A couple years ago, I was walking into Target with my (then) four kids. I had one kid in the cart, and the other 3 riding along the sides of it. As I started heading into the store, a random man made eye contact with me.
… Great… Here we go again… another conversation about how I have my hands full… Maybe if I just avoid eye contact, we won’t have to have this conversation. Maybe if I just give a quick, “Yep,” he will keep walking too.
But then something happened. Before we even broke eye contact, my five-year-old said, “Mom, you have your hands full. Don’t you?”
Wait! What! Rewind! This was a conversation that hadn’t even happened yet between this stranger and me, but my 5-year-old son knew exactly how it was going to play out.
I looked down at my cart full of children. I laughed and smiled. Then I said, “Yep kiddo, I do! And I wouldn’t want it any other way!” He smiled. The stranger smiled. They all smiled. And on to Target I went with my hands happily full.
But I couldn’t get it out of my head. All this time, I had been trying to avoid those conversations. Why do strangers feel the need to make these comments anyways? I failed to realize the most important person in the conversation was not the stranger or even me. The most important person in the conversation was my child listening, watching, and responding without saying a word.
How many of those conversations did I let my children know that I was glad to have my hands full? And that having my hands full was a good thing, not a burden. I can honestly say I tried to avoid those conversations, so the answer was not very many.
As I sat at home and pondered it, I realized that I could not change the fact that people were going to make comments. But I could change the course of the conversation. I could let that stranger, my child, and everyone else around know that I am GLAD to have my hands FULL of BLESSINGS!
I had been treating shopping with my kids as a chore. How many of my daily blessings do I treat as chores? From shopping with children in tow, to the loads of daily laundry, to cooking and cleaning. My attitude really does matter. When I see that this is something I GET to do, rather than HAVE to do, I can see the BLESSINGS attached. Doing laundry means I have the blessings of clothing. It also means I have the blessings of a family I GET to serve. Doing the dishes means my family was blessed with food, running water, and a family dinner. When I realize that everything I have and do is a gift from God, I reap the benefits and serve happily.
I am guilty of not always seeing my blessings as blessings. SPOILER ALERT: I am human… I struggle with my sin nature… It’s something I have to practice. Something I have to ask the Holy Spirit for help with. Some days, I am just trying to get in and out of the grocery store without having to talk to a bunch of random strangers. But I am grateful for those moments that I am reminded of my blessings, and then I GET to share my blessings. Everything I have is because of HIM. Everything I am is because of His blessings on me.
So today if someone say, “My you have your hands full!” I look, smile, and respond, “Yep! Full of blessings!”
James 1:17 (NIV) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.