Lessons From the Ziploc Bag

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on my personal Facebook page in February, 2014.

Today inadvertently presented itself with a great object lesson in faith. It was a beautiful day, so after Aiden got his book work done for school, we went outside armed with baking soda, vinegar and a plastic sandwich bag. It was a good day to blow stuff up. I told the kids to stand in a particular spot in the driveway while I daringly loaded the ammunition. They stood. I loaded. I turned back around. They were gone.

They had run up to the top of the hill behind our house, as far away as they could get from the perilous Ziploc bag. Fortunately, the experiment went awry. Not enough vinegar (or baking soda, I’m not sure which). So I tried again, this time adding more of both. I told the kids, “Don’t run away this time! Stand HERE. Trust. Me.” They stood. I loaded. I turned back around. They were gone.

I halted the experiment and had them come down from hiding. We chatted (I’m hormonal today, so I may have chatted loudly. On second thought, firmly sounds better. Let’s say firmly). “Guys! This is a really cool experiment, and you’re missing it because you’re not trusting that where I have you is safe! You’re trusting in your fear and you’re running away from something that’s meant to be fun! Your fear of what might happen is stronger than your trust in me!”

Lightbulb.

I got quieter.

“Hey, kids, you know what? It’s exactly the same with us and God. He has great plans for us! Really, really cool things in store for our lives! And He promises us that if we just trust in Him, He will be with us, and He will care for us. But too often, instead of trusting in Him, we get afraid of what might happen. We worry that maybe He doesn’t know as much as we do or that He doesn’t really have everything under control. And so, we run away from the good things He has for us because our fear is stronger than our faith. And we end up missing out on some amazing things in life!”

I don’t know if they got it or not. But man, I sure did.

We tried again. The kids didn’t run away this time. Well, Natalie still backed up quite a bit (nobody asked her opinion about this gig in the first place).

The experiment worked. The bag exploded. Aiden was ecstatic.

And my heart was full.

And So It Begins…

In the fall of 2010 I had a high-energy, high-needs two-year-old boy and an infant.  I was a relatively-extroverted stay-at-home mom who desperately wanted to be out enjoying life, but who was justsocrazytired and in need of lotsandlotsofcoffee (but I was nursing said infant, so I couldn’t have lotsandlotsofcoffee), and, well, have you seen small children out in public?!  I was lonely and longing for human interaction.  So I did what most SAHMs in my situation do.  I became an obsessive Facebook user.  It didn’t fill the void I had to be surrounded by people every day like I was accustomed to when I was working, but it certainly helped (thank you, Mark Zuckerberg, for saving me and countless other moms out there from needing a Xanax prescription).

Over time, I began to develop a small following of people who seemed to like my random, apparently amusing reflections of life with littles.  My friend Alice, who at that point was coming over to my house for a few hours once a week to play with my kids and help keep me sane, started telling me how much she enjoyed my FB posts and that I should really consider writing a book.  Was she kidding?!  I couldn’t even go to the bathroom by myself!  Writing a book was a flattering thought, but there was just no way.

As time went by, however, I started being encouraged by more and more people to share the stories of my family and our life together.  A book was still out of the question, but a blog, maybe?  Hey, yeah!  Perhaps someday I could write a blog!  But it would be a while.

Fast forward three-and-a-half years later, and here I am!  I’m officially a blogger!  And really, it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  All that’s really required is for me to completely ignore my husband, send my children to their room for a few hours little while, and leave the laundry in the washing machine overnight.  Again.  Easy!  Yep, I can do this.

For those of you who have been encouraging me to write publicly these past few years, thank you!  Your kind words have been so heartwarming and inspiring to me.  I hope you enjoy reading about my crazy little life as much as I enjoy living it (especially now that I can drink coffee again!).  Speaking of which…