Monday, February 10, 2014

Encouragement from a Stranger and Sign

Today, Annabeth and I had to drive to Mark's parents to pick up our camera and other items we had left there over the weekend. It is about 45 minutes each way so by the time we were on our way home, Annabeth was getting a bit frustrated. She was throwing things and yelling at me. But we had to stop at Walmart for our medications and groceries. Our sweet Pharmacy Tech Jodee offered me a dumdum sucker for Annabeth and for the first time I gave in and let her have it. The sucker made her SO happy and I was able to get our shopping done with a happy toddler.

As I took the groceries out to the car I realized I really needed to go to the bathroom and didn't want to wait the 20 minute drive home. Annabeth was not happy about having to go back in the store and kept yelling "Home! Home!" as we walked back in. Then, as soon as we entered the bathroom stall she dropped her sucker on the floor. I quickly snatched it up and put it in the trash. "Oh no! Candy! Candy! Mama! Oh no!" I explained, "Well, that fell on the floor and we do not eat off the floor. Especially not bathroom floors." "CANDY!!!" I repeated my explanation. She yelled "CANDY!" I tried to distract her by reviewing what we bought at the store and looking for colors around us. I tried to be patient and to speak kindly even though I was ready to lose my mind! 

We came out of the stall and a woman was standing there. She said this to me:
"I am not a mom yet, I will be. My husband and I would love to be. I just want to say that I really admire the way that you handled that. You were so patient and you spoke so kindly. I hope I am able to do that with my children."

I blushed. I mumbled "Thank You" and silently said a prayer of thanks to the Lord. That patience, that kindness came only from Him. He gives me the strength to be the Mama I want to be. 

I was so thankful for that woman and her willingness to spend a moment with me, to encourage me more than she will ever know. I am thankful that the Lord used me for a moment to encourage her.

On the way home we passed a sign that said,

Attitudes are contagious.
Is yours worth catching?

I thought about it all the way home: Is my attitude worth catching? Today, in a Walmart bathroom for a moment it was. But it is not always. I am too impatient. I am quick to overreact. I am quick to snap at people. I am quick to judge. I am quick to complain. I am slow to compliment, to be patient, to take the little moments to encourage others.

My goal this week, and from here on out, with God's help is to have an attitude that is pleasing to the Lord and one worth catching. 


Abbi said...

Neat story! Thanks for sharing it. Such a good lesson to remember how people are paying attention to us even when we don't think they are.

Amy and Mark said...

God uses people in such funny little ways. :)
I like finding Him in the little moments and little places in my days.
He is so good.