I Admit it, I Stole From My Kids

 Getting ready for the first day of school is hectic for our family. My four children and I usually scurry around town like squirrels, anxiously gathering everything we need. This year was different. My husband’s lack of a job, meant we didn’t have money for school supplies.

Since shopping wasn’t an option, I decided to prepare for our first day, by registering the kids early, so the paperwork wouldn’t delay us the next morning. We drove to the school, met the teachers, and checked out the classrooms. The secretary seemed kind, so I hid my embarrassment, gathered my courage, and asked her if there was anything left from the fill-a-book-bag-for-needy-child program. She told me it was doubtful, but she would give us whatever she could find.

That night, I gathered the few supplies we already had and tried to sleep. Even though I prayed and asked God to provide for us, I tossed and turned, trying to come up with a solution. It made me sad to think of my kids missing out on the sharp points of new crayons and the chance to enjoy the new plastic smell of a back pack before it’s filled with sweaty gym clothes. I could still see the fear on my kids’ faces when they told me they were worried everyone would know they were “poor”.

This arrangement was too much for my motherly instincts to allow, so I took matters into my own hands. I drove to a 24-hour superstore and bought their 4 cheapest backpacks. I couldn’t buy anything to put in them, but at least it was a start.

That morning, I heroically swooped into each child's room and surprised them with a backpack. Their smiles said it all. When we got to school, the secretary was wearing a huge smile too. I saw tears in her eyes, as she told me the staff had gotten together and dug up backpacks and supplies for each one of my children. God had provided.The kids were ecstatic. I was relived.

Oddly, on the drive back home, I didn’t feel like smiling. Instead, I felt guilty. I wondered if the secretary was disappointed when she saw my kids already had backpacks. I realized what I had done. I had allowed fear and anxiety to seep into my life again. Playing the hero by buying backpacks had stolen a huge blessing from my kids. I had robbed them of a lesson on trust. I had also stolen the joy of giving from the secretary.

If I hadn’t stepped in, my kids would have experienced a direct answer to prayer. They would have understood how much their teachers cared for them. Most of all they would have known they could put their trust in God, instead of me.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

God is good, so even though I messed things up for my kids, and their teachers, He allowed me to learn an important lesson. From now on, I will try to let go of my pride and let God do things His way.  I will trust Him to meet our needs.

Lord, open my eyes to see when you are at work. Help me resist taking matters in my own hands. Instead, allow me to humble myself and trust you completely. In Jesus name, Amen.



Trinity said...

I have been popping in on your blog from time to time. Thanks for sharing this. I am the type of woman who has to have things ready and organized. Waiting for God to do things is so challenging for me. I often try to twist it to make myself believe that my preparedness is a good thing, but sometimes the reality is that we can't be awed and amazed by God's Provision when I just tried to provide for us. Funny too, that the version we provide is never as beautiful. Beautiful lesson - thank you!
Trinity (Dave Gawron's wife)

Lisa said...

Hi Leah, Just popped by your blog--actually visited Joni Pittman's blog after reading her MomSense article...and saw that you had visited too! I am a fellow momma and aspiring writer as well!

Anyway, just read this post and it broke my heart! Don't beat yourself up too much...A lot of mommas would have done the same thing-- myself included!! But I would have also felt the same guilt upon seeing the secretaries face! Argh-- what a situation!

I am an impatient person and find myself in similar situations so often...and have been thinking if I don't wait then I don't give God the chance to show up-- so thanks for sharing. The story is an encouragement to me. Maybe you should submit it to MomSense for next Septembers issue!! Blessings on all you are going through.

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