The other day we took our weekly trip to the grocery store. When we got home, I asked the kids (as I normally do) to help me unload the groceries. We all worked together and got most of them inside. Zoee had been lagging a little so I let her know, "Zoee, I left one more bag of groceries out there for you to help with. Could you please grab that last bag and then make sure all of the car doors are shut?" I went inside to start putting away the groceries and Zoee followed me within a minute and we went about our day. I asked if she had remembered to close the car doors and she said she had remembered. Later on that day (around 4 hours later), one of my sweet friends Juliana came to watch the kids for me while I went to a photoshoot. When we came out to meet her (the kids love going outside to meet guests when they come), I noticed a small HEB bag lying behind the car. Oh man!! Zoee, who tends to be a tiny bit forgetful when she is excited (like her awesome Daddy!!), had remembered to close all of the car doors BUT had forgotten that last bag of groceries. There was that bag- it's contents roasting in the 100 degree Texas afternoon sun. My mind reeled quickly through the list of the groceries I had put away a few hours earlier. What had been missing? Fruit? No. Pasta? No. Cereal? No. Prunes? No. Chips? No. Popcorn. No.... I looked into the bag to find the most expensive grocery item that also cannot be left out- the MEAT! For a split second I thought it could be salvaged (I HATE wasting money!!!) but reason set in and I knew it had to be thrown out.
Later on that day I was thinking over the days events while I was driving to my shoot in Sugarland. I had some wonderful time with Jesus in the car (I was without the kiddos so it was nice to spend a little bit thinking and praying) and I started to think more intensely about the meat situation.
"Jesus, were you trying to teach me something? Why the meat, Lord? Why couldn't the Pringles have been in that bag?"
Then I felt like the Lord spoke back. It wasn't audible but I felt like in my Sprit the Lord was trying to teach me something. I felt like He wanted to remind me that some things in life need more care than others or they will spoil. I had neglected something that needed extra care- something that would ruin if left alone. What in my life was Jesus talking about? After thinking and praying for a bit, I asked, "Is there an area of my life that I need to be careful not to neglect?" I felt like Jesus was trying to remind me about my role as a mom. As a stay-at-home mom, it can be so easy for me to focus on the "less important" things like keeping the laundry folded and the bathroom sink "dust free." I can easily get stressed when I can't see the vacuum lines in the carpet or if I catch crumbs on the floor or counters. At times I feel that my kids are neglected if we don't visit enough parks or do enough crafts or sign up for enough curricular events. Kindly, Jesus reminded me that those things are not "meat." Yes, it's nice to have a clean home and to encourage social events for the kids, but those things come and go. They are like "Pringles" or "pop-tarts." If they get neglected for a bit, it's not the end of the world. They can be "brought back" without any harm done. What really matters is representing Jesus well to my children through living out His truth and by teaching His truth to them. This is the "meat." I cannot neglect this no matter how busy or hectic life gets. My kiddos need to see the light of Jesus in me. They need to hear His Word. All of this is not something I can muster up on my own. In order to share Him with the kids- it is imperative that I enjoy and soak in my time with Him. He cannot shine through me if I haven't spent time reflecting on His goodness. I must spend time daily letting the truth of His Word change me (by His sweet Spirit that He gave me through Jesus' death and resurrection on my behalf). When I neglect to spend time with Him and teach Him to my children, I am doing something similar to leaving the meat out to ruin in the Texas sun. This time with my kids is so short- they will be grown up before Sonny and I even realize it. These are the moments to be talking with them about the King as we "walk along the way." I know that there have been countless moments where satan has tried to trick me into thinking, "you're too busy right now. you can read them His word later. You can pray with them later, you need to clean the house..." These are lies. The truth is- Now is the time. Today is the day that they need to see Jesus in me. I need to be near to Him. I need His wisdom to be a godly mom.
All that to say, I was so encouraged as I finished my time in the car. I was so refreshed in my role as a mom to these three little souls. I don't want to look back on my life and say that I had a spotless house but I was so stressed out that I never enjoyed teaching my children about the goodness of Jesus. I hope this is an encouragement to someone. Let us remember that the days are passing quickly. The kids are growing up. Their minds are little sponges and their hearts are being molded on a daily basis. Let us use our time with them wisely. Let us ask Jesus daily for ways that we can use real life examples to share His truth with them. I know that we will not regret these moments if we spend them intentionally with the hope that our little ones will come to adore the Savior.
A few months ago, I was reading Hosea and Hosea 10:12 says, "Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground. For it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you." This reminded me of the truths often taught in the New Testament. Jesus is coming back soon. We have a job to minister well to our families in the hopes that they might come to know Jesus. We can hope for them to know His righteousness through faith. Let's seek the Lord and be purposeful in how we use our time. Thank you Jesus for using grocery shopping to encourage me in my role as a Mommy. =)