Today was the day, finally. We had to postpone our library donation day because we misjudged when the library closes and missed them by about 15 minutes, earlier this week. We were all ready to have a great experience and see the joy in the librarian’s face as we handed over some much-loved, great condition books. However, this experience was not quite what we had expected.
Our boys are taking Taekwondo, and Thursdays are their practices. So after Taekwondo we were planning on heading over to the library. They have recently been lucky enough to receive a huge supply of Legos and the kids look forward to playing with them at every visit. About 10 minutes before it was time to head out the door for their practice, I asked the boys to bring me the books they had picked out the other day to donate. My older two brought me their books right away, but my youngest went and hid his books. He did not want to get rid of them. He was bent on keeping ALL his books.
Of course, we are just about ready to head out the door when all this happens, so I didn’t have much patience at this point. I was adamant that he needed to bring me the books he had picked out the other day. How could he pick them out one day to donate, and just 2 days later decide that he wanted to keep them? I’m not quite sure, but it sure did make our exit to practice so much more challenging.
We finally got the books he was going to donate and headed out to practice. It has been crazy weather up here and our SUV was still covered in snow and ice after warming up for 10 minutes. While my youngest climbed in the car I asked my oldest to try to scoop all the snow off the windshield, thinking this would be quicker and we would still actually be able to make it to Taekwondo on time. Ha, what was I thinking, me get somewhere on time!
Not thinking, my oldest, grabbed the windshield wiper, pulled up on it and SNAP. All into a bunch of pieces. Poor kid. He felt so bad, and me with my lack of patience was not handling it well. I explained how I wasn’t upset that he broke the wiper, but with the fact that he didn’t think through how he could have handled the wiper, to keep it from braking. ADHD impulse sneaks up again. Here I was with a car full of snow and ice, and no wiper. I was so not in the mood for this.
Luckily the school where the kids practice, was not that far away. So I drove with one windshield wiper up and one wiping. Pretty funny sight, but at least I was able to get the kids to their practice. After I dropped them off, I headed straight for a local auto shop to replace the windshield wiper. I wanted to get it done right away, before more ice and snow built up and I didn’t have a way to clear it. Luckily there wasn’t a line at the shop and I was able to get the wiper replaced and installed $10 later.
Back at practice the kids had fun and worked hard. When they were done practice and all changed, we headed back outside to the car. It was snowing like crazy! I thought we had enough snow, but apparently not. It’s a good thing I got that windshield wiper fixed when I did. We all piled up in the car and headed for the library.
After arriving at the library Hayden begged to run up the handicap ramp to get in; his classic question. Of course I let him and as he ran off I thought, “Oh, I hope he doesn’t slip on all that snow.” By the time I yelled out for him to slow down and be careful, he was already at the door. We all piled into the little library stomping our boots to remove all the built up snow and found our way each into different corners of the room. Hayden was drawn right to the Legos, Cody to the movies, and Devyn to the card catalog (Yes, they still have the old-fashioned paper kind). I went over to the table to organize the pile of books we had brought into two piles. One for books we had to return and the other for books we were donating.
Each kid in their own corner, not even a mention about what we were there to do. None of the kids seemed interested in handing over the books to donate, so I gathered up the books and headed over to the librarian’s desk by myself. I handed over the books we needed to return first. She set them aside and I handed over the pile of books we were donating, explaining how we didn’t need them anymore and thought they could use them. She looked a bit puzzled but took them and that was it. Really, that was it. No big deal. No thank-you. No excitement. No nothing.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:1-4 NIV
Maybe she is shy. Maybe she honestly didn’t know what to say. Maybe she is planning on mailing out a thank-you card, or maybe not. I know that giving is not about getting anything in return, and I realize that if we are to get a reward, that it will be in heaven. However, when we have expectations for something, it is hard to take when things don’t go our way. I guess, I really thought this was going to be a big deal for them. Not just for them, but for our kids. Honestly, this wasn’t something we had done before. When I saw the idea on the RACK calendar I was so excited. It was something new and thoughtful. I guess I made it out to be something bigger than what it was. It seemed to take up so much energy to get the kids on board, gather up all the books, get Hayden back on board after changing his mind, getting out of the house on time, fixing the wiper, fighting with bad roads, and all to drop off a few books.
In the end, I am glad that we did it. I know we did our part, whether or not they are thankful. I have to tell myself that God was thankful. He is the reason we are involved in this RACK calendar in the first place. He deserves all the credit. I have learned a lot from this adventure and am really thankful that God is a forgiving God. That we get to continue on with this RACK calendar for many more days and that a bunch of the upcoming activities, we will be doing in secret.
Everyone makes mistakes and some of those are because of our assumptions about a situation. Have you ever felt disappointed when you didn’t get a thank you, you thought you deserved? Have you ever not given a thank you, when you should have? Let’s comment below and share our stories, so others can see they are not alone; that God gets the glory, even if we don’t.