Some days I'm just scared. I want to be brave. After all, don't the scriptures command, 'Be strong and courageous!'?? In my head, that makes sense. God will take care of me, of my son, right?
I don't take my son out much. A few nerve wracking moments running up Boston road and naked in a public park ... my resources had been depleted for all time. Plus, I can't wrap my arms around him and sweep him away from danger. He's bigger than I am. So we stay home. But recently, God has been challenging me to challenge my assumptions. Nothing is static. Everything changes. So, even though my fight fright response is almost stuck on the 'fright' setting at the thought of being out and about with my son, I decide to resist, and to do something different. I comforted myself with the idea that his class at school takes trips to the stores all the time. I try not to think about the amount of staff that goes on these trips.
A Brave Moment
Come, J. Get your shoes. We'll go for a drive to get some juice.
The delight on his face was obvious and off he went, shoes on, jeans in place and heading to the car. We drive the short distance to the coffee shop and I talk with him in the car about what we are going to do. We'll get the juice and my latte and leave. This is a coffee shop that I'm in often, and the staff know me and my regular entourage—J's younger siblings. When I step in, they note his knitted brow and our unusually interlocked fingers. Mommies don't walk around with their teens with interlocked fingers. All goes well, while I order the drinks.
Oh No Oh No Oh NO!
Then J whines and his body tenses. Fright floods my whole body as I think about the implications. What is he responding to? I start to remind him of the plan, but before I could complete the thought, he darts away, behind the counter, and grabs a tub of peanut butter, which was invisible to me, scoops out a handful and starts licking his fingers. Fright. Horror. Shame. Disappointment. This is why I don't do this!
Mom, be brave.
I was sitting in the car after the debacle, talking to J, who was contentedly drinking his juice to wash down his peanut butter (peanuts give him some digestive upset, by the way...).
I can't be courageous if you do stuff like this!
God, you said to challenge my assumptions and try new things! You saw how much courage it took to even try this!
All things work for good?
I text another courageous warrior mommy and tell her what happened. She gifted me with perspective.
- Did you leave having purchased a tub of PB?
- J did so good, responding to your redirection (usually at home he remains and eats until the tub is empty).
- The staff there is amazing! Which coffee shop is this? They had the opportunity to be gracious and supportive and they were!
And she was right. One of the ladies in the shop commended J's sharp eyes to find the PB in the first place, while telling me that it was ok, and that everything was fine.
No food shops for now, ok?
While my internal tremors subside, while I regroup with my coffee, I decide NOT to swear off being brave. I truly never know what God is up to, anyway. An excursion that I determined to be a horrific failure by one set of measures, was an enthusiastic success by another. Ok, enthusiastic is a bit of hyperbole, but maybe the point was for everyone concerned to exercise some muscles. I certainly had a workout. So did J. And the workout that the coffee shop staff got turned out to be a huge gift to me. Plus J went out and had juice from the coffee shop, while moderately regulated.
So, with my heart beating in my throat, and the tremors of fear very close at hand, I decide to attack tomorrow with enthusiasm and courage ... plugged into the Infinite Source of Enthusiastic Bravery.
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