August 29, 2007 by Stacy McDonald

Running Errands to the Glory of God!

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Have you ever received an email from a sister in Christ and it was so encouraging that you felt it would be a crime for it to sit “wasting” in your inbox? That’s what happened to me this afternoon. My friend, Jennie Chancey, (yes, she’s the one I wrote the book with, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God) sent me an email detailing an experience she had today and I knew it would encourage you too. So with her permission, I’m posting it here.
It’s happened to all of us – you’re out in public thinking your children are being very noisy—perhaps even somewhat disobedient—and someone stops to tell you how “well behaved” your children are. That’s what happened today to Jennie, mother of seven blessings. Listen to how she gave God the glory:
Howdy!
I had to go to the eye doctor to pick up a prescription, and then go to the car service place to get the oil changed in the van. I loaded everyone into the van at 8:30 a.m., taking the double stroller so it would be easier to tote the twins (Alex is just not big enough to carry one yet). There was a long wait at the car shop, so we went into the waiting room, which, thankfully, has a huge couch that fit all of us (I kept the babies in the stroller).

They also had decent children’s books there, so we sat together and read for about twenty minutes. Then the children got up to watch cars going through the wash bay (including our van, which got a discount wash with the oil change). The interior of the waiting room has windows that look into the wash bay – fun! Several other people were in the room with us, including two women in business attire with briefcases (one waiting for her BMW) and another lady who looked about my age with a girl around 18 months old.

After watching us for 20 minutes, she said, “Are all these children yours?” I smiled and said, “Yes, they sure are! And my oldest isn’t here; he’s traveling with my husband today.” She shook her head in amazement and counted the rest of the children, then asked me their ages. When I told her, she said, “My mother had ten of us, and I honestly don’t know how she did it. I can’t manage one!”

Then she went on to say, “Mom says kids are worse these days; it was easier to have children back then.” I shook my head and said, “It’s not that kids are worse at all; children have always been prone to foolishness. It’s just that parenting takes a lot of hard work. It’s a 24/7 job.”

While I was telling her this, I had Tucker climbing up and down me and pulling my hair and Belle and Felicity trying to keep sticky mints in their mouth (which kept ending up in their hands). She looked at me in amazement and said, “Girl! You are still smiling! How do you do it?” The woman sitting next to her looked up and said, “She’s superwoman. That’s how!”

I shook my head again. “I am definitely NOT superwoman! This really is hard work, but it’s worth it. If you want to enjoy your children, you’ve got to invest a lot in them. I’m not doing it perfectly, but it can be done.” I looked at the cute little girl the lady was holding and said, “If you have more and you train them, it will get easier!” Her mouth dropped open. She told me I must be just like her mother, and she didn’t think anyone was like her mother.

I shared again that there is nothing special about me – it’s the grace of God. So, for 30 minutes this morning, I was given an opportunity to share hope with a woman who was really clueless – not bitter or resentful about motherhood; just clueless! She has never seen it done and had no idea there was a plan for sanity.

The funniest thing is that, to me, my children were not being very obedient. I had told them all to sit still on the couch and not move, but the girls kept getting up or bouncing. In my eyes, they were being hoodlums. But as we all walked out the door, this gal called after me, “Those are the best-behaved children I’ve ever seen. They sat so quietly and so still! You are doing a good job, girl!” I smiled and thanked her, but, inwardly, I was chuckling. I’d only seen the bad behavior, but to her, it was angelic compared to what she expects.

Jennie

We can be a witness wherever we go—a witness to the grace of God and the beauty and loveliness He has created in families living life for His glory. Keep up the good work, ladies!



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11 Responses to “Running Errands to the Glory of God!”

  1. Mrs. Dole says:

    Thanks for sharing that Stacy! I don’t know how many times, in public, I am about to disown (not really) all my children because they are behaving so badly; and that is inevitably the moment someone will come up to me and compliment me on their behavior! LOL I always remind myself that while we apparently have a higher (and good) standard, some of it is perspective ~ which is also good to have. :-)

    I love Jennie’s response of it being God’s grace! I’ll have to remember her wise words then next time I have the opportunity to share with some young mama.

