Ahh...Friday morning. That's the morning dear Husband gave me the gift of walking my Israel to school and taking an extra hour for myself in town. This is one of my favorite things to do. I love walking my spunky seven year old to school. Her cute little bob hair cut (which she doesn't like but everyone else, including myself, wants for themselves!) and stylish skinny jeans (seriously, who could be cuter than my daughter?) and absolutely beautiful heart fill me with joy as I push the stroller with little bit tucked inside, away from the cold through the oldest part of Sarajevo. Down a cobblestone hill. Through a cobblestone street, onto a tiled path, then up a hill to her school. But this Friday was different.
I was really looking forward to it, but with the adjustment to four kids, I'm not thinking on my game as normal. Last year Israel's bag was ready and packed by the front door. All my things needed would be gathered and ready to go. I woke up plenty early to get ready. We left at 7:30, giving us plenty of time to be slow and really enjoy each other. This Friday was hurried. I woke up early, but didn't factor in time to do everything needed to be done. Israel's bag was ready, but the stroller was not. Last year I pushed an older baby in the stroller, so just a blanket was needed. With Tiny Zoë, I need a car seat, fleece insert and blanket, and she needs to be extra bundled. The car seat was still in the car when it was time to leave the house. I couldn't figure out how to get it on the stroller. Curses running through my head. All the time saying "Why didn't you do this last night? Why didn't you get it together? WHY ARE YOU SO DISORGANIZED?!" I stopped right there. Sweet neighbor Diana is a counselor and dear friend to us. I can remember last year when I attended one of her small groups for women. A theme that repeated was the question of why we speak badly to ourselves so often. It does no good and brings no life. In fact, it brings death. A lie I have believed nearly my entire 34 years is that I don't have it together. So repeating that to myself when I make a simple mistake is just enforcing the lie. It's just a mistake...we all make them. I decided to not go with it any longer or say it out loud. I forced myself to remain calm and not take it out on little miss Cute. Finally I got the stroller together and began our way down the hill. A quarter of our way down our hill (it's a steep one!) I noticed Israel's back...without the bag. Oh no! Back up the hill. I held back passing on the lie "Why did you forget it?!" and extended grace instead.
We were running too late to walk, so we needed to take the tram. God bless that tram. It runs the length of our city and cuts the time for our walk. But that's just it. It cuts the time out of our walk. The one morning I get to catch up with her. The luxury of a beautiful cold morning in Sarajevo (seriously, little things excite me like that). I get on the tram begrudgingly. I want to curse that morning and go back in time to the night before where the stroller was ready by the door and all I had to do was walk out. You know flylady? She is wonderful, but (and she would tell me I'm wrong here) I'm fighting the need of perfection to be orderly. But this Friday morning I fought the urge to be angry. I took the two minutes I had on the tram with Izzy and used them to love her. As well as the brisk walk up the hill to school after the tram stopped. She was only a little late, and I was out of breath from hauling it, but you know what? IT WAS A GOOD FRIDAY. No, it was not perfect as I would have dreamed it, but it was perfect for us. It was a gift. I'm looking at it as a way God used to exercise my fighting lies muscle. And I feel a little stronger.
"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow." -James 1:17
Perfect (Greek: teleios): which has achieved or reached its goal, objective, purpose"
After dropping her off, I got my leisurely walk through town. Not with my older daughter, but with my youngest daughter and with my Jesus. We even had a Hazelnut Latte at McDonald's (my first choice Torte i To was closed and I was prone to be angry about that, but pushed it aside). The time was sweet and I am thankful.
I look back on that morning and realize something. If I would have given into the lie which I so often do, it would have led to anger and frustration. I would remember that morning as unenjoyable and probably would have taken that out on Israel. But by God's grace, I fought the urge. A big victory! I am remembering that morning now as a sweet memory for two of my daughters and me. And I'm stronger inside.