My husband and I were flying to Mexico for vacation on my birthday and Mother’s Day weekend (we didn’t get to pick the date)! On our second flight, we did not get to sit together. I sat by the window with two empty seats beside me. I looked up from my book to see this beautiful little girl in a pink dress, with sparkle and twirl. Her nails were painted and her toes were painted and she wore pink glasses and she was precious.
Her Dad was getting everything ready for the flight and checking on her brother who sat behind us. He was giving her gum, setting up the TV for her to watch, and getting her earphones plugged in. They announced there was a maintenance problem with the plane and we had to sit there for 45 minutes and it was hot! He would press the buttons to get her show going and then her little hand would hit the channel button and change it. He would say, “ok sweetheart, first we find the family section, ok scroll down, Scooby? Or Frozen? Frozen it is…oh, ok Scooby. Here you go…” There you are….and then she changed it again. Daddy, I can’t find Scooby! “okay, sweetheart, click here ok, Family …there you go. This literally happened about five times. I waited. For him to lose it. Adults on the plane were losing it because of the delay and the heat. He never did.
The pilot told us we would need to get off of the plane for an hour for the repair and reload. As we stepped off the plane I had a tear going down my cheek. Thinking that little girl knows she is a princess. Missing my kids. Thinking about Mother’s Day. Thinking about how I lose it sometimes. Thinking about how a delayed flight and heat, and buttons would have likely generated a different response from me. I was challenged by that interaction in so many ways.
An hour later we were back on the flight and I was sitting with Anthony now and had exchanged seats with someone else. We were off in the clouds as I began to read ‘The Uncommon Woman” by Susie Larson.
I read the entire book on that flight. I was convicted. I was challenged. I was inspired. I was changed.
The message of the book is to be uncommon: To realize that with God’s strength, you are everything and in your own strength – nothing. To encourage other women and truly cheer for them and avoid all paths of envy and jealously. To not engage in gossip or malicious talk, and to be bold enough to walk away or stop conversations that are not fruitful. To overcome fear and to go the next step with Christ because you know he has you covered. This is a brief summary but I would think the health of many churches and families would change if more women read this book. Go read it!
As we were getting our luggage – the little princess and her Dad were in front of me and I walked by him and stopped and patted his back…and I said, “You are a good Father. Your interaction with your daughter deeply blessed me. You are patient, and loving, and kind.” He smiled and replied humbly, “Sometimes, you just take a deep breath.. lots of them.”
Before the guilt of spending Mother’s Day without my children on vacation in a beautiful country could overwhelm me, I felt the Lord tug at my heart. NO, don’t go there. Be still and listen. Be uncommon. Don’t let guilt take your eyes off of what I am showing you.
Blend the encounter of the man on the plane and the book the Uncommon Woman, and think about what it would mean to your children if you became the Uncommon Woman who took deep breaths…..lots of them.
Wow. WoW. WOW. wow.
I immediately thought of when I had just yelled at my daughter for bringing home the wrong science project materials. Here’s how it went down.
drop the guilt – drop the judgement….. let’s learn here.
It was a crazy week. My husband was out-of-town and I was in charge of much more than usual….including a science project that was due on Friday and we were going to finish it Thursday night. I was late picking them up from school and then in long traffic getting home due to an accident. When we finally made it home, instead of making dinner I ordered pizza. Then I said let’s get this project done! She said, Ummmmm Mom, I brought the wrong folder home.
Fill in the blanks…but we called to cancel the pizza order which could not be cancelled but could be delayed – whatever! – and headed back to the school to get the papers. It is late. I am tired. She’s crying and I about to cry.
I held her hand and I looked into her eyes and I said I’m so sorry. I should never yell at you. I apologize. Please forgive me. She said I forgive you Mom! Pizza and glue ended on a good note that night…. but it lingered still.
Imagine the difference if I had just taken a deep breath…. maybe a “leave the room briefly and pray” kind of breath. Note to self: Breathe. Take a deep breath and leave the room, and pray and drive around the block, and dance to loud music… before you yell. Ever. It’s convicting me.
What if my kids never overheard me saying bad things about people? Only to see me smile and high-five them later? It’s convicting me.
What if my kids saw me as a woman who loved Jesus first. Then her family. Then others. It’s convicting me.
What if they see me doing things that I am not capable of without Him? What if I acknowledge Him in all things? What if I give Him Glory out loud daily and cry out for His provision and strength daily? It’s convicting me.
What are my priorities in life? Is my body, or how I look, what I drive, where I go, who I am friends with, what I do in my free time? Is it my phone? Is it Facebook? It’s convicting me.
What do I want my children to see as my priorities in life? Jesus. My Marriage. My Kids. Family. Loving others. Helping others. Encouraging others.
What needs tweaking?
hmmmm. Lots! And that is where grace comes in. Guilt will spiral me off of the road to peace faster than anything. Here are the facts. I am a mess (sinner). Messy people (sinners) make messes. It’s not that I won’t make a mess (sin). I will! Over and over!!
How will I respond? That’s what my kids will witness. That is what they remember. That is what they will follow. That is what will shape them. That’s what will help them to choose. That’s how they will embrace their mess.
Let it be an overwhelming need in me to always depend on my mind-boggling Savior!
I have three little gifts watching me clean up my spills. Some wipe away quick like a dry erase with little imprint. Some become permanent stains that are hard to forget. All of my spills are shaping my kids. All of my spills are showing them what is important in life. All of my spills may someday become their spills.
Let’s be uncommon women who take deep breaths together. Sometimes many. Let’s embrace our spills and lovingly drop to our knees for each other and pray as we help each other to clean up our spills.
Let’s Breathe. Over and over. Deep. Together.
Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. 1 Thessalonians 5:10-13 MSG