Friday, July 29, 2011

Strangers to my Rescue

Have you ever watched someone trying to juggle too many things at one time, and thought to yourself "I really should go and help that person"?  Next time, please do.  I'll share with you why.

Wednesday, a church member was having surgery two hours away.  JA wanted to be able to be with the family and pray with them before the surgery.  So, he asked the kids and I to ride along to keep him company (we have had a very busy month, and both of us are a bit sleep deprived.  So, having company on a long drive is a huge help.)  I said sure, the town has a McDonald's with a great play place, so I figured I could drop JA off, take the kids to McDonald's and we'd have a great time.

Well, we dropped JA off, headed to the mall to try to redeem our free summer reading books from Waldenbooks only to discover their liquidators are not honoring anything from Borders (should have called ahead before lugging five kids out of the van).  However, we were doing great.  Kara, Lydia, and Andy held hands singing "Oh How I Love Jesus" as we walked through the mall.  I had Ezekiel's hand in one hand, and Gabe's car seat in the other.  We walked back out of the mall, into the van, and headed to McDonald's.

McDonald's was great.  The kids obeyed as we walked across the busy parking lot.  They stood still as I ordered our lunch, and filled our water cups.  They even patiently obeyed while I filled my ice tea.  Here is where I must have gotten too confident and needed a bit of humbling.  I picked up Gabe's car seat, and then I picked up the food tray (which, by the way had a large cup of sweet tea on it).

I don't know what happened!  The kids were obeying, but I was holding a car seat, and a tray of hamburgers, but my tea was all over the floor and me.  A lady told me to take care of my kids and she would get someone with a mop.  I set down the hamburgers and just had the kids head over to the play area. I paused only to joke with a lady who was sitting watching us (she had three kids of her own, and was obviously pregnant) - "That's what I get for trying to juggle to many things at one time!"  I told Lydia, Andy, and Ezekiel to take their shoes off, and was about to have Kara watch Gabriel so I could go get the hamburgers when a gentleman came up with our tray.  He actually apologized to me for not having stepped in and helped me before the spill!  I was shocked.  This complete stranger was apologizing for not having helped me avoid a STICKY (and I mean it was sticky) situation :)

Even the lady who was cleaning up my mess was great about the whole thing - "Thank you for giving me some work to do, I was getting board."  Wow, God is so good and has really blessed this time with my kids.  I tend to get very anxious about taking all five kids out by myself - especially in a busy place.  If you knew Ezekiel, you would understand why (see my previous post).  But the wonderful attitudes at McDonald's helped encourage me that it really isn't so bad taking them all out by myself -- just next time get the kids seated somewhere before trying to carry the tray of food.

The children enjoyed a wonderful time playing on the play set, drinking their water and eating their hamburgers.  I enjoyed watching them play and make friends with the other kids there.  I even found a few minutes to be able to do my Bible study (which had been delayed because of the early morning drive).  I am so thankful for my five precious blessings, and for the lessons God daily teaches me through them, and through complete strangers.

Hey, this even gave me the courage to try taking them through Sam's Club by myself before picking Daddy up again -- I'd saying we are definitely making progress.


Rob H said...

Wow - what an adventure (although I am sure that every day is an adventure with five sweet kiddoes!). I have loved seeing people stop to help even though I only have one. It is always a blessing to me. I'm glad God had these "angels" close by :)

Mary Ann said...

That's a great story. I'm sure it is intimidating to take them all out by yourself. It sounds as if you guys have done a wonderful job teaching them to obey. It's encouraging to hear how our Heavenly Father has been taking care of you :-)

Tracy said...

I am so blessed by how God has provided for our family. He often does things like this for us when I find myself getting overwhelmed. God also has a way of humbling me when I feel like I finally have things under control as well -- that's when we'll go out, and the kids will be wild or disobedient. But, I try to remember that both the kids and us as parents are in a continuous season of growing in Christ.

Steve n Vickie said...

Going ANYWHERE with a string of youngsters is no small task. Something I avoid TOO whenever I can... It was nice you had some strangers pitch in and help.
I find myself struggling with my attitude in situations like that.