Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Heart Check

Last week I made plans to take my kids to a park. We were going to meet some friends there, have a picnic together, go swimming, fishing, play on the play ground. Whatever. My kids always enjoy this park and I was looking forward to taking them there. *Read this: I was happy it was my idea to go. Was anticipating their pleasure in me arranging this outing for them.*
The morning of our outing to the park arrived and I busied myself making sandwiches and packing our lunch while Joshua and his friend flooded the yard searched for worms to take fishing. I was singing and happy to be getting ready - when Matthew told me he really didn't want to go.


I don't even remember his reason for suddenly being against the idea, but I remember my disappointment. And how quickly I became irritated. I'd made these plans. My plans were supposed to bring enjoyment to my kids. And now my son was saying he didn't want to go? Had he forgotten all the times in the previous week he complained to me of his boredom?
I reminded Matthew of his boredom complaints and told him I was leaving for the park in two minutes. If he wanted to come along, he needed to be ready and in the van.

Then Elizabeth told me she really didn't want to go, either.


Seemed she had also forgotten about the recent, 'There's nothing to do,' comments. So I reminded her of them and reasoned with her that she should come to the park with us.

At this point, a significant portion of my excitement about taking my kids to the park was waning. I had really expected them to be happy about going. Usually they are asking me to take them here or there. But this time I was volunteering to take them, and I thought - somehow - that should make the outing more special to them. I thought they would reason, Hey, Mom is doing this for me. And she's made a picnic for us. This is going to be so fun!
But instead, I had been met with resistance. And I was irritated.

To top it all off, as I finally got Elizabeth and Matthew in the van with all our necessary things, I realized Joshua and his friend were still busy flooding the yard gathering worms. I thought, Great. Now we're going to be late to meet our friends, too. *humpf*

And I started the van - to signify to Joshua that I was serious about it being time to leave.

But before I went a step further, God grabbed hold of my heart.

This song was playing on the radio:
The chorus was playing and I couldn't ignore the revelation God opened up before my eyes. I quickly became aware how full of me I was at that moment. This day was supposed to be about my kids, and suddenly it had become all about me.

I was upset because my kids weren't responding to my efforts the way I wanted them to.

As the tears welled up in my eyes, I joined in singing the chorus.
Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with You!

And as I waited for the boys to get the rest of their worms, I prayed and asked God to help my children and me have a nice time together at the park. So thankful that He had spoken to me about my heart - to get me off the irritable track and onto His.

Oh! And the reason I knew I needed to pay attention to that song on the radio?
When I turned on the van and looked at the clock - it was 11:11.




Leah @ Point Ministries said...

I can very much identify with the need to 'empty me of me", Karen. It seems that I fill up with "me" way too often. Thanks for the convicting post.


Kirsten said...

Good reminder! As I first started reading this story, I thought you were going to take it in a different direction. I thought of how God makes special plans for us and yet we resist and complain at times instead of trusting Him to show us the "fun" that we will have if we follow His lead. Thank you for sharing this and all the other teachable moments in your life!

O Mom said...

Oh my goodness I love this story. This happens to me often, I get all worked up in trying to make the day/event perfect for my kids that I stop being joyful and almost ruin it.....Thankful for your reminder and for when He uses a song to stop me also!!

Patricia/NYC said...

Ah yes...I am guilty of this too...but the really cool thing is that HE got your attention with that song & just in case you missed that, HE got ya with 11:11 ;) !! I LOVE how HE does that! ;)

Just goes to show that although we may fall short many times, if we keep our ears & eyes open, we are open to HIS grace & guidance!!

Great reminder! Thanks, Karen!!

It's gonna be 102 degrees here today...taking Miss K to see Toy Story 3 (my idea, let's see how that pans out! *wink*)


Irritable Mother said...

Leah - That's gotta be a maturing Fruit issue, don't you think?

Kirsten - That would've been a good lesson, too. I suppose HE wants to get my heart right first. Then we can have fun. *grin*

O Mom - I don't want to ruin a joyful day by getting worked up about imperfections. His grace is amazing!

Patricia - It's a hot one here, too, and we're on our way to a pool soon. Hope you enjoy Toy Story 3!!!

TheUnSoccerMom said...

WOW!! :o)

Thank you for sharing that! So many times, I've had those same feelings.

I hope you all had a wonderful time at the park!!

Mary Voogt said...

God has really been speaking to me through songs lately too. Except not on the radio. Just the right one always pops into my head at just the right moment (usually when I'm praying or when I'm worrying about something)...and I can't get it out of my head until I stop and really pay attention to the lyrics. Kind of crazy. And glad to know I'm not the only one that thinks God speaks through numbers I see ;) Maybe I'll have to tell you my crazy treadmill story sometime.

Penny Dolata said...

What a great reminder! I get caught up in "planning" moments too and forget sometimes to just roll with it. He's got it all under control.

luvmy4sons said...

Ok, no way! There is no way it was 11:11. No, I believe you...but I am cracking up! Truly! Loved the story. Love that song! Love your life lesson once more. I am finding that this deal with teens requires me to be selfless more and more and more! It is so easy to fall into the poor unappreciated mom role! Hugs! And huge grin at the 11:11.

Alene said...

Thank you girl! Between you and Leah today, I realize YEPPERS there's still too much of me. God is opening my eyes to that daily as I serve those with nothing.

It was great stopping by to be affirmed.

Irritable Mother said...

Jodi - You're welcome.
And, we did enjoy the park. :o)

Mary - Songs, and 1111. Those seem to be His specialty with me. *grin*
And I would love to hear your treadmill story sometime.

Penny - Just roll with it. That's right!

Leslie - Way!!!
The poor unappreciated mom. I know that role too well. And I know as I move more into the teen years, the circumstance will only increase. Yes, LORD, empty me of me!!!

Alene - You're welcome. Yeah, Leah gave me something to think about, too. Love how God coordinates these things. *grin*

gianna said...

Do you think that God feels something like that when one of his creations says, "I don't really want the gift of your Son"? Just a thought. Of course He isn't prideful like we are, but maybe it's a little bit like it.

Irritable Mother said...

Gianna - Yeah. But I think HE is filled with a lot more compassion and grace than I was!
I know what you mean. I'm sure it breaks God's heart when that happens.