Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Tea Party in the Rain

It was my first day in weeks to have just one child with me for the morning. My older 2 were back to school after Christmas break, so as you can imagine I had a busy morning of errands planned. Oh, the places I'd go with just one child in tow!!!

But then I woke up to a cold, wet, very rainy day and realized my errand morning just got more difficult. Umbrellas and rain and mud and a toddler and a car seat and a lot of in and out of the car at multiple stops just doesn't spell a pleasant morning!

I briefly pondered dropping my daughter off at preschool and heading straight home to hibernate with my 1 year old until we had to pick her up at noon, but the errands had been put off for too long already because I just couldn't face them with all 3 kids.

The most dire was also the most difficult in the rain, a large shopping trip to Sams. But we were nearly out of Coke Zero and I refuse to pay full price for it at the regular grocery! So, the desire to avoid an afternoon without a Coke Zero beat out the desire to stay in on this cold, cold, wet day.

As I headed off, my attitude was not great. Grumbling and frowning I was. Then it occurred to me, the errands and weather and toddler were going to be the same, but I could choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood to face them. God was giving me the choice, much like I do for my children when I say, "Are you going to obey or have a consequence for disobeying?"

His instruction was clear, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let our mind dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8.

I decided to have a good attitude. So I'd get a little wet, so the errands would take longer, so my gigantic boxes of cereal and fruit snacks would get a little soggy, at least I wasn't shopping with all three of my kids!

By the end of the wet errands I was even in such a good mood I was able to think of a lovely one-on-one activity for my 3 year-old daughter and I to do after her school. I fed my 1 year-old before getting my 3 year-old at noon and set up a tea party. When we got home from preschool pick-up I put my 1 year-old down for his nap and my daughter and I had a tea party lunch on her princess tea set. I turned a sheet into a tablecloth, cut some flowers from the backyard for the vase, and put milk in the tea pot. We had meat & cheese on crackers with strawberries on the little plates and yogurt with granola in the little bowls. She loved it and it was a special time just for the two of us (and 2 of her dollies)!

Before you go thinking I'm a good mom, I should confess that I allowed my 1 year-old to play with this teeth flosser in the car between errands. He got it stuck on his finger, started screaming and wildly trying to pull it off. I was helpless because I was in the front seat driving. Thankfully it ended okay, he still has his finger. But, those flossers, are not good toys!

God writes the best endings! Around 2:50 PM, as I was sitting in the elementary school car line, the sun finally came out. We have had several gray days the last few weeks, so the sunshine was especially beautiful! Then I just happened to read this verse in the book I had with me, "For God, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Cor. 4:6. God taught me today that whether he allows the sunshine to break out of the cloudy, dreary sky or not, I can choose to allow His light to shine in my heart and then become a light in the darkness.