Today is rainy and cold, again. Spring is NOT here yet. Last week was long and HARD. This weekend was super busy. My husband and I are TIRED. But, there’s no explaining that to five demanding children. We push through. And, of all days that I could have used some compassion and encouragement, it was today. And, usually, I can find it, through a friend or reading in His Word. Not today. The grey clouds and rain remained, and I was feeling discouraged. My son Samuel needed an eye exam. My husband had some things at work that he needed to be there for, so that meant everyone besides Hannah had to come with me. So, I had my 2 month old, my potty training 2-year-old, my four-year old, and my six-year-old son with me this morning at the eye doctor.
The place was beautiful–it even had a “cinema room” with a huge tv and a movie playing; complete with bean bag chairs. Great. All was going smooth until the Dr.’s assistant came for us. I could tell by the smug look on his face, he was not thrilled to have pulled Samuel’s chart. No smile. Nothing. We follow him back, and squeeze into the exam room. He works with Samuel, just friendly enough to not make Samuel cry and then I can tell my girls need to go potty. Great. But hey look! There is a bathroom right across the hall–I am talking 5 feet maybe. Perfect. I’ll just scoot in there with the bigger girls and let him continue on with Samuel. He notices we are headed that way and says “Ugh, I cannot do anything further until you are back…” to which I just looked at him blankly, like, “um, what would you have me do? Do ya want to wait a few minutes and let my little girls use the potty or clean up a mess of pee? Totally up to you Buddy.” He must have read my blank expression and said, “ok, go take them.” I was proud of myself for binding my tongue, though it was HARD. I hurried the girls as fast as I could, and they did great cooperating. When I walked out of the bathroom, he was waiting outside the room and walked back in without a word and continued on with Sam’s exam. I was tempted to defend myself with “Just so you know, I took them both potty before we left. This was a 45 minute drive for us. And I have been trying to take them potty while we’ve been waiting, but the sweet old lady in the bathroom told me ‘Sorry Honey, I am going to be a minute,’ after I knocked to see if there was actually anyone in there it was taking so long!” But, what would that have done? Help? Maybe. But, I doubt it, so I held my tongue and forced a smile.
I really could have used some compassion, a smile, some kind gesture. I know my family is a lot and I never want to be a burden on anyone. And, I would have loved to just bring Samuel. But, I couldn’t. Because as far as I know, it is still frowned upon to leave children home alone.
All this to say; nice matters. And we have a choice. I know not everyone will choose compassion, kindness and just niceness (totally not a word, but I like it), but each one of us can choose it and make a difference with the people we come into contact with everyday. And, did you know that you can encourage someone across the world from you? My husband’s uncle who lives in Thailand recently joined Instagram; and can I tell you how much of an encourager he is to me? What a blessing he has been these past few weeks–just by comments he has left on Instagram! My Pastor taught yesterday on the great power God has given us; and we have a choice one way or the other. I thought about it the whole way home and wanted to share his teaching and add a few more to his list…
We have the power to create life and the power to take life.
We have the power to love and the power to hate.
We have the power to submit and the power to rebel.
We have the power to create and the power to destroy.
His question for us at the end was, “What are you doing TODAY with the power God’s given you?”
I love that.
And with that, there could be endless more to add to that list. A few that came to my mind–especially as women and Mommy’s were:
We have the power to encourage each other as Moms and we have the power to discourage each other (and remaining silent can be just as discouraging as words).
We have the power to be a part of the solution and we have the power to contribute to the problem.
We have the power to think the best in people and the power to think the worst in people.
We have the power to be selfless and the power to be selfish.
And, we have the power to pass judgment and the power to show grace and compassion.
Lord help me get these right more often than not.