    In Him,
    Tracy

  2. Ginger says:

    Something similar happened to me just today! I was loading my 7 in the van to leave the library. An older gentleman walked up, smiling, and asked: How do you have time to even brush your teeth?
    I laughed and said, “You must not have seen how many helpers I have in there?” :D
    He patted me on the shoulder and said, “I’m proud of you. I’m really proud.”
    Total stranger.

    God is glorified when we give Him the little we have.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear Stacy,
    I have so appreciated your recent blog posts. I got the cd of your talk at the NTHEN conference..Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. Boy, did I need it! In fact, I missed you speaking in person b/c I was having to die to self for my family (it was hard and it wasn’t too pretty!!).

    I am a mommy of 8 who rarely gets ALONE quiet time. But sometimes it seems like I don’t even know where to begin when I DO sit down to read my Bible (even while surrounded by children). Can you tell me…do you start in Genesis and read straight through whenever you get a chance? Do you jump around? I was so touched by all the Scripture you used in your talk. I want to be a Woman of the Word, but am not sure how.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this comment!
    ~KR

  4. Chrisi says:

    Aww. I love it when the unexpected brings a blessing to others around us. This was a sweet testimony from Mrs. Chancey.

  5. Libbie says:

    Hurray! That is an enormous encouragement. I second KR, these last few blogposts have been very helpful, Stacy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    KR,
    I’m sure that Stacy will answer your question, but I thought I’d share how I have been reading (well, actually listening) to the Word lately. I am focusing on the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs right now. Of course all of scripture is profitable, but I do so glean from those books! As you know there are 31 Proverbs, and as many days or almost as many days in a month. When you have time to open the Word, just go to the correct proverb for the day! I prefer to cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and my Bible, but with my busy schedule it is sometimes easier to listen to the Bible on CD.
    On a side topic…I am so anxious for Stacy’s and Jennie’s book to come out! I didn’t know that Stacy had given a talk by that title…
    I have her talk on Virtuous Maidenhood. Any work by Stacy, Jennie, Susan Bradrick are well worth reading or listening to while working in our homes!!
    Laura in Va.

  7. Martha A. says:

    What a neat story! It is encouraging for us to hear that other mothers have moments like these!

    I think too it is important when people give us compliments like this to accept them and not talk our children down also. I find I do that also and it really decreases morale!

  8. Stacy McDonald says:

    “Can you tell me…do you start in Genesis and read straight through whenever you get a chance?”

    Hi KR,

    Thank you for stopping by. I’m so sorry I didn’t get to meet you at NTHEN.

    As to your question – it depends. As a new Christian, I did read “straight through.” Another time I read through the New Testament and made a point to read all references to the Old Testament as I went. Other times I’ve done a Bible Study, where I focus on a particular book of the Bible and really dig deep. This can last for some time, since I’m reading in my little snippets during the day.

    The thing to remember is that there is no rule of “how” you should do this. God gives us all different seasons of life – each season allows us differing amounts of time and opportunities for various styles of learning and studying. Don’t get too hung up on “a right way” to study your Bible.

    Perhaps a good way to start off would be to just read a chapter of the Old and a chapter of the New – switching off. But if you really get “into” a chapter, don’t limit yourself by feeling you have to go back to the other. Read as God leads.

    Also, consider a simple study guide like http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=66443&netp_id=267141&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW

    A book you might find helpful is http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=66430&netp_id=267140&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW

    Blessings to you.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to Laura in Va. and Stacy! I actually have both the Nancy Leigh DeMoss books….I’ll pull them out!

    Thanks for reminding me that it’s about having time with God that’s so important! I can easily get hung up on the what/how.

    Have a blessed weekend~
    KR

  10. Chyrll says:

    We enjoyed the post, it takes me back when my girls were 4,5, and 5 months and we were flying to the USA from the mission field. We were on 1 plane for 11 hours and you know how tired children get sitting still for that long on 1 plane. When we got ready to leave the plane, people were talking about how good the girls were. It was such a blessing to hear an encouraging word!
    My husband has said – to remember that you were once a child. Keep up the good posts, they are very encouraging.

    Chyrll

  11. Anna S says:

    I have seen many families with one or two children, and many families with *many* children, and my general impression is that children in large families behave better. Learning to share and accomodate to a sibling’s needs from a young age teaches responsible and mature behavior!

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