Are you noticing the little tender mercies in your life? My friend Laura West calls them, “God winks.” Lately, Elijah, my 13-year-old, has been teaching me about acknowledging them.
For school, Elijah’s been making a physical map of Georgia out of a big cookie.
Elijah’s one of my very responsible, “get it done” children. He’s also incredibly honest. The other day he found a $10 bill at school and gave it to the teacher. His older siblings said he should have kept it, that it would never get back to the person who lost it. If he finds stray change around the house, he brings it to me. In fact, as I was writing this blog, he walked into my office and set a nickle on the desk in front of me.
Elijah’s also one of the few children I have who tells me about school projects ahead of time. The Georgia cookie project was due Friday (today). He made sure I bought the food coloring he needed Tuesday. He suggested I make the cookie Wednesday, but I didn’t get around to it until early afternoon Thursday.
Tuesday, he said his teacher suggested he bring the project to school in a pizza box. We rarely buy takeout pizza. I said, “Hmm… I guess I could grab a Little Caesar’s pizza this week.”
Elijah’s Georgia Physical Map Cookie Project
Wednesday night, after church, my brother-in-law (who works with the youth and gives my kids a ride to church) decided to buy my kids two pizzas and some cheesy bread on the way home from church. They had dinner before they left, so he had no reason to do that, but he was buying some for his daughter’s family. He’s one of those sweet men who never wants my kids to feel left out.
Elijah walked in my bedroom, offered me a piece of cheesy bread, and said with wide-eyed wonder, “Mom, I needed a pizza box for my project. And I got a pizza box.” The tender mercy was not wasted on this boy.
Marnie and Jillian at Heritage High Generals Band Pinning Ceremony
Last night (Thursday), I went to my daughter’s band concert and pinning ceremony at the high school and left Elijah making his Georgia project at home with this older brother.
About half-way through the concert, Elijah texted me, “Mom, can you buy some graham crackers for my project?”
I’d gone shopping Wednesday afternoon and for some unknown reason felt a compulsion to buy graham crackers. My kids aren’t really into them that much. In fact, I almost put them back toward the end wondering, “Why am I buying these graham crackers? Other than they are a good deal?” I left them in the cart and checked out.
So when I received Elijah’s text last night, I responded, “You’re in luck. I bought some yesterday. They’re in the pantry.”
It was a simple thing, but for me it was a God-wink. Yes, it saved me a trip to the store last night, but more importantly I finally felt like one of those good mothers who psychically knows what her children need before they need it. This has never been me. It was MY mother. When I was a young struggling mother, my own mother would do things like appear at my door with a bottle of fabric softener the very day I ran out.
I swore she was psychic. She was probably just incredibly observant. But the woman does that kind of thing all the time. In Elijah’s God-wink, God winked at me too. Maybe there is hope for me becoming half the mother my own mother is.
All of these things could be chalked up to seeming coincidences. But I would rather look at them the way Neal A. Maxwell described:
You and I may call these intersectings ‘coincidence.’ This word is understandable for mortals to use, but coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by “coincidence” but instead by ‘divine design.'”
I don’t believe this series of little events was about a cookie project or saving trips to the store. This was about letting an honest, responsible 13-year-old boy know that God knows him, looks out for him and provides for him. It was about letting his mother know she’s okay and that the Lord is guiding her in little things with her children.
I’d love to hear your “God-wink” stories… please leave them in the comments below.
Marnie (Pehrson) Marcus is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.