Today did not play out how I had planned. It was a day jam packed with bullet points that needed to get checked off the to-do list, starting early in the morning until tonight, when everyone would get tucked back into bed. Piper decided the day needed to begin before the birds started to sing, so I was a bit tired before the sun even came up. Looking at the schedule and the pantry, I knew I needed to get the the grocery store and would end up taking all four girls. For those who don’t understand the enormity of this endeavor, imagine taking four beagle puppies to WalMart, no leash, putting them in carts and shopping for a family of 10.
Before we even pulled into Target, Zoe was throwing a full blown temper tantrum in her car seat, feet kicking the side of the big white van. I looked back and Anna was crashed asleep in her seat, head drooping and snoring. Piper, who still had not napped, was beginning to squeal. Jackson, who was with me to help guard my sanity, had to be at work in a little over an hour. How was I going to cart in a grumpy 3 year old, sleeping 18 month old and her twin, along with a sleepy 9 month old? If we made it in, would I even get through the first aisle? At this point, we needed at least 2 carts, if not 3, and Zoe’s kicking convinced me that I did not have the energy for this little adventure. As soon as I parked Big White, I started her back up and pulled back out, taking the back way to Jackson’s office.
With Zoe screaming, “I wanna go to TARGET!!”, we drove down the highway while I pondered my next move. Plan B was now well in motion. I would take them to the McDonald’s playland for 30 minutes until it was time to take Jackson to work. I would be a hero mom and all the children would rise up and call me blessed. As I pulled into the golden arches to the yelling of “I want a CHEESEBURGER”, I realized none of the girls had socks on. They would not be allowed to play in the playland. Fail, fail, fail. We pulled through the drivethru, in full sight of the slides inside and Zoe loudly exclaiming, “The playground, Mommy! We will play at the playground!”. Ugh. I broke the news that we were driving through and it would be so fun to eat our cheeseburger inside the fun van (at 10:30 in the morning, no less!). Cheeseburgers seemed to pacify all concerned and Anna woke up just in time. Now everyone loved me again and I figured I could make up for the lack of nutrition with some chewables later.
We dropped Jackson off at work earlier than he had to be there because I had run out of steam. We had now just made a huge loop of the city, burned a bunch of gasoline and ate scum food, none of which was in my iCal. I thought to myself, “I have just gone in a big circle and wasted the entire morning!”. As soon as the thought formed in my mind, a tiny voice spoke to me and said, “No. Sometimes the circles are just an exercise of the heart.”
I pondered that phrase......and realized that in the 2 hours of riding around, dealing with screaming toddlers and fussy babies, the Lord was exercising my spirit. It was not a waste of time in His book. I had prayed 90 second prayers for friends, family and national leaders. I received mini-downloads from Holy Spirit that I knew He would be faithful to expound on in a later, quieter moment. I had conversation with my 17 year old, who won’t be riding in my big white van forever. I prayed over Grandview as we drove, asking the Lord to pour out His Spirit and transform this city, claiming landmarks and buildings for His glory as we drove. In fact, these two hours had been quite productive in the scope of eternity. I don’t want to call it a “test”, but it certainly was a “workout” of my inner man.
So, the next time you feel like you are simply going in circles, getting nothing done and wasting your morning....remember...sometimes the circles are actually an exercise of the workings of your heart.