Friday, April 15, 2011

Behind the scenes from Monday

On Monday, I wrote this post about how my daughter set our family in motion to make some elderly folks on our street some Easter baskets. Her heart is amazing. The idea is amazing. Spreading the truth of God's love around our neighborhood is one of the very best things we can do as a family, right?

And so I should've expected some interference. Everything worth doing must be fought for.

I really wanted to tell you about the heart part of the story first, hence my post on Monday. But as the scene unfolded, I realized I should tell you the ugly parts too. I want you to know that my life is not all pastel eggs, charity, and smiling children. Far from it!

First of all, I had a really hectic week ahead of me, which means that on Monday, I did not want to make the baskets. We had the supplies, Easter is two weeks away, and I wanted to put it off. And I could have. But my darling girl came home from school intent on making them up. Again, I saw her heart in there. Her passion for giving and encouraging our widowed and elderly neighbors is embarrassingly beyond my own. I felt I had to honor her in that. I kept it as hidden as possible that I was honestly just trying to get the project done. Great attitude, huh? Well, it was what I had to give at the moment.

Second of all, two words: Easter grass. Hate hate hate. Everywhere. It was the paper kind, not the plastic kind, so it left shards and crumbs all over, and kept getting tracked into a wider and wider radius.

Third of all, I don't believe I've introduced you to our naughty, senior citizen wiener dog, Callahan. Notice how one basket is missing its big chocolate bunny? Connect the dots here. Chocolate = poison to dogs. Cal seems to hunt it down every chance he gets. He is 12 years old and has not yet died from the large amount of chocolate he has consumed in his lifetime. He totally swiped the bunny OFF THE TABLE somehow, ripped it apart and ate half of it before we caught him.

Fourth, did I mention that I just wanted to get basket-making and delivering over with? Yeah. Still.

Fifth, naughty wiener dog, Chapter 2. No joke. After we delivered the first basket, we came home to do something. The other three baskets were still on the kitchen table. Cal snuck into the kitchen and this time gave a stiff yank to my tablecloth with his teeth, sending one basket to the floor and breaking all its dyed eggs. I was so very annoyed by little Cal, mostly because he broke my favorite "Jesus loves you" egg. I yelled at that jerk dog.

Sixth, throughout the project, I was trying to take pictures, and the kids were having one of two responses to that: 1) not wanting me to, or 2) having the fakest expressions on their faces ever. It's just one more small thing that contributed to my tense voice.

Seventh, well, I can't remember, but there must have been more bad things. This project happened to NOT involve any child melt downs like usual. They had happy hearts this time, and I was the grouchy one.

The point is that I don't always feel like doing all the projects we do. I need you to know that. Sometimes the timing is terrible, or I forget some supplies, or sickness is dragging someone down. When these factors stack up against me, I'm reminded that I have to choose my life. The lesson-learning and memory-making doesn't always happen automatically. Monday, I made the choice to do the baskets. Other days, I say no in light of other priorities. It's just regular life over here, with some good, intentional choices thrown in on occasion. For me, that's the best I can do as a mother. We all need to cut ourselves some slack, don't we?

So to recap, for the encouraging bottom line of the basket project, read Monday's post. For a more realistic look at the typical costs when we take a step of faith, I knew I needed to add this side of the story. 

And know what? It's okay. In light of the beauty I find from my efforts to love others and teach my kids to do the same, I really don't mind the rocky road I have to often travel to get there.

Well, I mind it at the time. I'm just saying it's worth it. You know what I mean.


  1. ok. i LOVE this post b/c i HATE easter grass. like hate it. i find it all over the place and still find pieces of it in november. that's w/o kids. but this has inspired me to take a basket to my very difficult neighbors. so thanks for sharing the hard stuff AND the good stuff.

  2. So true! And I totally agree about the grass-that stuff can take over. But that's life with kids, sometimes we have to sacrifice our attitudes and desires and wants and swallow our ideas about things. Well, at least I know I do. But it sounds like I'm not the only one. Thanks for sharing the real life behind the story.

  3. sounds like more grace on a thursday :)

    i love that you kept going anyway, and didn't completely throw in the towel like i probably would have. these days i'm struggling just to get out the door in one piece and on time, so i'm impressed that you stacked this onto your busy week to honor your daughter's sweet heart.

    PS i don't know much about the easter grass, but i'm feeling really bad for you on number 3 and 5... but i'm not a dog person. not even a little bit, so that might be unfair ;)

  4. thanks for sharing...this was encouraging and i love the realness and beauty in your heart!