There are two Walmart bags full of school supplies sitting on a utility counter in our house. Brand new, fresh crayons and glue sticks and notebooks and pencil bags and composition books and post-it’s and dry erase markers that will sit in those bags for five more weeks.
I am not the kind of mom that is in a hurry to send their kids back to school every fall. I’m not saying anything bad about those that are; that’s just not me. To be fair, it should be noted that my preschool follows the local school calendar, so when my kids go back to school, I go back work too (Have to? Get to? Hmmmmm…). Even when I was a full-time stay-at-home mom, I had tears on the first day of school (probably dreading the early morning routine we had to get back into, lol). Don’t think I’m one of those super-organized, have a play date/brain activity/craft time schedule for every day kind of moms. I’m not. We’re fairly easy going at the Baldwin house on summer weekdays. There’s the mandatory daily chore stuff like feeding the dogs and emptying the dishwasher that my kids have to do…I even make them read sometimes (oh the horror!). But they also play video & computer games, play Legos, draw and paint, play dolls, build forts w/blankets and kitchen chairs…you know, kid stuff.
It was totally NOT my idea to buy loads of school supplies 5 weeks early. In the middle of summer. Especially when I’m in denial that my, I mean our, summer is over half spent now. I would have waited, like I always do–despite the persistent pleas of at least one child to “PLEASE get them today” because they just “NEED them today” for some reason. I would have waited for the tax-free weekend or at least gone to the supercenter just across the state line that has a 3% cheaper tax rate (it’s the same distance from where we live, so darn right I would’ve done it). I normally don’t want to spend the money until I have to…until they actually do need them and I actually have to admit it’s time to say sayonara to summer. But then there’s Micah. He is the yin to my yang. The salt to my pepper. He is the spontaneous one in our relationship and I am, well, just not. He is the action to all my planning. He jokes that he can have a project finished before I get my supply list created. God knows I needed that man in my life.
We would have been the poster children for all the marketing gurus who put the impulse buys on the aisle-end caps right as you enter the store.
So last Saturday a trip to Walmart for a steering wheel cover and two gallons of milk turned into School Supply Day 2016. We would have been the poster children for all the marketing gurus who put the impulse buys on the aisle-end caps right as you enter the store. They caught my man’s attention with $0.17 spiral notebooks. That was all it took. Before I knew it we were a-flutter with supply lists and stuff was piling up in the bottom of our cart. Micah hasn’t shopped for school supplies with us for a few years until now. He hates crazy crowds and therefore abhors shopping “holidays” like tax-free weekend and Black Friday. This time (because NO ONE else was getting school supplies five weeks early) he and the kids were just having a good time picking out cool colors they liked, finding the fun notebooks, getting the 50 count boxes of colored pencils (I am sure their teachers will thank us for that later, right?) when all they probably needed was 12. He didn’t let them splurge on everything but he gently reminded me that a few treats are ok.
All of my do’s and don’ts for this annual excursion harmlessly fell to the ground that day. It didn’t matter that we didn’t need to do this now. It didn’t matter this time that the $4 cool one was no better than the $2 plain one. It didn’t matter that this store basically has a double-digit tax rate that could be avoided in a couple weeks. What mattered in that moment could easily be seen in the satisfaction on all three of their faces when I told them the lists were all checked off.
But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:31-32 NKJV
You see, neither of our kids had mentioned or asked for school supplies last Saturday. They were both joyfully tagging along for the ride that day, just happy that their dad was home from a week of work travels. I witnessed the words of Jesus come to life in front of me in my own life’s parable…“But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Luke 12:31-32 NKJV
I watched my kids get their needs provided last Saturday before they even needed them…just like God does for us all, many times without us even knowing what He’s doing. I watched as my husband knew our kids’ favorite colors and picked items he knew they’d like only to see their eyes light up with surprise…just like our God does with us sometimes. I watched as he let them pick what they wanted based on their unique personalities…just like God does with us sometimes. I got a glimpse into the love of our Heavenly Father as I watched how pleased my husband was when he knew his kids had what they needed to face the opportunities ahead of them this next school year.
Some school day soon, my second and sixth graders will probably pull out their 50 count colored pencil boxes and think about their dad and the day he let them get the biggest box of colored pencils they’d ever seen. They’ll smile knowing their father’s good pleasure and it may even give them an extra little boost they need that day. I wouldn’t be surprised if God imprints another touch of His love on their hearts at that moment. That sounds like something our Father would do. He supplies all our needs–natural and spiritual, physical and mental–and gives us everything required to take hold of each opportunity advance His kingdom. It’s His good pleasure!
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12:31-32 NKJV