Here’s a funny story about how just when you think you’ve got your act together, God reminds you how much you need Him.
A couple weeks, I picked my son, Luke, up from daycare on a beautiful, sunny day. “Did the kids get to go outside today?” I asked his teacher.
“No,” she replied without explanation.
I realized that this wasn’t the first time in the past couple weeks the kids hadn’t gone outside on a beautiful day. I pushed for more. “Hmmm, that’s weird. It’s so nice outside!”
“Well,” she explained, “one of Luke’s classmates doesn’t have shoes.”
Sure enough, one of the toddlers was wandering around wearing only socks on his feet.
Without even thinking, I said, “OK, I’ll bring him shoes tomorrow.”
The thing is, I had no idea what the situation was. I didn’t know if the kids’ parents couldn’t afford shoes, or if they were just too lazy to put him in shoes, because they knew he would kick them off (hey, I have a 1-year-old boy too … I understand!). I just knew that because one kid didn’t have shoes, none of the kids could go outside.
So the next morning, I brought a bag with three different pairs of shoes — three sizes and styles for the teacher to choose from. When I picked Luke up at the end of the day, I was pleased to see that the child was wearing one of the pairs. No, the kids had not gone outside that way due to weather, but I was confident that the next day would be an outdoor play day.
The next morning came, and the weather promised to be perfect. But guess who failed big time this time?! Me. That mom who thought she was perfect the day before because she helped out another kid. The mom who was going to make sure nothing prevented the kids in her child’s class from getting to play outside.
I FORGOT LUKE’S SHOES.
The irony. OF ALL THE THINGS FOR ME TO FORGET!
After a rushed trip to Wal-Mart to buy Luke shoes for the day, I walked into daycare with a humble heart. The teachers laughed with me as I recounted the story.
The thing is, parenting is hard. Motherhood has oodles of challenges. But every once in a while, you feel like you’ve got it under control. I only have one kid right now, and he’s 19 months. We’ve worked through tons of challenges, but right now is not a particularly challenging season. He can entertain himself for an hour while I write a blog post. It’s pretty amazing.
But oh, how I still need the Lord! May I never forget that! I need His grace, even if now is not a season when I’m barely getting sleep or potty training or doing other challenging parenting things.
I love this verse in James 4:6. The humble person recognizes her need for grace and cries out for it. The proud person just tries to do everything in her own strength and ends up having a breakdown. I’ve been there before. I’ve done things on my own power, only to look back and feel miserable and like I have nothing left in me.
Let’s walk in humility and ask God for grace each day, no matter how easy or difficult our circumstances may be. He’s always there, willing to give us more grace.
Especially when we forget our kid’s shoes.