tender mercies

my little Sunbeam. he's my greatest blessing everyday :)

I wanted to take a moment to share some small, tender mercies that happened to me the last few weeks (or I guess a month now) that I wanted to remember to reflect on later. And hopefully these experiences can help someone who needs some extra inspiration and peace today as well. 

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Before Christmas, during all the craziness, I needed to go to the post office to send some presents. Of course the post office is insane at Christmastime and even more stressful with a toddler. Since I needed to get the packages sent right away and the only time I had available to do it was when I had Elijah with me, I gathered up my courage and decided to just bite the bullet. On the way there I talked it over with Elijah what he needed to do and all the rules that he needed to follow: stay by mom, don't wander off, be happy, listen... Knowing Eli is not one to remember these rules when we get to new places, I prayed over and over again on the drive that Elijah would behave and not make this experience too overwhelming. 

Once we got there, the line was out the door. My heart sank as I knew this was going to be a bigger struggle than I planned but I just had to push through. Right ahead of us was a man with his grown sons (I believe) and he was super cheery and kind. He saw Elijah and started to try and talk to him and entertain him a bit. He would ask him silly questions and joke around with him and Elijah thought he was pretty cool. He even would ask his sons to help me when I needed to get something but didn't want to leave my spot in line. Up until the time they had to leave, they helped keep Elijah busy and entertained. Elijah loved the attention and I loved the enormous help while an already stressful time. I wish I could have fully expressed my gratitude to those guys before they left and how they were an immediate answer to my desperate mom prayers. Tender mercy.  

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I do some courier work for a lawyer and every so often I have to file documents downtown. I try to go without Elijah since it takes longer and, again, he can be nuts, but some days I can't avoid it and have to tug my little sidekick along. Downtown Phoenix has a lot of legal and government workers everywhere as well as quite a few homeless people hanging out. If I go alone, I usually am fine with them nearby. But when I have to bring Elijah my mom safety and stress radar goes a little haywire. In one particular area there is a man who will come up to you and offer to "watch your car for you" so you don't get a ticket if you use up all your parking meter time. The deal kind of works out that you give him your extra change and he will keep an eye on your time. 

I have talked to this man before when I was with Adam and it was fine. But on this day trying to get Elijah out of the car, answering his many questions, and making sure he didn't run away or out into the busy street (which he tried), the whole interaction with this other guy was making me really uneasy. I had turned to yell for Elijah to come back by me and then put money into our parking meter when I noticed that someone called the guy over to him. I didn't hear the whole conversation but I did hear the end when he said, "You shouldn't be bothering a woman who has a kid and is alone. You need to leave her alone." He then walked away to get in his car and the guy that had been talking to us walked away. 

At first I felt kind of bad cause it wasn't like I felt threatened but it was a really overwhelming situation trying to help him and keep track of Elijah. Then, I just had this immense feeling of gratitude for the man that stepped up and was looking out for me. He saw this stressed out, young mother trying to juggle a weird, stressful situation and he stood up for me when I didn't have the courage or really the strength to do so. I never got to tell him thank you before he drove away. But I hope that somehow he knows what a HUGE blessing and guardian angel he was to me that day. Tender mercy.

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A few days ago I was really really sick and totally miserable and really having a hard time trying to take care of Elijah during all of this. Adam had two tests to take that day so I really couldn't ask him to come home and trying to explain to Elijah that "Mommy is sick so be quiet" was a lost cause. Elijah had literally not stopped moving and jumping around and I was just going to lose it. 

That morning I {rather selfishly} laid in bed and prayed and pleaded with God that somehow, some way, a friend would be prompted to help me make the day more endurable. I didn't know how or who to really ask for help because I didn't know how they could help, but I know I needed something outside of my own capacities and asked the Lord to provide. 

Later that day I checked my phone and was SO surprised to see this small little post from one of my Young Women on her Instagram. She had picked me for her Woman Crush Wednesday (didn't know that was a thing!) and said the kindest and sweetest words. I immediately got tears in my eyes and went to the bathroom and just started crying. I know the Lord heard my prayers and in the absolute smallest of ways he blessed me with the strength to get through the day. Just having the knowledge and blessing of knowing someone was thinking of me when I was feeling my absolute worst helped turn my day around and gave me the motivation to carry on. Tender mercy. 

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I am so grateful for good people and friends who bless me daily even when they don't realize it. All three of these people had no idea the impact they had on my life or the fact that they were answering my prayers. But in some way the were prompted to reach out to me at a time that I most needed them. 

I am grateful for my Savior and His love for me. I know he answers our prayers, even the smallest ones we hold in our hearts. Sometimes His answers aren't what I expect, but they are always what I need. He knows me better than I know myself and He loves me even with all my flaws. I am eternally grateful for that knowledge and that I have an advocate I can turn to for peace during stressful times.  

3 comments:

Kelsey Eaton said...

I think it is so important to document these things so you never forget!

Christi - ladymakesit.com said...

I know exactly how you feel. I'm never able to express my full gratitude for people who offer a helping hand. So small to them but so large to us!

Megan Tenney said...

Those are great stories! HF is definitely looking out for you!