Friday, January 25, 2008

The Coat

Moms wear a lot of hats. The chef hat, the taxi driver hat, the nurse's cap, the construction worker hat, and many mornings the baseball cap to hide a bare, sleepy face and a messy ponytail.

That's the life of a mom and a wife, a woman of many jobs and many skills. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with all of the tasks that require all of these hats. Lately, I seem to be changing hats left and right and now I am wearing a vest.

Yesterday we had a special Girl Scout meeting and basketball practice. An unusual glitch in scheduling made for two activities on one day.

As we rushed in the house to change, I saw a package on the porch, my new coat. I'd ordered it from a catalog over a week ago and it couldn't have arrived on a better day. Last night was one of our coldest with chilling wind and a dampness in the air. I immediately opened the box and put on my new coat. A perfect fit.

Then I donned my taxi driver hat and we were off once again.

We walked in the church's gym and my daughter ran over to her team, her ponytail bouncing across the court. As I settled in the bleachers I saw my daughter's sweet coach.

She is tall and thin, not big as a minute but with a presence all her own. In the first few moments I met her, only a few words had crossed her lips and I knew how much she loves Jesus. I watch her each week on the court with the girls and even though I cannot hear all of the instruction she gives in the midst of the gym's noise, I can see from the Light in her face that her words are loving, encouraging, Christ-like.

She homeschools one son and has another little boy- a sweet, strong one-year old. Last night he was strapped to her back in an infant carrier while she coached basketball; her babysitter was unavailable. There were moms there who offered to watch the baby, but this mom would rather have him right there with her, as heavy and awkward as that would be.

You should have seen his face. He was content, a binky in his mouth, watching over his mother's shoulder as she dribbled and passed the basketball to eager little girls. Fascinated by the motion of the ball, he nestled in his little carrier against his mother's body. His mother wore two hats. And a backpack.

I knew then that I wasn't the only one multi-tasking. As overwhelmed as life may seem, I could never be teaching basketball with a baby strapped to my back. (Besides the stress, I am not athletic. P.E. brought down my GPA.)

This morning after I rushed daughter off to school, I did a little grocery shopping. It was just above freezing temperatures here and my new coat was perfect. The bagger, an older gentleman, offered to take out my groceries and I declined.

"I can get it. It's too cold out there."

As I pushed my cart into the cold, the wind hit my face. I thought to myself of all of the people at that moment who did not have a new coat, any coat. I thought of all of the hats I wear and how sometimes it feels like too much.

But I am so blessed.

I got in my car and wept. I prayed and thanked God for all that He has given me, as undeserving as I am.

Then I asked Him, "Why me, Lord? Why me? Why am I the one with a warm coat? A home to live in? A bed to lie in? This car to drive my daughter to school? A trunk full of groceries? Why do I have two loving parents? A wonderful husband? Why me?"

And in His quiet, gentle Voice He said, "Because... for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."

Much is required.

So I'll wear my coat and my many hats and I will give what I have, do what I can, for He has given me much- much more than I could ever ask for or even imagine. Even though none of it could ever out give what He has given, it will all be for Him, to Him, and through Him. For He has given me many hats.

And a warm coat to match.


Susanne said...

What a beautiful post, Melanie. It's true, He gives to us that we may in turn give and bless another. How easily we tend to forget that second part. Thank you for this beautiful heartfelt reminder.

Linda said...

And that's why he can entrust so much to you.

BevMama said...

Such a sweet post - thank you - I needed that reminder today!

Sista Cala said...

Enjoyed your post.
I too understand the meaning of that verse, but....I'm steady trying to give my hats, vests, coats, and shoes to anyone who will have them. Sometimes it is overwhelming to realize that so many are dependant on me. I'm just so glad that I can depend on God and those that he has placed in my life.

Linds said...

This is such a beautiful post, Melanie.... and a gentle reminder too.Thanks for that.

Linda said...

I'm posting a meme tomorrow, and I tagged you, but don't feel obligated. You could always save it for a rainy day blog.

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

That was just beautiful. Just the gentle nudge that I needed today.

chickadee said...

great post. i often think about my blessings too and that verse, much is required. i have to admit thinking about what that requirement might be scares me sometimes. can i do all that He requires of me?

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across your blog today. This is a perfect post for how I have been feeling... the reminder I needed. Thank you