Don’t Forget the Shovel

Ever try to do the right thing but it turns out so very wrong.  Anytime this happens, after checking my intentions, I always go back to this word that God gave me a few years back.  Hope it encourages you!

June – 2002

As I anguish over what to write now, or even if to write, I am overcome with fear of leading anyone astray.  It is truly overwhelming.  After praying, typing, stopping, telling God to forget it, praying, typing again, I am now compelled to try and put what I happened into perspective.

Lydia, my five year old daughter, and one of my daycare kids, Margaret, were outside playing the other afternoon.  I was inside watching two other children while the two babies slept.  I glanced outside every once in a while and saw Lydia and Margaret playing, not paying much attention.

Margaret runs in with the biggest smile on her face.  She pats my shoulder, saying, “We cleaned up all the poop in the back yard!”

“You did!” I said excitedly.  Surprised but not shocked, you see we have two dogs and two pooper scoopers.  Cleaning up the poop is normal chore to be done when we play outside.  I exclaimed, “You two deserve something special.  How about a piece of candy?”

“No,” Margaret said. “We did it because we love you.”

My eyes filled with tears.  How sweet these two children would think to pick up poop for me.  Usually it’s the thrill of the day for them.  I get the scoop, they find the poop.  Yes, picture six children, standing at attention, pointing to their mound of poop yelling, “Dana, here’s some!”   I can never seem to move fast enough for them.

A couple days later, I’m bragging to daddy that Lydia and Margaret scooped pooped all by themselves, without me even asking.  Lydia’s chest fills with pride.  She’s excited about her wonderful, thoughtful idea of trying to help me.

Tom says, “What’d you use?”

I didn’t think to ask, there are two shovels.  Lydia proceeds to explain.  She says, “The hard ones we just picked up and threw over the fence.  The soft ones we scooped up with the snorkeling goggles we got out of the toy chest.”

Ugh.  Not only was I shocked but I could just picture dear sweet Margaret sitting at dinner one night and her parents ask, “What’d you do at Dana’s today?”

How wonderful their intentions were.  So many times our intentions start out right, we’re even thinking we’re doing what God asks us to only sometimes, we get so excited we forget to wait on God and we end up with poop on our hands. 

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14



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