Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wisdom of a 4-year-old

Tuesday was a humbling day.

For the last month or more, my friend Kim and I had been planning our MOPS Christmas brunch which was Tuesday morning. We had the perfect speaker scheduled, we planned all the appropriate ice breakers and games, we had gotten gifts for all of the moms who would be attending, we had all the Christmas music ready on the iPod, we had a "Christmas past" slideshow ready to go, we had a delicious caterer all lined up (which we splurged on out of our budget), and on Monday, some of the leaders showed up to help us turn our ordinary meeting room into a Christmas wonderland. I even bought a new Christmas top to wear that morning. I was excited. (No, not a Christmas sweater with snowman and holly and snowflakes and sleighs all seen through a windowpane carefully embroidered onto the loose-fitting sweater. No. It was plain red and it was classy.)

And then it started snowing.

And snowing.

And snowing.

And the snow started freezing.

And freezing.

And freezing.

The first phone call I received Tuesday morning was from our speaker, Joanne, who was hesitant to say she just couldn't make it afterall. I had not slept well that night, praying that the snow would not hinder our morning plans, but sure enough, it was slick out there. I couldn't blame her one single bit for not wanting to make the 1-hour drive up to Boulder. Afterall, when I looked outside, I was hoping my own sister wouldn't attempt it from an hour away either, so it wouldn't have been fair for me to expect Joanne to risk her life. A lot of cities betweeen here and there were on accident alert, her girls' school was on a weather delay, and her husband was out of town. I cringed as she told me the news, but really, I was relieved for her, and would probably have made the same decision myself.

The next phone call I received was from the mom who coordinates our childcare workers, two of whom had called to cancel due to the weather. We're already short on workers, so this was bad news.

I called my co-coordinator and we tried to figure out what to do... cancel or go ahead with whoever comes, even if it's just she and I?

The next phone call I received was from one of our group leaders who said that all but one of her 14 moms would be coming. Things weren't looking good.

We hemmed and hawed, and cancelled the meeting twice only to call it back "on" again. By the time we'd finished making and receiving calls, we left very late, and were just sick that now, we were going to be late to our own meeting.

Emma tells me some funny jokes lately, and the "joke" on the way to the church on Tuesday morning was, "Mommy, have you ever seen a car ice skating? Funny?" (Um, yes, Emma! I have! And no, NOT FUNNY!)

It turns out that by the time everyone trickled in, we had 30 of the 50 moms we expected! We couldn't believe it. It was a bumpy morning, and we winged a lot of it, but there was still a sweet spirit of moms who just wanted to be together and get a break. One mom said, "No amount of snow is going to stop me from 2 hours of free childcare so I can be with friends!"

We might not have played the games we planned, the slideshow didn't work, we missed our speaker, and I didn't wear my new red shirt. I think I was in protest that my morning just wasn't turning out right. But you know, the morning still pointed to Jesus, and that's what we wanted.

When we got home, I was helping Emma wash some sticky candy cane off of her hands (a normal candy cane, mind you), when she said, "Good morning God, this is your day. I am your child, show me your way."

I immediately got choked up and asked where and when she learned that, to which she didn't have an answer. I wish that she had come into my room when I woke that morning to tell me that. It might have changed my whole attitude. I wasn't mad that Joanne couldn't come (disappointed that I didn't get to hang out with her? Yes!), or that the slideshow didn't work, or that there weren't as many moms as we planned. I was disappointed that we were so indecisive that it caused us to be late, and disappointed that I didn't get to wear my new shirt. (How petty, I know.) I was mad that there was so much snow and that it seemed to be the catalyst of a whole morning of change. But do any of these things matter? Not really. When I looked at it, I realized that I was upset and disappointed about things that I had planned. What God planned had still happened.

I'm ashamed to say that I didn't once stop to pause and pray about things that morning during all of the chaos of the morning. I prayed for all of our moms' safety and I prayed for Joanne's drive before she cancelled. Amidst all of the decision making, I do remember having a constant dialogue with God, along the lines of, "Why did you have to make it snow so much? Should we cancel the morning? What if moms get in accidents? What will we do with the filler time? Will the caterer be able to get there, God? Can we freeze the left over food?" I never once said, "Good morning, God. This is your day. I am your child. Show me your way."

I'm relieved that God redeemed the morning, and even my attitude that day. One mom even said it was the best meeting so far. (Was she just being nice?) But I think it's because God showed up and took over, especially because we were clueless. By the time Kim and I got there, the meeting had started, they were getting food, the music was on and everything was fine. I learned that I'm not in charge. God is. Maybe he just needed me out of the way that morning so he could do his thing.

- - - - -

By the way, Joanne had a running dialogue of her prep for the meeting the day before and then her decision not to come on her blog, if you want the "other side" of the story. I truly, truly think she made the right decision, and am glad she didn't risk it. I just feel badly for all the work you put into the morning that never was, Joanne! Can't wait for next time...


  1. What a wonderful entry!

  2. So true! I think God delights to show us how much of what we do is really Him when we think it will be us.

    Glad it went well, despite the snow and dangerous conditions.

    And may I just say I share the sentiment of the Mom who said she was coming, no matter what, to enjoy two child-free hours?!? When I lead women's Bible study at our old church, I used to joke about that.

    "What, you don't feel good honey? You have a fever? And a sore throat? You'll be fine. We're going! Mommy needs this!"

  3. Isn't it humbling when it's our kids that show us the truth? Carson and Livi have that song on their BSF cd, and they sing that all the time...except for some reason, Livi changes it to "Good morning, God, this is your leaf".
    For some reason I had clicked on Joanne's blog the morning of your MOPS mtg, and learned that she had to cancel and I felt sad for you....I know you were looking forward to meeting her in person. I hope it works out another time.

  4. Wow! I'm adding that to my prayer journal, "Good morning God. This is your day. I am your child. Show me your way."
    This is a perfect example of why Jesus said we have to come to Him as little children! So simple yet so full of faith.
    I'm glad the brunch turned out well.
    I've so enjoyed reading your blog!

  5. *tears* How often I have needed to offer up Emma's prayer... and neglected to. I think I'm going to print it and tape it to the mirror in my bathroom.

    God bless you, my friend!

  6. I was praying before, during and after the meeting for all of you. Sad for Joanne, sad for your MOPS group, but thankful to read your post and see that God came and led your meeting and your day.

    YES! I'll be your friend :) I am so glad to meet you, friend!
    Love in Jesus,
    Holly (also very good at gibberish and am quite a flibbertigibbet)

    PS Hope all are safe and warm around your neck of the woods!


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