I woke up this morning in a bad mood.  Wait.  Let me rephrase that.  I woke up this morning and “allowed” myself to be in a bad mood.  I sat myself right at the head table of my  own pitty party.  It felt good.  After all, for the last several nights I have been awakened by my younger boys several times for no real apparent reason.  This has taken it’s toll on me physically.  So feeling sleep deprived, I excuse my poor attitude and allow it bleed out on the people who mean the most to me in my world, my family.

The gloomy weather didn’t help.  Why can’t the sun shine?  I’m at my best on a bright, sunny day.  Oh wait.  We’re in a drought.  It’s raining outside.  Shouldn’t I be thankful?  The Holy Spirit whispers this truth to me, but I just reject it, immersing deeper in my pitty.

My boys run rampant through the house…yelling, fighting and doing all those things that brothers do.  This adds to my frustration level.

We head out to HEB with a list a mile long.  It’s been days since I’ve been shopping and I’m already dreading the trip.  Andrew is cranky.  After all, he’s been up since 4:30.  He demands for the usual tortilla sample and of course, they are out.  He does not understand why HEB doesn’t have tortillas ready at 8:30 in the morning so he begins what is to becomes nearly a 2 hour long temper tantrum that lasts the duration of my shopping adventure.  The boys continue to fight and compete.  I can’t concentrate.  People are staring.  This day just keeps getting better.  And my attitude just worsens.

By this time I have a full blown Texas size head ache and the emotional draining of theHEB run has left me feeling more exhausted.  I look around my house and see the piles of laundry that needs tending to, the empty dog bowl, a dirty floor, a yucky bathroom, and my hair has not been washed in 3 days.  Wow.  I’ll never catch up.  I’m now overwhelmed.

On top of my to do list is a meal that must be prepared for a family in need.  The Dush family just moved to DS and the wife and grandmother were involved in a terrible car accident.  When I saw Michelle’s invite to sign up for a meal calendar for this family, I jumped at the opportunity. Life Between Sundays, after all!  I begin prepping dinner but allowing the stress of the preparations to completely distract me from the joy of helping a family in need.  Nowhere on my agenda is it to help this family.  Only to check it off my worthless to do list.

So at 5:30, I head out with my rowdy boys and a van full of food.  By the way, I’m supposed to be there right now.  I’ll be late but for some reason, that doesn’t bother me.  After all, I’ve had a bad day and I’m doing them a favor.

I pull up in their drive and hit a pot hole.  My home made casserole that took so long to prepare flies off the front seat and lands in the salad bowl.  Really?  Is this happening?  I pick it up and decide it’s salvageable and edible.  I make my way to the front door.  That’s when it hit me.

I approach the steps of a very dirty porch.  It’s covered in mud.  I’m careful not to slip.  Tip toeing, I notice it’s not mud I’m stepping in, but dog poop.  There is a precious little girl escorting me to the door.  She is barefoot as she walks up the steps.  She lets me in and tracks poop all over the floor.  The house is dirty.  It reeks of cigarette smoke, dog poop, and who knows what else.  I have no idea what i”m walking in to.  I enter the living area and there lie the mom, Stephanie, in tears.  She is in immense pain from a broken pelvis and other injuries.  She’s so thin and pale.  I could read the pain on her face.  From a mother to a mother- she was hurting physically and emotionally.  I see Grandma lying on the couch next to her, also crying. She needs to go to the bathroom and relies on her son in law to take her.  You see, he is the care taker.  He works, cleans, assists mom and grandma to the bathroom, etc.  He is mom, dad, care taker, provider, nurse, etc.  He is also very young and bit proud.  I offer many times to help and he keeps refusing.

I can hardly control my tears as I’m standing there.  I give them the whole spill about why we moved here, our church’s philosophy on serving the community, all the while God is kicking me in the rear.  Convictions sets in heavily as I realize my offering to the Lord meant nothing.  My attitude was selfish.  My heart was not right.  My giving was almost prideful.  I blew it.  My words were true, but I realized that my actions were hypocritical.  My intent was to bless this family for their good and God’s glory.  But somewhere between the lack of sleep and trip to HEB, I lost sight of that.

I wept as I asked for God’s forgiveness all the way home.

I also realized that my hands are not getting dirty nearly enough.  Sure, I do kind things for people when I can.  I would say that I even look for opportunities regularly.  But the needs are all around me. How do I miss them?  How often do I leave my well groomed neighborhood to travel a little dirt road to a trailer park where a family sits in great need?  Not often enough.  Not nearly enough.

I wasted an entire day being deceived by the devil as to think my circumstances were so terrible.  Shame on me.  I am so blessed.  More than I deserve.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.