When I heard her screaming I knew it was THE cry. Moms, you know it. The 10 on the cry scale. THE HURT CRY.
This one makers her tongue curl up on both sides and her face scrunch so much it wrinkles every part. This one means something horrible had happened….
And it had.
I heard it from behind, I turned around and bent down to her level in one swift motion.
“WHAT HAPPENED?” I said, thinking she got stung by a bee, or her hand had gotten chopped off by an angry Christmas elf…. or something equally horrific.
“MY ICE CREAM IS MELTING…..WAHHHH!!!”
Her ice cream? Was melting?
YES, that’s right. We were at Disney world and I bought her an ice cream as big as her head and……….it was melting.
I couldn’t help but laugh. She was so darn cute and ridiculous all at once. Her ice cream was indeed melting and that my friends, what why she was screaming at a level 10. I ran to the ice cream counter, got a bigger ice cream cup, mixed it all together and poof: tears vanished. This moment will be forever etched inside my mind… I walked away laughing and shaking my head knowing that the 25 people who all saw the episode where judging my ability to mother….off of that one moment. (Thank you Alyssa for snapping a picture of this incredible moment……)
Sometimes we don’t talk about these moments. The real ones. The ones where the image isn’t perfect ( I REALLY think Disney should use this image for their next marketing campaign… don’t you? ) We don’t share the melt downs often of our kids or even ourselves. We show the pretty make-up pictures, the polished outfits, and our success that we totally want internet high fives for. Often, pretty facebook highlights leads us to compare, to look at the highlights of people lives and careers and yearn for them. The super cute pintrest clothed families or the amazing couples who are always cuddling and talking about their amazing lives. I’ve felt the sting of jealousy sifting through engaged couple after couple after couple… To be honest, sometime it makes me cry to see incredible dad’s with their happy families playing with their kids. (It’s a part of my restoration I am totally am looking forward to one day..) And it’s really beautiful to me to see affectionate husbands love their wives openly. As God has matured my heart, He has shown me I can be such an extension of love, encouraging the people who are being such an example of love to me, instead of being jealous of the blessings He is giving to them.
As we were leaving Disney that night, and I was pushing the stroller for the last mile. The air was stale and there were more kids passed out in their parents arms then walking. I noticed below me with every step there were names etched in the burnt red stones that lead the way to the magic kingdom. Pavers of names of people who believed in Walt Disney and wanted to be apart of his vision and dream, lined the walkway. There were hundreds of them. I began thinking about my walkway. The one that leads to the entrance of my life and my dreams. Who would be the people’s names on my pavers? How often do I thank those that God placed in my life at my blessings and supporters? How often do I tell them their loved changed my story forever instead of looking at other peoples victories and coveting their blessings?
When we compare ourselves to others we loose so much. Identity, perspective…. thankfulness.
I was once having a pout feast about the journey I have walked on to get to this point. I saw my garden, in my imagination. The one that God has been pruning for so long. He graciously spends so much of His time there, and often we sit under the trees together in our secret place. One day I looked over at one of my friends trees, in her garden. I saw it. She had incredible fruit there. She was married and lovely and I was… well… wondering why she didn’t have to go through what I did….
“You don’t know the journey that it took for her to get that harvest.” Jesus said from behind me…
He was right of course. I didn’t know what it took her to have that incredible fruit in her life…. I just saw the fruit and assumed it was easy because… the fruit of her life is incredible.
The more He grooms me the more I understand there are incredible reasons He allows me to walk through some of the things I do. Along the journey I have meet incredible people who, even without them knowing, they have influenced a piece of my story and a stone in my walk way. When I look at other people’s live and envy them, when I long to have what looks like the ease of some of their chapters, I am stepping outside of my book, and not yielding to the Author of my story.
In October, of this year Jeremiah 29:11 really came alive to me. “For He knows the plans He has for Julie Story. Plans to give her a future and a hope…. (Paraphrased 😉
Right now in this moment, that verse is so true. I was in a pit, He pulled me out. I was working at a job I hated, He gave me a job I can work from home, I needed a home, He gave me an incredible one. I needed a computer… He gave me that too. I asked for a church family and He already had one on the way…
When I spend my time comparing my kingdom to another.. I loose. Every time. I loose the people who believed in me, I loose my story, I loose the parts about the valleys and the mountains I have walked through with Him. I loose trusting Him. I loose my identity. To often we try and dress up like our brothers to God and try and take his blessing. Like Jacob did. We try and hide and manipulate God into giving us a harvest like someone else.. because all we can see is our ice cream is melting, and yet, in the middle of the melt feast we might be in the most magical part of our journey. The one where he longs for us to be thankful for the journey that it took to get there. The one where He wants us to see the promises of the land we are already living in…..
He is standing in our mist, preparing a way, going before us to make a path for us. A path that is etched with incredible love from people, one that is carved with His own two hands laying every stone for us….being The Stone for us.
We can’t manipulate Him. We can’t shift our lives to be someone else. He needs us to be uniquely us. We were made for something He has in mind……. We are a piece of His heart only WE can be. With our gifts, with our talents, with our journey. Focus on His face <3 He will show you incredible harvest like you’ve never seen before <3
PS. You know some of those people… the ones who have been an influence in your life? They really need to hear how amazing their Love has been. It’s time you told them…And take it a step further…. Do something inconvenient for yourself to show them LOVE.
AND here we have some smiling kid pictures for good measure. Alyssa Maria graciously follow us around capturing every incredible moment of this trip.. even the crying fits 😉