Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thankful in a stronger way today

My two kids have had the flu over the last few days. Anyone who has held a young child as they emptied their stomach understand how horrible that experience is. The little ones have no understanding of what is going on and when it all might stop. They feel terrible in every way and have a small understanding that the adult(s) comforting them can do little more than that. I have done my best to keep a positive outlook - my kids rarely get sick and I find that to be a rare and wonderful gift. (I'm sure they do too).

I was able to meet up with longtime friends to do some really fun planning for the baby shower for the first child of a mutual friend. We enjoyed a fun dinner, catching up, sharing ideas, planning for a celebration of new life and the connections we all had to so many experiences of the past. I was overflowing with joy that night.

I began to drive back home, enjoying my last half hour of being away from home, knowing my husband had the children lovingly cared for and safe. My minivan was filled with items my friend was letting go of, as her family had redecorated their basement. I noticed a woman with a stroller at an intersection of the busy business road I was traveling on. Then I saw that she had two older children dressed for the early spring Minnesota weather, bundled in warm coats and boots. I didn't realize the oddity of this at first, as I usually drive on this road during the daytime. I looked at the clock on my dash: 10:27pm. I had a first reaction of distaste that this mother would drag her young children outside so late at night.

But then, I realized with great assurance that NO mother would do this unless she felt that she NEEDED to. This mother is weighing on my heart today. That she is living in circumstances that cause her to choose a late night walk on the sidewalk along a busy road as a safer or better option than staying inside, wherever she is living. I have been praying for her so much today. That she will find a safer, more stable home for her young family. That her children are aware of just how much their mother loves them. That she will be connected to people who can connect her with the help she surely needs. That I can be more aware of ways that I myself can be of service and help to the people that cross my own path. That my strengths and abilities, my connections and awareness may be put to use to reach out to those whose lives are on the edge.

I am thankful that this young mother was so careful with her young children; lovingly guiding them down the sidewalk. I am also thankful that I was able to notice her and be inspired to find more ways to help.

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