Being a mom is not for sissies. Some days, events make it totally impossible to do things right or just to get through. One of my most stressful days as a mom occurred just after we moved to Birmingham for my husband Steve to go to Samford to prepare for his calling to the ministry. This was a foreign, strange place for a Sand Mountain girl, especially one with three little preschoolers. On that day, the washer was broken; Steve Jr., the 5-year-old, was running an extremely high fever – 105-106 – with scarlet fever (or actually scarlatina.) I was to keep him bathed with cold water and give him Tylenol. While doing this, Shannon, the 2 ½-year-old, got into a bottle of pills. He was eating a handful when I found him. Scott, the 4-year-old, was scared and crying. It was freezing and I had to wrap everybody up and rush to the drugstore to get Ipecac to induce Shannon’s vomiting. Meanwhile, the washer repairman came. When he witnessed the chaos of my dashing from attending Steve Jr. to Shannon, who was throwing up pills, to calming Scott, he said, “I wish I could help you, but I don’t know what to do. I’ll come back another day.” (I could have used his help.)
Another mom said she was appalled to walk around the corner to find her toddler double-fisting cat food into her mouth as the cats watched in disbelief.
Still another mom recounts, “I was standing in the hallway of my former workplace visiting and chatting with former co-workers, when my youngest patted me on the rear end and said, …”ooohhh, it’s squishy!!”
Another told her story:
Both of my children were still early elementary age. Seldom ever did I go anywhere with just one, but did this day. My children ALWAYS rode in the backseat, but on this day, “J” rode up front all buckled up.
We went to the store, retrieved our items, and put the items in the backseat. I heard the back door slam. I thought, “He is in the car.” I started the car, backed up, and drove off.
As I drove, I kept thinking that I heard a “strange sound – a screechy sound.” I rounded the next parking lot aisle, looked in my rear view mirror, and to my horror saw “J” chasing me. He was the “sound.” I stopped, and oh, how I hugged him and apologized.
I arrived at school the following morning and was greeted with laughter. Some of my colleagues were inside the store watching though the front glass window.
But along with disastrous moments, there are times when our efforts in “bringing our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord” pay off:
Moments like this make a momma proud. (This came from a single mom of three special needs children.)
I felt overwhelmed with the day’s in and out things. I often feel I fall short with my momma duties. Tonight my son Bobby told me while we were getting ready to pray before bed, “Momma, Jesus really loves us and me enough He would die for me; that is so amazing. Mom I want to ask God into my heart I want Him to help me.” I had big, happy, ugly crocodile tears. We prayed and now I want to get him linked with someone from church. What a bless day!
This same mom reported just a few days earlier that she was in the doctor’s office with her daughter. She let another little girl, who obviously was a cancer patient, play with her favorite Furbie. When she was called back, the little girl handed the toy back. Morgan said, “No, I want you to have it.” She said, “That little girl needed it more than me.” This was a huge step in this child’s spiritual development.
What do we, as adults give to God? Our leftovers or our best? Just as we can teach our children about spiritual things in words and in the ways we react to difficult times, we also get lessons from them in giving and in love.
Matthew 7: 9 – 12 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.