Wow. Seriously, wow. I had the most unexpected experience the other day. Coming home to tell the hubs about it afterwards left me visibly shaking. Once I got over the initial shock, there was some food for thought worth considering. Let me break down the crazy for you for a second.

It was an overcast Friday morning and I realized I had just enough time to scoot to the local seafood store for some shrimp — a necessary errand because my eldest’s birthday was two days away and he requested Shrimp and Grits for his birthday dinner. Since the hubs had a shoot soon (photography), I needed to make it quick.

As I backed down the driveway, that sweet eldest kid came running to ask if he could come along. I gave him the go ahead to hop in and as we left the driveway noticed that he didn’t have shoes on and commented “You’ll just have to wait in the car while I pick up the shrimp.”

Barefoot in the fish market… or any market? No.

I left the keys in the ignition so my almost-eleven-year-old could enjoy music while I hurried in for the five minute errand, and I noticed another car that had pulled up at the same time, with an elderly lady using the wheelchair ramp instead of the stairs to make it easier to get up to the store. I waited for her to go ahead of me since she’d started the journey first and it just felt kinda wrong to scoot ahead of her just because she was moving slowly.

She made her purchase and left the store, and I did the same, only to come down the stairs in front of the store and notice her with her window down, glaring at me. Her husband honked at me and she shouted, “Do you ever watch TV?”

“Um… not much. Why do you ask?” was my response.

“That kid could be dead by now! You can’t leave a kid locked in a car when it’s this hot outside!”

“Ma’am, it’s 80 degrees and cloudy,” I responded. “And he’s eleven years old! If it’s hot he’ll roll down the window.”

“If it isn’t locked! Isn’t he locked in there?” she shouted again… and I felt frozen in surprise that she was so angry about this.

“No, he’s not locked in there! And it’s not hot outside… or sunny!” I gestured toward the sky with bewilderment.

“It’s hot!” she hollered again. Her husband piped up from the driver seat, “I was about to smash your window in!!” 

I was so caught off guard, I had no idea how to reply. A man in his seventies just threatened to smash my window in. I think I repeated, “He’s eleven years old and knows how to open a window…” but before I could finish the lady huffed, 

“Whatever! Let’s go! She doesn’t care about her kids!”

I climbed into my car and sat behind the driver seat, bewildered for a moment that someone could so quickly make so many judgments — and feel perfectly right in addressing them so vehemently.

Meanwhile, my son looked at me, obviously disturbed, and explained that before I came out, the lady and another customer were standing and talking and pointing at him, and he was afraid they were going to try to take him.

We had a conversation about what had happened, what he should do if anyone ever did act as if they were going to try to take him, and he reassured me with 100 percent certainty that he knew how to roll down a window if he felt hot. But for goodness’ sake, it was overcast, had rained half the morning and was barely 80 degrees outside!!

Last week, I shared some thoughts about The Best Time to Find Out Who You Are. And this? This was a moment for discovering a few things about who I am:

  1. I don’t like it when strangers yell at me.
  2. I will argue with strangers about dumb things and when they yell at me I’ll feel as if I’ve been physically assaulted and shake for ten minutes.
  3. Everything is cool until you accuse me of not caring about my kids. That is obviously a major source of pride for me because I don’t often want to throw things or cuss at people but I sure did want to for a minute or two. Or ten.

An encounter with ridiculously ornery strangers is not necessarily the best place to find truth. But it illustrates an important point that bears highlighting.

Sometimes the world will literally SCREAM what it wants you to believe. Voices will scream to convince you to agree with them — whether there is a shred of truth in what they’re shouting or not.

If you’ve read more than a couple of posts from me, I hope you get the idea that I’m a devoted Mama. I set aside some dreams and some desires and even some scholarship funds to take on the calling of motherhood, and I have no regrets. I’m not amazing at it. I fuss and huff and puff and probably spend more time with eyes on a screen and less time with my feet in the grass pushing a swing than I want. But I feel pretty confident that the comment “She doesn’t care about her kids” is false. A lie. Not true.
What is the world shouting that you might be believing?

Do you believe there’s a correlation between the number on the scale and your worth or value? 

Do you feel like you’re falling short as a parent because your kid’s birthday party didn’t look like a Pinterest post?

Do you feel like you need more completed items on your to-do list each day to be adding value to this world?

Or is the mirror lying to you — whispering falsehood to snuff out the truth of who you are, who you truly are?

Can I encourage you? Catch your breath for a few minutes today and just listen to the talk in your mind. What are you telling yourself that is true, and what are you believing that isn’t?

While I can’t lean out the window and honk the horn to shout to you today, I want you to let this sink in, just as if I did: 

But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life. {Isaiah 43:1-4}

God wants to shout: I’m crazy about you. You are precious and honored in my sight! Don’t be afraid — I have redeemed you! You are mine! No matter what today brings, or tomorrow, or the next, I am with you! I love you so much I’d give the world for you!

And the King of the Nations, the Lord of heaven and earth, stepped down from His throne and demonstrated it — that He loved you so much, He would die for you. You’re worth it.

This crazy world will honk and scream with so much emphasis, and sometimes downright vehemence, it will be hard not to believe what they’re hollering. 

So listen closely to the Voice that tells the truth about who you are, what you are capable of and what you were created for. Listen well and listen often. Hold the truth in your hands and frame it on your walls, bookmark it on your phone and hide it in your heart. 

He may not shout the loudest, but He will whisper the longest, and travel the farthest to set His unfailing love upon you.



Psst! If you’re encouraged today, you can subscribe to receive weekly Love, From Here and never miss a post by clicking right here! I’ll do a happy dance, and you’ll get encouraging words in your inbox every week (and my new Five Steps to a Fantastic Meal Plan System.) Definitely a win/win!

And pssst…. yes, this really happened. Last week. Scouts honor.

Also, some posts on my site contain affiliate links. Like this one. When you click on those links to make purchases, I receive compensation at no extra cost to you. I love it when you do that! Thank you for supporting With Love!