if you’re anything at all like me, it sometimes takes a mini miracle to happen to feel God’s presence and love. lately, i’ve been desperately in need of assurance from God that i’m not alone and that life is going to be ok.
let’s start at the very beginning (cue the music, julie!) . . .
you know the phrase, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”? well, my version goes like this, “when life hands you lemons, drink lemonade (from chick-fil-a)”. i love their lemonade and have been craving it for days now. today seemed like the perfect time to give into this weakness and drown my sorrows with glass after glass (yeah free refills!).
my relationship with lily has been somewhat strained lately. since the move to florida, our relationship has been all out of whack. it’s like i’m an entirely different kind of mom . . . one which zero patience, who is constantly tired and drained. perhaps it’s the change of a new home, seeing old friends instead of family on a regular basis, or that i’ve basically become her main playmate. whatever it is, i’m struggling. in fact, i’ve had such little patience with her that recently when i actually said aloud, “i’m losing my patience with you!”, she responded with, “sing the patience song, mom?” ahhhh! anyway, since she’s now waking up at 630am everyday . . . ugh . . . by the time lunchtime rolls around, i’m exhausted and have run out of ideas of things to do together, especially on a rainy day like today. enter chick-fil-a! every time we drive by chick-fil-a lily screams, “can we go there to the chicken nuggets play ‘era’?” today i was more than happy to oblige.
so here’s the deal . . . tom and i are truly trying to live within our means. some months are easier than others, but by and large, at the end of the month we are dining on soup and crackers for the majority of our meals because we’ve eaten out too many times or blown our money on frivolous things. when the cash is gone, it’s gone. period. no credit cards to use. so with that in mind, i raided all of the known coin collection areas in my house, hoping to scrape together enough for a small lemonade to suck down while i watch lily delightfully run around in the play “era”.
when we arrive at the restaurant there was a pretty long line (now i’m still new at this motherhood thing, and was naive to think that i was the only mom with the idea of sticking her kids behind a glass wall to launch themselves down the germ infested slide for a half hour on this rainy day). but this line was really a blessing as it gave me enough time to scan the menu and do a mental calculation to see if i had enough change to add a small french fry with my drink. i actually had enough for a small kids meal, which also gave me four chicken nuggets. instead of being grateful for what i was going to have, i couldn’t help but be embarrassed as i slowly counted out all of my coins on the counter, knowing that the people behind me were probably growing impatient. (and even more impatient as i ordered two extra nuggets for 75 cents more.) in this moment, i was cursing my situation and not having as much as others who could pay for such a “meal” with such ease.
now, please let me say, i am not poor. i know this. God has given me plenty, and on some level i am aware of this, yet i often am so filled with greed and envy that i can only see what i don’t have not what i do. so at chick-fil-a, God decided to use this opportunity to teach me a lesson about humility and His provision.
after making our way to our seat, lily and i sat down and were getting ready to pray over our lunch. and i’m sure, if what was about to happen had not happened, my prayer would have been the same canned one i give at most of our meals . . . teaching lily that we need to pray before every meal because we are so “thankful”, whether we mean the words we are saying or not.
so as i get ready to pray, i feel a tap on my shoulder. it’s the woman who had helped me at the counter. she says to me, “we forgot to add the two extra nuggets you purchased, so here’s a six pack for you”. then she started to leave. i stopped her and said, “well, here, take the other pack with you and we’ll just exchange them.” she said, “no that’s ok. you just take all of them. enjoy your meal!” i couldn’t believe it!
now some of you are maybe thinking, “big deal! that’s good customer service.” you’re right. it is. however, it was more of God’s way of saying, “see christy, trust me that I’m going to see you through all of the things you’re dealing with right now. I, alone, am going to provide what you need, when you need it.” He’s right. i’m not the one who’s in control, He is and i need to be faithful and trust in Him, not me.
needless to say, the prayer that followed was one of heartfelt thanks for what God had shown me and provided for us. who would have thought that one could learn such a valuable lesson by way of chicken nuggets and lemonade?
“Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” – Matthew 6:8