“You have your hands full!”
The man in Walmart’s canned vegetable aisle gapes at my brimming cart and the 4 small children hanging off in every direction. Then his eyes travel down to my protruding belly.
Like every mom with small children, I’ve received this comment more times then I can count.
It doesn’t bother me anymore though.
(On the contrary! I’m excited by the opportunity!)
I look him in the eye so he can see my sincerity and give him a genuine smile.
“The BEST kind of full you can have!” I exclaim.
My response gets the reaction I was hoping for, and his eyes prove that they can indeed widen farther.
I push my cart on – hoping that my thankful attitude concerning my kids planted a seed in this stranger’s heart.
In a society where children are increasingly devalued, we as Christian parents find ourselves in a powerful position that simply no one else is in.
The pastor can preach about the value of children, politically active can picket and hand out brochures on not killing the unborn, but we, sisters, are the ones who live out a love for our children in front of the world.
The spoken truth is never more potent then its testimony – and we Christian moms are the testimony.
- When you fall on your face before God and find the grace to love a less-then-loveable child, you are a testimony of unconditional love.
-When you lay down your own desire for respect from others, (I’m not talking becoming a revered doctor, national speaker or movie star – I’m talking someone – anyone being impressed by anything you do – because parenting – while insanely hard – rarely gets any applause-)– Yet, even in the midst of obscurity and loneliness, when you find your fulfillment in His sustaining promises – you are a testimony.
-When you are in Walmart, Taco Bell, (fill in your most recent child-threw-a-tantrum-in-front-everyone-spot here), and your child is acting like a sinful little brat and totally humiliating you, and by God’s grace, you zone in and help that child through his/her spiritual battle without losing your cool, you are a testimony.
Satan doesn’t just attack Christ’s name. He attacks Christ’s truth.
And one of the biggest truths attacked in America today is the value of motherhood – AND by default the value of children.
(Satan is busy. He is constantly telling women that they need exciting careers, thin bodies, big houses, and a dozen other things that won’t matter on our deathbeds but will be stifled by faithfully parenting children.)
And the world is listening.
Despite longer lives and better healthcare, the worldwide national fertility rate (the number of children the average woman will bear in her lifetime) has steadily dropped from 4.95 children per woman in 1950 to 2.34 children in 2015. Oddly, this trend is dominant in the countries where we can actually afford children. In America, the average woman has birthed less then 2 children since 1972.
If numbers speak, children are not a priority in the western world today.
But there is one thing Satan can’t stifle – the Truth – and the testimony of the Truth that we get to be.
We are the undeniable picture that children are awesome and being a mom is a high and worthy calling – one that surpasses the rest.
So the next time you are rushing through the grocery store, and the inevitable comment comes –
“You have your hands full!”
Proudly hoist your battle-worn banner up on your shoulder and make the most of that fleeting opportunity.