pain they too were experiencing at that time.

Dad in his usual way, suggested we sing a song together because that’s what we did, we sang a lot.  I don’t remember which song it was, I’m thinking it was, “In the Sweet By and By,” or something similar. It probably sounded pretty pathetic as our voices were shaky and cracking, but it was comforting in some way.

The next morning I heard people in the house, I woke up and there were ladies from the hospitality committee.   They had breakfast for us and were cleaning and helping us.  I remember people there with us comforting us, taking care of us.

Cousins, and other family I hadn’t seen in a while were there as soon as they could get there.  I remember feeling conflicted, I wanted to be happy and play with them, and yet I didn’t.  At one time, I was encouraged by someone to help my mom out by folding wash.  I was kind of glad to have something to do to help.  There was just one point, all the people around got to be too much and I hid in my parent’s bedroom and had a good cry away from everyone, and just sat and thought.

I have no conception of timing. I can’t remember what happened on what day.  I remember moments.  Like a boy asking me why I combed my hair like my mom, and another boy complimenting me on my first brand new store bought dress I wore to the funeral.  I had never worn a store-bought dress before that I could remember. We always bought second hand.  However, since I had no appropriate dark dresses for the funeral, a store-bought one was purchased.   There was the taste and smell of the casserole our church called funeral casserole because it was served at every funeral.  To this day I dislike that casserole though most people love it.

I remember seeing Kevin in the funeral home, when my mom went to dress him for the first time, since his death, and being so disappointed because he didn’t look like him at all, and then seeing the different caskets as my parents chose one for my brother, sitting in the funeral and praying again that God would raise Kevin from the dead.  God didn’t, but I wasn’t angry at God, just really sad. I remember we all gathered around the casket saying good-bye to Kevin one last time.  There was feeling the need to grow up quick and take care of everyone, seeing my mom cry and wanting so much to be able to make her happy, and the heaviness of the grief.

In the midst of all the grief and darkness, there is one thing that I remember through it all, feeling loved and comforted by God and by his people.  I don’t remember what they said just their hugs, their tears, their hands holding mine, but mostly their presence.

Then there was Bro. Jesse’s kind words in his message that day at the funeral.  Somehow it made me feel like we were going to be alright, we were going to make it through this pain, and we did.  Oh, not without some falls along the way.  But we’ve made it this far. We are all love the Lord, maybe even more so, because of the pain.

God has been good, a comfort and our guide through it all.   My brother Kevin is in heaven. Others have joined him since then, Grandmas and Grandpas, cousins, and friends. I look forward to seeing him again someday.  I often wonder what he will look like.  Will he be that 18 month old little boy, I love and remember, or will he be a strapping young man of 20 some.

If you stuck with me through all this remembering, you are a true friend indeed 😉  I don’t know why I felt the need to write this today, but I did, sometimes we just need to remember…

 

IMG_0251

 

A Mommy’s Angel

DSCN2022Mondays are always met with mixed feelings around here.  On one hand, I’m anxious to get everyone back on schedule.  On the other hand, our Sunday’s are often busy and met with late nights, which have my children and I groaning to get out of bed in the morning.  On one hand, I like the fresh start that Monday brings.  On the other, a fresh start means  getting six little people out the door and to school on time.  The first day we do that in a week, whether it’s Monday or Thursday, has me feeling like I’m going to pull my hair out.

Yesterday was the Mondayist of Mondays, on the worst of the other hand.  We had company Sunday afternoon, then communion that evening.   It ended up being a late night for everyone, so Monday morning found me pushing the snooze button a few more times than I should have.  Also, I had to do my grocery shopping that day, and so that meant no lugging the littlest out to the car in their pajamas.  Everyone had to be store ready.  Still, we were somehow able to pull things together, and were on schedule to go out the door on time.

Then it happened.  The “I can’t find my…” happened.  My oldest had searched everywhere for his homework and was unable to find it.  When he first told me, I was up to my elbows in little girls hair.   I shouted out suggestions of where he could look next.  All the while, knowing my son, and wondering if he had thoroughly searched the places I suggested.  Knowing that if that homework was to be found, I would most likely have to do the finding.

I quickly finished up my girls hair, and we began the search.  I looked in every place I could think of, but to no avail.  I soon knew I had to make a choice. I had to either leave and let him face the consequences of lost homework, or be late and continue looking, and have him and his brother and sister face the consequence of getting a tardy.   A glance at the clock told me we were going to be close to being late either way, so I opted for the latter.  About eight minutes later after almost giving up the search, I found it in one of the drawers by his bed.

