Monday, October 6, 2008

God spoke to me at Target

I've often thought that Target is holy ground and this morning proved it. The kids and I were on our way home from the Y (Pilate's this morning) and we needed to stop at Target to pick up a birthday gift for O's friend, Mikayla. I also had a nice $1 off coupon for a pack of Huggies and if I bought 2 today, I got a $5 Target gift card. Thus making a nice little bargain for Turner's tush.

A little background: last week did not put me any closer to winning mommy of the year. I had a very trying week with my 2 1/2 year old. I didn't make too many good choices. I could blame it on the tantrums, the whining, the crying but when the rubber meets the road, and if I'm being honest, I have to chalk my less than stellar mommy week to a lack of patience and self-control. (read: lots of yelling!)

I've spent some time praying and journaling about this. I want to grow. I want to be a patient and kind mommy. I want to discipline well, not out of frustration and anger. I've prayed and I've asked others to do the same.

Okay, back to Target. We were at the check out (our second time around, b/c the first time around I had failed to read the small print about the diaper/gift card deal. Had to buy 2 packs, not one to get the gift card.) So the cashier hit the button to flash her check out light, ladies behind me did the heavy sigh, yet I was bound and determined to get my gift card, even if it meant becoming "that lady." We literally ran down the aisle grabbed the second pack, ran back and hopped in a DIFFERENT line hoping for a better outcome.

As the guy was ringing us up, Olivia started whining b/c she wanted to play with the newly acquired birthday gift for her friend. I told her no, that she could see it in the car. Still whining and crying, she reached up and grabbed the toy from the bag. I asked her to obey, she did not. This resulted in an ear flick. (that's for another post.) After I flicked her ear, I patiently explained why her disobedience resulted in the ear flick. The cashier (who honestly couldn't have been more than 19) said, "I love that word. Obedience. I don't hear that one too much around here." I smiled and just said, "Yeah,well, it's not her favorite word." Seconds later, O started to whine and then she stomped her feet and was a millisecond away from a full-blown tantrum. I was about to sign the Visa slip and I said, "Excuse me" to the cashier. I crouched down, gently held O's face in my hands and said, "Olivia, please make a good choice here. I NEED you to obey." Miracle of all miracles... she settled down.

I popped back up finished my signature, looked up and the cashier said, "Wow! You're like my favorite parent. That was AWESOME." I felt a little embarrassed, like a fraud. He obviously hadn't been around for most of last week. I grabbed my stuff and said thanks.

As we were making our way to the car; I replayed the conversation in my mind. It felt like God was speaking to me, encouraging me. I'm not a failure. I fail, but that is not who I am. I do have the power to make good parenting choices. When I'm operating in my own strength, I may make an occasional good one, but on the whole, I fail. When I'm aware that God's Spirit lives in me and I ask for help and ask for prayer, I can have self control and patience. I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the Creator of the Universe decided to show up in the check out aisle of Target, just for me today. Perhaps I need to head back tomorrow and see what else He has for me (maybe a cute pair of jeans or something?!)


Mommin' It Up! said...

awesome! that was great for me to read esp. after this wknd. at Hearts at Home. God is the coolest!

taisleyred said...

E!!! I loved this post. Super awesome. You're a fabulous mom and I love that the Lord reminded you how much he thinks you're doing a great job!!! love ya, lisa