The other day before an appointment, I was doing the “Mom Scramble” on the way out the door : letting the dog out, finding keys, turning off lights, switching laundry, loading dishes, etc. I was minutes away from being on my way when my husband called. He was giving me an update about that evening’s logistics, “Uh, huh. Okay. That will work. What time?” I was already doing seven things; talking on the phone made it eight. An average-sized scramble, I’d say. No big deal for a veteran like me.
My two youngest blessings waited by the door, watching me hustle around (another blog idea for later).
On lap five, I started to sweat and I snapped my fingers at them. The older, more seasoned snap- responder turned toward me first. “Where’s my phone?” I mouthed. He shrugged (another blog idea) and I clutched my mom-duffle and rummaged ruthlessly. Older blessing glanced at younger blessing, but they didn’t move a muscle .
I slammed my bag on the table and shot them a look which meant that they should match my mood and movement. They got it. Satisfied with their observable response, I ran down the steps to search the laundry room.
“Well, but don’t we have to be there at 6:30?” The Logistics Committee phone conference was still underway and my co-chairman was completely unaware of the frustration and perspiration on my end. Under towels, in baskets. No luck.
On lap seven, I notice Frick and Frack had lost momentum and were staring at me. The clock nagged and I realized that I was going to be late. My blood boiled. Still, I held my voice steady for the phone meeting while every other part of me was having a tantrum. By this time, I was pointing, glaring, stomping around, dumping bags, tossing cushions, and slamming drawers. I was a stark contrast to the gaping statues by the door. I caught the older, wiser child looking quizzically at my cocked head. Another snap of my fingers meant, “Quit starting at me like that, and find my phone!”. He interpreted correctly, and gave his sister a slight nudge with his elbow. At this cue, they continued the charade of searching once again. I heard them grumbling to each other and my feelings were hurt.
The marital conversation wound down. “Okay, got it. I’ll see you then,” and my neck was aching. During our goodbyes, I thought to myself, “iPhones are so difficult to stick in the crook of your neck…I remember the good old days when receivers big and clunky enough to…”
iPhone! I ended the call and the blur around me came into focus. My kids were on their toes and confused. I had just wasted that bit of my life looking for the same phone that I was on! And I forced my kids to join in the madness.
Lots of laughter followed many apologies. Crazy mom had a nice visit (again), but she was gone for now. Frick and Frack were relieved that nothing was their fault and thrilled to tell the story to Dad.
I laughed a lot about it, but it bugged me, too. I hate feeling a fool. I loathe looking a fool.
I reflected and journaled about it later. I love taking these moments of my life and spreading them out before God. I’m sure God laughed with me about the irony of that time, but was saddened by how I treated my children. We talked together about that. A lot. He then brought me to the bigger picture and reminded me of something else. “Isn’t that what you do all of the time?” He asked gently. “You waste so much energy and time looking for things that you already have.”
When my heart stoops low, the scramble skids to a stop and I see clearly.
Unlike my children, God is waiting patiently, without condemnation, at the door while I’m sifting circumstances for joy, rummaging relationships for security, and hunting the here and now for meaning. His fingers don’t snap, but His heart grieves when my stiff neck aches and I waste my resources searching for things that aren’t lost. I ignore that He has already found ME in the claws of my enemy and rescued me – for good. I already have all that I’m looking for. All that I need. In Him. Straight from the Cross. Because of love.
So, dear friend. If you see me doing laps, sweating, or rummaging, please snap your fingers and point me to Him.
Oh, and I could use a neck massage, too.