So we dashed out the door about 10 minutes after we should have left.  I was feeling pretty frazzled, frustrated, and embarrassed.

Every morning when I take the littles to school, we have a certain road we call the prayer road.  This was an idea I got from another mom.  It’s been such a wonderful tradition for our family.  We say the Lord’s prayer and then I pray for the school children especially.  This morning I felt prompted to pray,  “Lord Jesus, we have had a rough morning, but we know that you are the redeemer of the rain, and you can take this rough morning and make something good out of it….” and He did.

I dropped the children off and sat for a moment at school, thinking and praying.  “Oh, how I wish I could just go shopping without them this morning.”  I thought.  But with one babysitter gone for the week and needing the other later on this week.  I just didn’t feel good about asking her to baby sit today as well.  I was already exhausted and the thought of a shopping day with the 3 littles was daunting at best.  Could I wait until tomorrow?  No, I don’t have any bread, or…  I need to just do this.

Maybe we could just go to Winco. No, we needed pampers and they were cheaper at Walmart.

The time in Walmart was met with little difficulty, other than my two oldest thinking we needed everything they saw on the shelves.

Every couple of minutes was met with a, “Mommy can we get Popsicles, mommy,  puleeeeeaze!”

“No we don’t NEED Popsicles.  Stop asking for things please.  Mommy will get what we need. ”

“Mommy, Aliyah needs this new toy.  Look it teaches her about numbers.”

“No Chalita, Aliyah does not need any toys.”

“Mommy, can I get these shoes they are soooo cute.”

“Mommy I need dese shoes.” Chimed in my 3 year old grabbing a pair from a nearby rack.

“You two, mommy knows what you need and I told you to stop asking for things.”

“Oops, ok mommy sorry, I just can’t help it there’s just so many things I want,” gushed Chalita, my 5 year old daughter.

And on it went…and then it was time to check out,  and I knew, as every mommy who as been around the chopping block for a while knows that this was the toughest part of the whole trip.  Why do department stores put every kind of treat a kid could possibly want right there by the cash register?

However, this time as I started unloading my cart instructing my children not to touch that, and no we can’t buy gum, or candy, or that cheap toy that is “soooo cute”, an older lady stepped up behind us.  She had the most beautiful white hair and a peaceful smile on her face.  She grinned eagerly at my youngest, and started talking to the other two children, teaching them how to say, “cookie” in sign language.  She kept them entertained the whole entire time I was checking out.  Telling me how delightful they were. There was no judgement or impatient sighs, only kindness and smiles.

We waved good-bye, and I thought, “What a blessing she was,” feeling a bit choked up about it. Chalita, kept talking about how nice she was, and I agreed.

Then it was time for Winco.  By this time, the children are getting hungry and grouchy and ready to go home.   By the time we got to the cash register, I was done and they were done.

Then it happened,… I looked up shocked to see that very same lady that got behind us at Walmart was there again in Winco, right behind us talking to us, not acting at all surprised that we managed to get to this place again.  Once again, she was softly talking to the children delighting in them.  Making me feel as if they were the best part of her day.  We ended up leaving the store together, and she said, “Let me walk you out.”  as Chalita kept chattering away to her as if she had a new best friend.  We waved good-bye and went our separate ways.

As I buckled the children in, and put things away, a feeling of awe came over me as I thought about it all.

“Mom, that lady was just so nice.”  chattered Chalita, the oldest of the three littles.

“She sure was,” I replied.  “She was such a blessing.  Maybe she was an angel.”

“Was she an angel?”  I thought as I climbed in our megavan.  Of course she was. She was our angel.  Maybe not an actual heavenly being.  But there is no doubt in my mind she was sent from God.  Maybe not in the usual way we think of God sending someone. Still, she was there helping me through a difficult time.  Seemingly, a small thing in the minds of most people, but huge for me.  I can’t tell you how much this effecting me even as I write this now.  There is such reassurance in knowing that the God of the universe cared that much about me and my children.  She was an angel alright,…a Mom’s angel, and I’m so thankful that God cared enough about me to send her our way…not once,  but twice. What a good, and kind Heavenly Father He is, the Redeemer of the rain!