Waiting in the After-School Car Line

I am a mom.
I am a mom with three children.
All boys.
Each, 5 years apart from the other in age.

I don’t have to tell you the ins and outs of how busy my life can be – I joke about living in chaotic bliss, but really, it’s not a joke most days.  Routines are never routine, and oftentimes I feel that flying by the seat of our pants IS indeed our routine.  With this lifestyle, though, important things that need daily attention and devotion (no pun intended – that is foreshadowing) have no secure block of time in which to call their own.  Like prayer.

I’ve always been okay with this, especially in my growing closeness to our Savior.  I talk to our maker all the time.  ALL THE TIME.  Sometimes audibly.  Jesus is a close, personal friend of mine.   The defined lines of “prayer time” are cloudy and nondescript, as my calling out to him and sharing with him has no boundaries.  It might be while standing in the check out line at Wal-Mart, or while blow drying my hair in the mornings, or as I am stringing popcorn for our Christmas tree.  But as far as a set aside time to spend with him, I’ve not nailed that one down yet.  In my head, I have a time planned out, but my plans rarely, if ever, happen.  And notice that I said “talk to” him.  I’m trying to get better at that, too.  I need to be a better listener.  God is a great one.  And he’s never complained about our one-sided conversations.  But God does talk to me, and if I’m quiet and still, sometimes I hear his words so loud and with pristine clarity.

One of our treasured times together, with me listening, was in the car line at the elementary school where I wait for a very long time to pick up our youngest son after school.   It was October 2009 – a beautiful Monday afternoon.  Earlier, my work day had been very stressful.  The holidays were coming on like a lion, making the never-ending stress of finances seem even more vicious.  And our oldest son, who was a Senior in high school, had recently made the decision to go into foreign missions when he graduated.  He had begun the application process with an international Christian organization already.  All of these things were laying heavy and in the foreground of the quiet I found myself in while waiting in the car line.  That is when he spoke to me, and brought the comfort only the Savior can envelope me in.

“Let’s talk about your children.”

Me:  “Okay [laughing to myself]”

“Your youngest child is golden.  Pure.  Smart.  I know you struggle with his need for attention.  Do not let that distract you from the pure child that he is.”

“Your middle son is also smart, and not without his need for attention.  But remember, you cannot be disappointed by that which does not deceive you.”

“And your oldest.  I know you are worrying about him.  Please do not.  I am with him, just as I was with you at that age.”

Me: “Oh, right!  I know what I was like at sixteen…”

[He did not let me finish my thought, as he said:] “The difference is, he listens better than you did.”

And that was it.  That was the message.  The Savior had spoken directly to my heart, specifically about the things which are most important to me and of which troubled me most personally – my sixteen year old planning to leave – planning to go forward in God’s Army to who knows where, doing who knows what.  The boy didn’t even know how to wash his own clothes – back up – how to even pick his clothes up off the floor – and was thinking about leaving the next year to go to a foreign land.  Not college?  At least his friends going to college would be able to come home to wash clothes.  Not my son, not if he went into missions work overseas.  God spoke to my heart about the very thing that underneath all other thoughts, was the most worrisome for me, and in an instant, brought me a peace I didn’t know I could ever have.  “…he listens better than you did.”. This is true!  And only our Savior would know this, and be so eloquently simple in pointing out to me how strong his love is for my son – HIS son.

The message was less than a minute or two, but it has brought peace into my heart and allowed me to give my worries over to Him.

That was in October of 2009.  Today, my son has been out of the country for several months, working as a missionary in a foreign field.  I am able to enjoy this time, encourage my son, and know what a blessing it is to have the Savior’s watch over him.  God is always in control, and his plans are far greater than any we can orchestrate ourselves.  Freedom is knowing this, and understanding that God can help us through anything, with abundant love.

p.s.  AND…as my son was telling me via Skype ten days after leaving the country about washing his own clothes, I couldn’t help but smile and look toward the heavens with a wink.  He was doing it, own his own (but not really).  🙂

1 Peter 5:7

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