I had just scolded Little Guy for the seventh time in the last five minutes, this time for licking the almond milk on the shelf at Trader Joes, when I felt someone at my elbow. I turned around and this little old lady put her hand on my shoulder and said, “God’s blessings be upon you, dear!”
I buried my face in her shoulder and wept. Okay, actually I just bit back tears and gave her a hug. I thanked her for her kind words, they meant so much to me. She looked at my pregnant belly, then looked at my boys rolling around on the dirty tile floor like puppies and asked,
“Do you ever feel tired?”
At this, I burst into laughter. Like, insane woman, crazy eyed, hysterical, howling laughter. It was either that or cry. Do I ever feel tired? The night before, I got up no less than 4 times to pee, and each time I came back to bed my dog had migrated from the foot of the bed into the warm space I vacated. She growls at me when I try to move her and turns into dead weight so that by the time I have reclaimed my sleeping space I’m wide awake and so is the karate kid that resides in my uterus. I don’t sleep much.
Do I ever feel tired? That morning when my boys were praying before we started our school lesson (yes, June is almost over and we’re still doing school. Shhhh, don’t tell them, they don’t realize we should have stopped!) I almost fell asleep in the 30 seconds I had my eyes shut.
Do I ever feel tired? I live on the third floor of an old building and the hardest part of my day is climbing the stairs up to our apartment. Halfway up I have to stop and assess whether the contractions I’m besieged with are the real thing or not, because if it’s go-time there’s no way in heck I’m doing that last flight to just turn around and head back down to the hospital.
Do I ever feel tired? Through my laughter I replied, “Every #*@% day!”
Okay not really. This was a sweet old granny. “Pretty often,” is what I actually said.
I don’t remember much of the exchange after that, but when I left the store I felt so much better than when I came in. God keeps sending the right people at the right time into my life to encourage me. Throughout the last couple months (this pregnancy has been challenging, it’s been rough) I have lost track of the number of people who have stopped me at the park, grocery store, parking lot, library, everywhere to compliment my children, or tell me how amazing I look, or just say, “You are doing a great work!”
I’m trying to become that kind of person. If I’m thinking something encouraging, I pray that God would give me the boldness to say it. To the mom struggling with the screaming two year old at Target, “You are doing a great job!”
To the pregnant mom at the park struggling to keep up with her energetic kids, “You look amazing!”
Encouraging words leave a positive mark that can help erase all the negative self talk we’re capable of. Let’s make use of them.
Do you enjoy being complimented by strangers? Does it creep you out? Tell me about it.