Tanner, Ty and I went to Hawaii today.
It wasn't as tropical as I wished, and I certainly wasn't wearing a bikini.
But the shave ice was fantastic!
Not bad for Oahu's Shave Ice and Ice Cream!
Shave ice in Yorba Linda? Who would've known!
Thank you 'Land of Gracious Living' for offering a sweet destination spot for gourmet, refreshing- flavored snow cones. With a scoop of ice cream, please!
Holding Ty in one arm, a diaper bag, purse, and bag of graham crackers on the other, and ushering Tanner toward an empty table, apparently I had a 'Please help Me' sign on my forehead.
'Miss Sweet as Pie' came running, pausing from a shave ice date she was sharing with her son.
"Oh, honey, let me get that highchair for you."
Kick. Kick. Pull. Pull. 5 minutes later, she managed to pry a sticky highchair from the grips of a stacked highchair party in the corner.
The small talk began.
Yes, they are wonderful.
She commented on feeling like it was just yesterday that her kids were the ages of my boys now; 3 and 1.
And now? Hers are 20, 19 and Mr. 11 was sitting at the table, devouring her remainder of the shave ice.
We bonded over how crazy life is with little ones.
Why don't people really warn us about how insanely crazy life is with young ones?
My heart warmed. Nothing better than sharing authentic, raw parts of being a parent with a complete stranger.
More small chat.
I handed Tanner a spoon, and a graham cracker to Ty.
And then she threw it out there. This beautiful, heart-tipping invitation.
There's a group of moms with young kids that get together on Fridays at our church. You are more than welcome to come...
I couldn't help but smile.
She really was as sweet as pie. The opposite of a car salesman. No hidden agenda. No mental checklist-tallying.
She genuinely wanted to offer a place for me, as a mom, to hang out with other moms, and breathe a little easier, knowing I wasn't alone!
My wide smile thanked her and I explained that Wednesday mornings, I do just that~ get together with other moms at our new church.
To eat, connect, pray for one another, and get our cup filled.
A couple of intentional hours, knowing I'm not alone in this extreme, multi-tasking season, with its' unexplainable joys, moments of surprising anger, lengthy pondering sessions where I grapple the weighty parenting responsibility I play in the lives of our two precious sons!
We bonded over having husbands in ministry, mutual friends, Hume Lake connections, and the art of organization.
It was a silent understanding we shared~ she's been there, and I'm in it now.
And it's beautiful on both sides of the spectrum.
'Miss Sweet as Pie', thank you for pausing your shave ice date with your son, to help me get a highchair.
Thank you for cooing over my boys, and taking a trip down memory lane with your own.
Thank you for inviting me to your church on Fridays mornings to hang out with other moms of young kiddos.
Thank you for being Jesus' hands, feet and mouth.
Please continue offering help to moms whose arms are full.
Please continue making small talk with perfect strangers.
Please continue inviting moms to a place they can recharge their battery. Or inviting someone to church. Or...
Because one of these days, you are going to change someones life.
A simple gesture.
A two minute conversation.
A genuine offer.
You were Jesus' hands, feet and mouth today.
And it was beautiful to witness.
As I left Oahu's Shave Ice and Ice Cream, my body was chilled from the killer Root Beer Float Shave Ice, but my heart was warmed by a stranger's love.
I want to be Jesus' hands, feet and mouth.
Whether or not I'm in Hawaii :)