For the first time in my life, at least that I can recall or realize, someone who I once considered one of my closest and dearest friends, doesn't want that title any longer. It sounds so juvenile to write that, doesn't it? Yet, my heart is a bit sad. Over the last year, I have left multiple messages on her phone, sent a few emails, contacted her through facebook and even mailed a nice card. All of which have yielded nothing, not even a one word response. I let this nearly impact my Mother's Day weekend. Why is it that we are magnetically pulled to what we don't have? Gravitating to what seems to be missing, rather than the abundant blessings God has given us.
That realization hit me yesterday morning as I woke to the sounds of "Happy Mother's Day!!!!" at exactly 6:24 AM. In came my three blessings with a tray of breakfast they made for me. On the plate were two pancakes, two sausage biscuits, two slices of toasted cinnamon toast and a pat of butter. They also brought in a cup of coffee which they made themselves. Quickly, they scampered out of the room to retrieve their homemade creations and presents. My heart was quickly filled with their unconditional adoration and appreciation.
Here is a poem, one of a handful of Sadie's written declarations of love for me:
Exactly the mom I want
She is my journal of secrets
My mom is loving, kind, giving, cool, amazing, she tells awesome stories, the best, patient, a good mom. I love my mom!
The line that made my heart swoon and brought tears to my eyes was, "She is my journal of secrets." I have been working on developing a level of trust between the two of us that has been absent in earlier years. There, in that little line, is the fruit of my labor. She gets it.
It is nice to have that type of affirmation from the ones you pour your life into. But, is it necessary? Not biblically, I know. We are to give ourselves fully to His service without the guarantee of thanks, without the guarantee of seeing the fruits of our labors. We should toil, perservering to the end, finding fulfillment in our work for Him, not the pat on the back that boosts our ego. Even when relationships are failing, we honor God by walking in His ways.
As I am writing this blog, let me tell you how God was working to soothe my soul. I had just ordered new swim bags for the kids to carry all their gear in for practice and meets. I had been holding off on this purchase because it is not a cheap one and I wanted to be sure the kids were in this for at least another year or so. Friday was the first day the kids used them. Friday was also the day of our swim site cookout at our house. I left practice early in order to have the house ready for the 30 or so guests that would descend directly after practice. Another swim mom brought my kids, along with 3 others, to the house in what must have been one majorly chaotic ride.
Fast forward to Sunday night when I asked the kids to get their swim gear together. I saw a look on Sadie's face that made me a little uncomfortable. She did not know where her brand new bag filled with clothes, bathing suit, etc. was. This was very, very unlike her as she is usually so responsible. I chatted with two of the swim moms on facebook and neither had seen it. I was quickly growing tense over the situation, trying to remain calm until I knew for sure that it was gone. Was it left at the YWCA, never to be seen again?
My phone rang while I was typing this post. It was one of those swim moms who had already gone to the YWCA this Monday morning, before 9 AM, to search for Sadie's bag. Sadie's bag - not even one of her own children, not her responsibility. I was blown away by her concern, her generosity of her time, her willingness to help me. Unfortunately, the bag is not there. Instead, I mytseriously found it in the trunk of my van which Sadie must have hurriedly thrown in there when she arrived home for the cookout. Case solved.
And, so, here is God gently reminding me of His truths: 1) Focus on what He has given you because no matter the circumstance, there are blessings. 2) He always provides for you. Always. 3) Listening to God's voice offers opportunities to serve and grow and finally 4) We should never, ever be driven by the reaction and response of this world, particularly in our definition of self. God's ability to fill our cups will always outshine the limited possibilities of this world.