Posts Tagged ‘humbling’

Photo credit: spider

“Let’s get all our Saturday chores done today because we won’t be here tomorrow, kids.” I laughed as the children stormed me with questions.

“Are we going to stay in a hotel?” asked one.

“Are we going to go swimming?” shouted another.

“Yes. We didn’t tell you before because we didn’t want to disappoint you if it didn’t work out, but we’re going to stay in a hotel that has a pool and you guys can show Daddy how you can swim.”

The five oldest children had been taking swimming lessons and four had just learned to swim. They were bouncing with excitement and it was impossible to keep everyone calm, but we finally were able to get all our chores done and the van packed up.

We left soon after Kevin got home from work. It was a beautiful day. We were going to have a wonderful time. What could go wrong?

The children could probably count on one hand the times we’ve been away from home over night. Money has always been tight and travelling with six kids is never cheap. I’d found a hotel with a 2 bedroom family suite that was really quite affordable, though, and what was even better was that it had a pool and free breakfast. I was as excited as they were.

Our first stop was the White Spot for dinner. The kids all got pirate packs and we all laughed at Joel as he downed a huge cup of apple juice and even managed to get his brother to give him some of his pop. My kids drink water, so juice and pop are pretty exciting to this two-year-old.

Joel ate a pile of grapes and several chicken nuggets in the shapes of anchors and fish. He ate a couple of bites of his ice cream too.

“Look at his belly,” I said while giving it a little poke. It was looking pretty round. “Can Mama have your ice cream?” I rarely order dessert—watching those calories—but I’m not above eating what my kids don’t finish.

“No, my ice cream,” Joel said while pulling the dish towards himself.

“Okay, well eat it up.” I spooned some of the strawberry goo into his mouth.

He made a face and then a sound came from deep inside his throat. I watched in horror as he threw up into his pirate pack. The mess was contained so I wiped up his mouth and prayed that nobody saw that. I moved away the boat—too soon. He threw up again, this time all over his clothes. I snatched up all the napkins and mopped him up as quickly as I could.

My only thought at this point was to get this kid out of the restaurant. I unbuckled the seat and helped him stand. It happened again. And it was even worse because he was standing. Time stood still and it became dream like. No, nightmare like.

I turned to Kevin, “Get him out of here—now!”

I kid you not, the little guy puked at least five times! I trembled as I wandered around snatching unused napkins off of empty tables. A waitress brought me a cloth and I washed everything down, paid, and escaped.

Shame. Horror. Embarrassment. Guilt. Queasy. Yes, I was experiencing all of those feelings. Did I say embarrassment?

This story doesn’t really have a point except that sometimes parenting can be very, very humbling.

By the way, Joel wasn’t fazed. He was perfectly happy and energetic. It was his mother that took about an hour to stop shaking.


To be continued . . .


P.S. – This picture was taken about 30 minutes after “the incident.” I can’t even guess how many times he ran up the stairs and careened down that side. Definitely not suffering. 🙂IMG_2472[1]

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The Chastening

I’ve just been through a very humbling experience, and it is my desire to be totally transparent with all of you, so I’m going to share it here too.

I said something that wasn’t true about a friend. I thought it was true and certainly didn’t mean to offend or cause hurt, but the fact is, I am guilty a falsely accusing another.

My first reaction was, How could I make such a stupid mistake? But it only took me a moment to realize that God allowed me to make that mistake so that I would repent of a deeper heart issue. He showed me that I have had a critical and judgemental spirit lately. Ouch!

Through this experience, I have felt God’s love pouring out on me as I made phone calls and wrote a letter of apology. He loves me too much to leave me as I am, and his discipline is a manifestation of his amazing love.

Hebrews 12:5-6 says, “…do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by him; for whom the Lord loves he chastens and scourges every son whom he receives.”

I am reminded that this world is not my home and that I am here for a purpose: to glorify God and grow in holiness. Sometimes that process is painful, but it is a privilege too. How we live here counts for all eternity. At the end of this journey, my deepest desire is to hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run the race that is set before us.

~Hebrews 12:1

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I love it that children are so forthright; they haven’t yet learned to flatter. There have been times when I tried on a new skirt and the children have remarked that I looked beautiful (good). There have been other times when I tried on something new and they giggled and said that I looked funny (not so good!) I do keep in mind that this is the opinion of a seven year old, but I appreciate that it is an honest opinion.

Sometimes, the fact that children will say the first thing that pops into their head can be rather embarrassing. At church recently, one of my six year old boys said rather loudly, “Is that the bench for the old people?” when he noticed several seniors sitting in row behind us. What could I say? I felt like crawling under that bench! And then there is the dreaded, “Are you having a baby?” to a woman who isn’t. Oh my, children will humble us!

I was talking to a friend on this subject when she flipped through her Bible and pulled out a drawing that her daughter had made 20 years earlier. “It’s you Mommy,” her little girl had said all those years ago.

“What are all the wiggly lines on my face,” my friend asked.

“Oh those are your wrinkles,” was the quick reply!

I love it that this drawing has been kept safe these two decades and that it can still produce a smile or a laugh. It is a lesson that I am thankful we can learn from our children, how to laugh at ourselves!  🙂

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