For those of you who are sports fans, the term “false start” is likely a familiar one. It is defined as movement before being signaled or permitted to begin; or as an unsuccessful attempt to begin something. Depending on the situation, a false start can result in a penalty or disqualification. While used most often in the sports world, this term is not isolated to that arena…and most moms will attest to that.
Yesterday morning, at around 5:30 am, our son crawled into bed between my husband and I. We asked him to go back to his room until his clock said 6:00 am (at the very least) but he didn’t go without a fight. Whining ensued, followed by frustration, mixed with anger and then he went off to his room. My husband couldn’t get back to sleep so he went for a shower, and I remained in bed hoping for that illusive “five more minutes!” we have all been yearning for since our teen years. Not long after that, our daughter came in followed by our son and they BOTH pounced onto the bed. I was outnumbered. “I just want to snuggle you!”was the request that followed. “Just five more minutes…”, was the only response I could muster. Then, the pressure of one sitting on my stomach and, POW!…a headbutt to the face snapped me out of my slumber in the worst possible way. Uggh!!! False start number one.
This morning I came to the kitchen to the sound of coughing….and, well, other unpleasant noises…only to find that our daughter was feeling a little under the weather. My husband departed for work and I sat down with the kids as they finished their breakfast. As my daughter was handing me her uneaten bowl of yogurt and granola, my son decided he needed a glass of juice. He is at an age where his independence is flourishing, so he began to boost himself with one knee onto the countertop in an attempt to reach the cabinet containing the drinking glasses. “Please wait. Let me get it for you.”….”No, Mom, I’ve got it.”…..”That’s not a good idea.”….”I can do it.”……CRASH! As I was approaching to help him, he fell backward (whew, caught him!) and sent the uneaten bowl of yogurt and granola sailing through the air. The splatter zone was pretty big and I am not yet convinced that I found it all. False start number two.
If you have ever started your day in a manner which was other than expected, or before you expected to start at all- then you know the variety of responses that can follow. I have had entire days hijacked by mornings like this because I never fully recovered. On these two mornings, I was met with an unexpected gift: A cornucopia overflowing with fruit. And just in time for Thanksgiving!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
What a wonderful surprise! I had been waiting for this gift to arrive…praying for a long time, over many days, and through many false starts. Until this moment, you could usually find my responses to these mornings in the verses that preceded….“discord…fits of rage…selfish ambition” (Galatians 5:20). I responded, very much, in the flesh. It didn’t even settle in until after I had ushered my son into get new clothes, cleaned up, and poured his juice. It was then that I realized that I didn’t flip out! We are all still sitting here enjoying each other’s company and nobody is crying (usually me). Praise the Lord for the gifts He gives. The crazy thing is, this gift was probably delivered a very long time ago and I just never took the time to open it.