Hmmm, what's that you say? Why is she showing us a picture of art supplies? Who cares??? Well, these are not any ordinary art supplies, these are my encouragement. And my children's encouragement and blessing.
The story you say?!? You don't get it? Well, we are home from our 3 week trip to visit family in CA and AZ. A trip which entailed several long days in a car with a screaming baby. (Although, the last leg of that trip was much happier due to a bottle of chamomile tea sweetened with stevia for the baby
and earplugs for me.)
Anyway, we came home to the whirlwind of December violin recitals, piano recitals and concerts. There were (are) clothes to buy, lessons to attend, and no food in the house. So, we set out to remedy the situation. Haircuts, violin lessons, several stores and several hours later the general attitude was whiny, hungry, and cranky. And the kids weren't in a good mood either! :)
I am exhausted and working hard to keep everyone cooperating and civil. We stop at Costco to eat dinner (cheap!) and pick up a few things. We have just enough time before they close. I order a pizza and settle in for the 20 minutes it's going to take the thing to cook. But hey, at least someone else is cooking it :)
So, there we are at our little table. Eli wanted the one with the umbrella but it wouldn't hold us, Ezra wanted a hot dog instead of pizza, someone looked at Sierra wrong, Ty wants to nurse, and mom wants to crawl in bed with a pint of Ben and Jerrys; and this isn't even the last stop.
I get up to fill drink cups and this older woman, dressed all in purple, approaches me. "Hi! I'm a teacher," she says. Uh oh... "Your children are so adorable and sweet, can I give them these pencils?!?" "Sure, they'll love them." "Oh, and there is a website listed on the pencils where you can get information about our reading program!" "GREAT!", I say. (no, I'm not going to add a sarcastic comment. Jeesh!)
So, back to the table I go with pencils all around. Seeing the sweet, adorable children a little clearer.
About 15 minutes later, as their sweetness is beginning to fade into grumpy hunger, another woman approaches. "Excuse me," she says to this nursing mama. "Yes," I say with a smile that conveys a lot more good cheer than I am feeling. "I have never done this before, but I have been watching your children and they are so cute and well behaved. I have just really been enjoying them and I thought how nice it would be for them to have this, and I wanted to give it to them!" "Wow! Thank you so much, that is such a blessing!"
And "this" of course, is the above art set.
The children were thrilled and the rest of the time flew by with much improved dispositions. I wish I had told both of those woman how the Lord had used them to encourage me. And I'm grateful he used us to encourage them. But I so wish I had praised the Lord to those ladies, and not just to my children. I really need to work on having His praises always on my tongue.
Oh, and just to round out our Costco experience. As we were clearing up our trash a man called me over. "Excuse me? Miss?" "Yes?" "Are you Pentacostal?" Huh!! "Umm, no.." "Oh, those girls in dresses and stuff. I thought maybe you were Pentacostal." "Oh. No, we're baptist actually." "Huh, Southern Baptist, no doubt!" "No. Actually we're Reformed Baptist." "Huh. Well you have a great family. Great testimony for dresses." ummmm "thanks."
All in all, Costco was quite an eventful stop for us. Our steps were a little lighter as we left. We were grateful to the Lord for His blessing and encouragment. And we left to spread the gospel of dresses. Not!