Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies

Let me start by saying sometimes The Lord has a way of putting people in just the right place at just the right time. I don’t think about often but when my eyes are finally opened to His tender mercies, boy are they opened.
As a mother, our days are constantly filled with laughter, the best hugs we’ll ever receive, and tantrums. All of those happened today while Goober and I were out and about running errands.
I am making the breakfast for a small Relief Society meeting tomorrow morning and needed to get some syrup containers. I also needed to get some buttermilk for my grandpa’s homemade syrup recipe. Goober was holding my hand and walking around the “home” section. He was hopping and talking with me as we searched for the perfect containers. I finally found just the right ones and we were off to get the buttermilk. It was on the other side of the store (and he weighs 27 lbs) so I placed him in the “items” section of the cart so he could play with the new containers. As children do, they get really sick of riding in the cart. He was screaming and trying to climb out of the cart the whole way across the store. I was trying my hardest to go as fast as I could and get out of there. At this moment I felt as if all eyes were on us. I felt like the people shopping were begging us to leave and let their quiet mornings continue. I’m pretty sure a lot of parents feel this way when their toddlers start acting up. We were almost to the dairy section when he lost it. With tears streaming down his face, I picked him up. I stood there in the middle of the aisle for a second to calm him down. He was still crying pretty hard and I had made the decision to leave my cart right there and just leave. I would go back, alone, on my way home from work later this evening. Just then, a man walked up to us. He was about my father’s age. He kindly asked if there was anything he could help me with and if my son was okay. At that moment Goober stopped crying and smiled at him. It was one of the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his precious little face. It was all I could do not to start crying myself.
I responded with watery eyes, “Not anymore. You made him smile and that’s really all I needed. Thank you!”
He quickly told me how he remembered when his little ones were growing up and he and his wife often felt like horrible parents for having 5 screaming kids while grocery shopping.
He handed me a napkin and said, “Here’s something to wipe his tears and nose with if you’d like it.”
I took it graciously and the man left. I wiped Goober’s face, grabbed the buttermilk, and walked to the front of the store. The whole time, holding back tears of my own because he was an absolute angel. He let me put him back in the cart and he sat there quietly all the way to the car.
This kind gentleman knew exactly how I was feeling and helped, in just the smallest way, to comfort us. Isn’t this how our Savior’s love works? He knows just the perfect thing to do or say in our times of need. And sure, this wasn’t a big deal or a life changing act of service, but it meant so much to me and my son that I will never forget it. I will never forget that moment when I almost left my cart right there in the middle of the store just so I wasn’t the mom and screaming kid. I will never forget how in that exact moment The Lord placed that nice man in the aisle to tell me I’m not alone! Others have been where you are and it works out. Yes, it is very hard and gets frustrating. You feel as if you are failing and the world is judging your parenting skills, but in reality, you are doing the best you can.
Being a mother is the hardest yet most sacred and special things we will ever do. Just keep going and remember the triumphs. The little things your child does to confirm you’re not a failure. Those little hands reaching up for you to hold them because they want to be close to you. Those open-mouthed, slobbery kisses that say “I love you,” even when they can’t speak. Those big hugs you get when you come home from work and its almost as if they haven’t seen you for days. Those are the things I will remember when I have hard days. I will cherish those movements a little more from now on. Those are the things that make it all worth it.


2 thoughts on “Tender Mercies

  1. He does know about the tender mercies that we need and exactly when we need them, right? I am truly grateful for all the times that my father in Heaven gave me simple tender mercies and the littte things that I needed, right when I needed them.
    Hope things go well with your RS activity!

  2. Aww, I’ve been right there with you, sista. 🙂 What a sweet man to take the time to talk to you instead of being bugged. I wonder if he knows that he followed the Spirit to come over. Maybe not. But I guess it is a testimony that we can be the tender mercy for someone else, and that the Lord really does know us and watches over our days. Being a mom has taught me more things about Christ than I ever expected. Jesus loves you and so do I! Thanks for sharing!!!

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