This story has been in and out of my head for 6 months now, as I reflect and wonder what I was suppose to learn.
(I hope its not a repeat if it is, now you know what my mind is like.)
Back in February my second busiest time of the year, when I have 3 birthdays in 2 and half weeks and a holiday, I knew my visiting teaching sister also had a birthday. I couldn't exactly remember when it was in the month but I had been her visiting teacher for three years so I knew it was sometime.
We went and visited our other sister in the morning, and it was a heavy conversation, she mentioned some not pleasant parts of her childhood. And since the point of visiting teaching is to bare one another's burdens I was glad she was sharing with us. But I went home exhausted. I had about an hour and half before the next visit.
The spirit plainly told me take out the chocolate cupcakes from the freezer and frost them. For the last day or two the spirit had been gently nudging me to defrost them and to have supplies for frosting. But let us recall I had already made 3 birthday deserts in the last three weeks (my baby's birthday is 2 weeks before my husband). I had addressed a good 45 valentines for school. Each dessert and holiday prep was a monumental accomplishment of love will beat the anxiety. (And let us not forget I mean mental illness anxiety, not I'm negatively excited, I mean I can barely leave my house, crippling anxiety.)
So all these promptings fell on exhausted ears. I wanted to listen and act I really did, but I just didn't quite get there. My heart was heavy like a sandbag and my feet felt like stones. When I drove home from my first visit I thought go buy chocolate frosting, I drove right past the store, I two tired and hungry toddlers in my car, and I could barely walk through a parking lot with them on a good day because my anxiety had flared up so much.
Six months later I honestly can't remember if I had frosting stuff at home, I think I did but I can't remember now. I think I at least had cool whip, we like chocolate cake and cool whip in our house.
I remember a few times hearing take out the chocolate cupcakes.
I never listened, I got distracted with caring for my babies, with feeding them, and myself. I was so exhausted surely the Lord must know that. Of course he did.
Well it was time to get to our next visit, my two toddlers and I were late, and it was during naptime. But it was the only time that fit for my partner and my sister we were visiting. While we were there, our sister said today was her husband's birthday.
And he always complains that she never has time to make him a chocolate cake. And this year was no different, she was so busy all morning. She had an afternoon of getting her high schoolers to various needs.
*Head held in shame* Except it wasn't, I played cool. I didn't want those other two ladies to know the spirit told me multiple times to bring chocolate cupcakes.
I felt awful though.
After a few days of shame I finally told my husband about it. He was very sympathetic to my regret.
I spent weeks wondering how did the Lord expect me to run faster than I had strength?
He knew of all people how tired I was. How overwhelmed.
Then the answer came, I don't remember the reference but it said when the Lord prompts you he will always give you strength to accomplish what he asks.
Looking back I wish I had the faith to complete a miracle.
But I didn't and sometimes we don't.
We can't beat ourselves up.
We can only move forward with faith.
Saying next time I will be better. Next time I will be able to morn with one sister and lighten the burdens on another all in one day, and care of my family. But if I had the strength for all that, my family would probably have had cold cereal for dinner, and I would have had take out. And we would all be happy and tired.
Other days I think how is her procrastination my fault? Its not. Plain and simple, if she truly cared about making a chocolate cake she would have made it happen. But she didn't and that isn't my fault, but we all would have felt the love of the Lord that day if I would have shown up with chocolate cupcakes. The spirit would have been strong and we all would have been blessed. It wasn't my fault, but I missed the opportunity to bless.
Instead I learned a hard lesson.
As I keep reflecting on this experience I think I've learned far more since I missed my opportunity then if I would have listened.
Part of me says, doesn't all the other treats I dropped off at her house over the years count for something? All the times she said oh thank you so much, I was so busy that day, so my kids ate those for dinner.
Apparently I should have been dropping off dinner all those years.
They did count. And the righteous desires of our hearts also count. But it was a hard lesson to learn, one I will probably think about for years, but not out of shame, instead out of hope. I will always wish I listened to the spirit, and taken out those frozen cupcakes. I will always wished I didn't miss the opportunity to bless a family but at least I've learned a lesson from it.
Now when I'm in the store instead of thinking I'm too tired to be friendly I can be a listening ear. I can have the faith that the Lord gives strength to those who listen.