So I’m the Mom who almost tried to drop her kid off at preschool on a Teacher Workday when there was NO SCHOOL. I am the Mom who had shoes on herself and her kid, who had his lunch packed for lunch bunch and was ready to head out the door when I remembered to grab my phone before leaving and saw a text from a friend.
A text that said, “Can I drop Z’s backpack off at the bus stop…” (because, yeah, I forgot to grab his backpack the other day when we were visiting for a play date)… “Can I drop Z’s backpack off at the bus stop this afternoon, I almost forgot there is no school this morning.”
My text in reply was, “No school this morning?!?!”
Her reply… “Yeah, there is no school. It’s a teacher workday.”
Yeah, I am the momma who is so sleep deprived and weary from life in newborn land that I did not see the emails and calendar notice that there was NO SCHOOL TODAY!
What it meant was this tired out Momma who was up every 2 hours last night (and has been for the last 4 weeks) and who was so looking forward to some quiet space this morning while her baby (hopefully!) napped and her son was in preschool, instead took off her shoes and her son’s shoes and found herself with her very energetic 3 year old all morning when she thought she was going to get some time to herself.
And of course her baby slept beautifully for her this morning, but she didn’t get the quiet space she felt she so desperately needed while she was sleeping, because she was keeping up with her sweet boy who wanted to listen to silly songs while playing loud with toys. So instead of her house being filled with quiet, her house was filled with loud noises from toy cars and songs about the bear that went over the mountain and how much wood could a woodchuck chuck…
Deep Sigh. What is this God? This morning that has turned out nothing like I expected?
Sometimes we begin our day and it doesn’t take long before we look at it and say, “What is it? What is this, this day that is not shaping up like I thought it would?”
Didn’t God know I so desperately needed some quiet space? Doesn’t he know what I need?
So I do my Bible study while nursing my little one after she wakes up from her nap, while having to tell my sweet boy to not jump on the couch while fighting the bad guys with his sword… not quite what I thought my morning would be… I had hopes of sitting in my chair in the quiet space of a baby napping and a sweet boy at school, sipping a cup of coffee and hands free to read and write and have a peaceful moment with Jesus. But I guess this is better than nothing.
So I do my Bible study with hands full with baby and sweet boy… a study on Exodus 16, the story of God’s people wandering out in the wilderness. The story of God’s people who begin grumbling about their situation, about their lack of food, about what they need and how this is not what they expected. A story about a God who hears the grumblings of his people in the wilderness and instead of striking them down, he listens to them. This God, he hears their grumbling about being hungry, he pays attention to their complaints about needing food, and he responds… he sends them something for their need… he sends them bread from heaven.
Sounds pretty heavenly, doesn’t it!? We would expect this bread from heaven to be pretty amazing. But when this bread from heaven shows up, how do they respond? What are the first words out of their mouth?
“What is it?!”
This bread from heaven shows up and they can’t figure out what it is! It is not what they expected. It is not what they would have put on the menu.
And when the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.” Exodus 16:15
My little one, she finishes eating. I sit with her as I think over this story of manna, of God providing something we don’t expect, but what we need. I look at her and she looks at me and then she flashes me this smile. She has been doing that the last few days, smiling at me. Actually smiling at ME. Not because she has gas or as a reflex, but a smile at me. Because this little one and I, we have been spending a lot of time together, and she knows her momma. And there is nothing like your baby smiling at you for the first time because they know who you are.
And then it hits me… manna. This smile from my little one, it isn’t what I expected, but it’s my manna. It’s what I needed to get through this morning that has not turned out like I expected. And so I gather this bread that the Lord has given me to eat to make it through the unexpected of my day.
And my hubby, he worked from home today, and he comes down mid-morning and kisses me on the forehead, and again it hits me… manna. I thought I needed quiet space, but God he gave me a hubby working at home that day and attentive enough to know I needed a kiss on the forehead. And I gather this bread the Lord has given me to eat to make it through the unexpected of my day.
And my Mom, she comes over that afternoon because I called her that morning crying over being the Mom that didn’t know her kid didn’t have school that day and so desperate for some quiet space. So she comes to help take care of the baby and sweet boy… manna. I gather this bread the Lord has given me to make it through the unexpected of my day.
Those Israelites, they didn’t know what that white flaky stuff was lying all over the ground and it certainly wasn’t what they expected, but it was the bread the Lord gave them to eat to make it through their day. They just had to gather it up and eat it, and trust it was what would fill them full of what they needed.
Because we don’t always get what we expect in a day, but God, He gives us what we need.
Sometimes we look at the pieces of our day, the activities and events, the unexpected of our day that we must swallow and we say, What is it? Is this what I must eat for this day? But if we look closer, we will find manna, bread from the Lord to fill our bellies, food to help us keep going, even if it looks like nothing we expect.
We will find that God gives us the manna we need in the unexpected of our day, we just need to gather it up and eat it.