“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7, NIV
If Target were a country, I would be its most loyal citizen.
The dollar bin. The coffee. And the best child restraint carts IN TOWN.
(Can I get an amen, y’all???)
Top it off with the fact that my frequent visits to the pharmacy get me a sweet and equally frequent discount, I would gladly sing a duet with their darling bulldog mascot for free if I thought it would inspire them to build one in my backyard.
I am that enamored.
Bless. My. Heart.
But it seems it had to be said if only to explain why I noticed that she was new.
The sweet, barely-out-of-high-school girl who smiled at those in line but wore an undercurrent of sadness, even as she “happily” scanned groceries and masterfully made the expected small talk.
At first, I nearly missed it, distracted by my overflowing cart and my out-of-patience minions.
But then the lady in front of us graciously allowed me to use her pharmacy discount. And of course, I thanked her profusely, saying something obnoxiously trite and first-world ridiculous like, “Two more dollars I can spend at Sonic’s happy hour!!! That’s two whole days of happy!!!”
And Lord, please bless her greatly since she heartily agreed.
Then it happened…
The girl behind the counter said something under her breath that would stop me in my trivial tracks.
“Or it’s six cans of food you can donate to the homeless?”
Each word appropriately slapped me into perspective and I blurted out in what I can only assume was a hormonal mama moment, “You are absolutely right, sister. And let me tell you what, your mama must be incredibly proud to have a daughter like you.”
But then the quiet undercurrent of sadness, as she answered back, “Why would my mom be proud of me? I’m just a cashier at Target.”
Heaven help me if I didn’t nearly climb over that conveyer belt, scoop her up and take her home with me. Instead, I probably scared the life out of her when I burst into tears, touched her hand and said,
“It’s not what you do in a day that counts. It’s the heart you do it with… And yours, my dear, is beautiful.”
(Proof once again that pregnancy hormones can turn your life into a made-for-TV special faster than you can say, “Pass me a Kleenex.”)
But even as I left, sniffling and waving, the poor girl graciously waved back, surely grateful to return to smiling and making the expected small talk.
And as for me? I could not stop blubbering. Frankly, it was so bad I was still going strong when we were pulling out of the parking lot ten minutes later.
Wah. Wah. Wah.
Sob. Sob. Sob.
I had quickly traveled over the cliffs of tearful insanity. But as most of my hormonal rants usually come from somewhere else, I later figured out that I was crying over something deeper. Something that we all struggle to find…
And that something is worth.
Especially for those of us called, “Mom.”
We specialize in the mundane.
Wiping noses. Sweeping floors. Hanging up backpacks.
All for the umpteenth time.
And most days we do it with the expected smile and small talk of “How was your day?”
But at least for this mama, my tasking of late is done with an undercurrent of sadness because I have bought the lie that says the mundane is not worth a darn. I have looked at the things that I am doing on the outside surface. Seeing the tasks of the day as somehow too unimportant to matter to anyone.
But I actually had it right, hormones and all.
When I in my “not worth a darn” inadequacy say, “Why would He be proud of me??? I mean, I just wipe noses. Pick up other people’s messes. Drive the car pool in a smelly van…”
I know my Father would literally jump over the counter, scoop me up and bring me close if that is what it would take for me to hear every moment of my mundane existence,“It’s not what you do in a day that counts. It’s the heart you do it with…”
And maybe that is why I bawled my eyes out.
Not because I doubt He loves me but because I’m letting my worth be defined by what I do rather than the heart I wear behind it. It’s as though I’m letting my pride sucker punch me into a corner of sadness. And I’m done with it.
I’m ready to earn the only badge I want, coming at the end of each day, spoken readily from His lips…
“I am proud of you, girl, because today, you rocked the world with your beautiful heart.”
Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie. When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail. Be sure to check it out.