Every weekend my husband watches the kids, and I escape for a few hours to the Starbucks on the corner. This is the only kid-free time I get during the entire week. Each week I see some of the same people. Two older couples from my church make sure they always stop by to visit with me, and the baristas know my regular. I go to grab a latte, meal plan for the week, listen to podcasts, and read. Then I head to Wal-Mart to grocery shop BY MYSELF!
When I arrived yesterday for my reprieve from my children, the only seat open was the table right next to the bathroom. After being there for about an hour, a woman walked into the store with an upset two-year-old. She desperately headed to the bathroom. The child was SCREAMING!
Oh man, I have been there more times than I would like to remember.
She came out of the bathroom and shut the door. She had tears in her eyes because she could see the looks on everyone’s face. She looked at me and started to explain that he needed to calm down for a minute. She went on to explain how everyone in her life judges her and tells her she doesn’t parent properly. I sympathized with her telling her that I had two children and that I understood. I empowered her by saying, “You are the mom. You are doing what you know best for your child.”
After several minutes of rude comments from several customers, a barista went in to make sure the child was alright and to take him a cakeball. Finally, the child did calm down.
Despite this being my alone time without kids, I was compelled to invited the mom to sit down with me. She opened up about her life. Telling me things about their background that explained everything. As I listened, my heart went out to her.
It saddens me that all to often we place expectations on people and judge them harshly when they fail to meet those expectations. We are all guilty of this in one way or another.
I would parent differently…
I would manage my money differently…
I would maintain my home differently…
I would manage my social media differently…
I would educate my child differently…
I would maintain my health differently…
That mom didn’t need judgment. She needed grace. She needed someone to listen to her.
As Christians we are sometimes the worst about this. We forget that we are to be kingdom minded…to be led by the Holy Spirit…to minister to others who are hurting.
I am a broken mess just like everyone else. On those days when I can’t hold it together, I am thankful for those who love me anyhow and show me grace instead of judgment.
Make no mistake. This is not about me. I hope I was able to do that for this woman for my Father’s glory. I am thankful that in that moment I was able to be lead by the Spirit instead of my flesh. I was reminded of Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7 not to judge, “… and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt 7:2b)
It is because of Him that I could put down the measuring stick of expectations and love beyond measure. I was only able to do that because He has done the same with me. What a gracious God we serve!
Link Up: http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/
I’m linking up with my friend Kaitlyn Bouchillon today for all things encouraging this Monday.
Check out her beautiful new site…you will be glad you did!