Friday, September 5, 2014

All I Hath Needed, Thy Hand Hath Provided - God's Faithfulness Even in My Child's Social Life

I was sitting at the splash pad in a nearby town, watching my daughter play in the water all by herself.  I was sitting under one of the park's pavilions, nursing my infant son.  I was thinking about how Kyle and I had kids kind of late in life, compared to our current circle of friends (well, and even my high school friends mostly all had kids way before I did).  We actually have many close friends who had kids when we did, but they all moved at least over an hour away.  So usually when we hang out with people, they either don't have kids (we spend a lot of time with college students with ministry) or their kids are at least twice my daughter's age.  And I always feel bad for my little girl, because she loves to go out to places like the park, splash pad, etc... but when we get to said place, she is lonely and bored. If there is ever another kid, Emersyn practically stalks them, trying to make a friend.  Usually little girls snub her, and little boys play around her but not really with her.

So I was sitting and thinking about how much fun it will be when my son is old enough to be her playmate. They may fight, but at least neither of them will be lonely...

And that is when another mom with 3 kids randomly walked over to my table/pavilion.  She said, "Hi", put her stuff down pretty close to mine, and started putting sunscreen on herself and kiddos.  I inwardly laughed, because there were other tables in the park just as close to the splash pad as mine was, but she put her stuff down next to me anyway. Usually at any park, just like anywhere crowds gather, each person takes a table on their own.  So if there are only 3 tables/benches, and you are the 4th mom to show up - you now have to either share (oh, no!) or carry your stuff and walk around the whole time.

The sad thing is that most people in that situation will carry their stuff, feel awkward and burdened, but still terrified to share a bench or table with someone else they do not know... Are we afraid of all human interaction?!?!  Yes, I think this is ridiculous, but that is a whole other post topic...

Anyway, usually when I am nursing Keegan, I always feel like I have the plague.  I ALWAYS cover up, but I might as well wear a neon sign that says "I am doing something really awkward that will make you feel like a creep if you sit next to me or talk to me or make eye contact with me."  I mean, I don't think it is awkward, but it is amazing how fast I can clear a room at a family get-together feeding my son under a cover!  So that is why I was shocked that this woman acted completely normal about talking to me and putting her belongings next to mine, even though I was nursing.

I told myself, maybe she is like me and doesn't believe in NEVER TALKING TO STRANGERS like we are 2-year-olds.  Maybe she didn't realize I was nursing, and now it would be even more awkward to leave the table with her stuff now that she sees my cover and hears my son's nursing noises.

As I am thinking all of this to myself while also chit-chatting with this stranger-woman, 2 more women with kids walk up and put their things down on the table.  They greet us and start talking about how long it took to get there and how crazy the kids are this morning and that they left their sunscreen at home on accident and one offers some to the other...

And I am looking around thinking 'there are other tables, this is so weird but awesome'. And the women just kept coming... and they all put their stuff down at this table I was sitting at, and they were all talking to me like they knew me!

By the time I was done nursing Keegan, there were at least 10 moms, and there were toddlers EVERYWHERE!  Emersyn was having a blast spraying and stomping around with these strangers' kids.  And I was happily engaged in conversation!

All of a sudden, one of the women turns to face the group of ladies and starts to speak as if we are in a meeting.  I realize right away that I am sitting in a meeting that I was not invited to, although not one person is acting as if I shouldn't be there.

I was thankful to look at my phone and see that it was time for us to leave anyway in order to meet my parents on time for lunch.  So I start to pack up quietly.  The women were going around the circle and saying their names and where they were from... when everyone had finished, EVERYONE looked at me expectantly.

I said, "Um, my name is Keisha, and I am from Tahlequah.  And I am not part of your group, I was just sitting here to nurse my son while my daughter was playing."

And everyone starts laughing and talking about how they had no idea!  They thought I was there for "moms' group".  What?!  I was instantly excited inside, because I had wanted to be in one, I just didn't know how to get started or where to look for one in my area...

So the woman that was "leading the meeting", that I now know as Misty, wrote down all her personal information along with the group's Facebook page and other information.  Everyone was saying, "Yeah, go join the group!  It is a lot of fun!"

And that is how I got involved in a local moms' group. Since then we have been to the splash pad, fire station, and petting zoo!  My daughter has had a ton of kids to play with, and I have been having a great time getting to know these moms!

Do you want to know what is even more amazing?!  It is a Christian moms' group.  Not that I wouldn't have joined even if it wasn't.  I don't believe in living in a Christian bubble where you are never around the rest of the world, because even the Bible speaks about being in the world and knowing what struggles are going on around you.  But since joining this group, since we are like-minded in many things, we have been able to share in prayer and encouragement with each other!

We also have "moms only" evenings every once in a while, and the women I have met are fantastic people!

Do you know what the funniest part is? There are 3 ladies in the group that I was good friends with in college!

"Great is Thy faithfulness,
Oh, God, my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not.
As Thou has been, Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I hath needed, Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy thankfulness, Lord unto me."

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