Monday, April 8, 2013
i screwed up...
well...i missed a big opportunity...completely screwed up.
i took my kids to the mall today to practice their obedience in a public yet controlled setting. (we've been having trouble with quick obedience and i would like to take the kids to the zoo soon...so we needed to work on it in a place where i felt like a mistake on their part wouldn't lead to kidnapping or being eaten by a lion.)
anyway...after a few hours of meandering thru stores coaching my kids' behavior and reminding the older 3 to hold on the the stroller...ask before they walk away to look at something...wait patiently as i look at the clearance racks...gracefully share a soda...say hello and goodbye to clerks and security...they were doing really well.
several people commented on their excellent behavior...i was lavishing praise on both my kids and Father's grace...it was a good day. but then i screwed up.
in the parking lot a woman who had been shopping with her mother was loading her expensive, clean, beautiful suv full of luxury items...i didn't even realize that all those details registered until i just typed them...evidently i'm more shallow than i even knew...(thanks Jesus for your mercy).
anyway...her mother started commenting on how wonderful my kids were...and how terrible her daughter's 2 1/2 year old was...for just a split second i thought about how terrible i would feel if my mom said stuff like that right in front of me...but i disregarded the Spirit inspired compassion and started talking about me.
sigh. sometimes...it's all about me.
i talked about how great my kids were...how great my husband is...our methods of correction...the hard work behind our parenting...the tips and tricks that my mentor offers...all good things...i think i even mentioned how faithful God has been to us...
sigh...it really just makes me sick...
the mom was eating it up...agreeing with every word...piping in with ooos and aahs...and saying to her daughter, "she's really got it right". i even thought about giving her my number in case she wanted to call for ideas...(i'm so glad i didn't!)
you see...it's not that i did anything 'wrong' i was just incredibly insensitive.
that poor mom...with a kid the same age of mine...i don't know her story. she could be an incredible mom with a son that will be diagnosed with developmental delays that she has no control over. she may be a single mom...or have a husband that opposes her attempts at discipline.
whatever the case...it was clear that what she needed was encouragement...encouragement that she was doing well and that she was exactly the mom her active little boy needed. she needed to hear a "good job" from her mom...and from the complete stranger with 'perfect' kids in the mall parking lot.
but i screwed up...i made it all about me...
she probably won't ever read this...or maybe she will...either way...if i get another chance...i will not exalt myself...i will choose instead to lift up others.