Ice Cream Messages

(Last Updated On: June 29, 2015)

Tonight I was searching for God’s answers to some big prayers. As I wrote about our day, I realized this evening’s events are a perfect example of the way I experience God’s answers in my everyday mom moments.

Earlier, my daughter ran inside shrieking. The ice cream truck was driving past our house! Mommy, mommy, mommy. She jumped up and down. “The ice cream truck!”Finding God in the moments of parenthood for ourselves as His children.

Last time we saw him was a night we weren’t planning a big meal, so we chased the converted school bus down the road, but couldn’t catch him to get any ice cream. I had promised we would try again another day.

But here was the darned ice cream truck 15 minutes before a dinner that had literally been in the works for 24 hours. My answer to her sweet, excited little plea was, “not tonight.” Despite all the signs (like wafting hickory scents from the smoker), she couldn’t see the delicious meal that she was seconds away from enjoying.

Instantly pools of disappointment filled her eyes. Her bottom lip quavered. I wanted to hug her and wipe those tears away, but she was so upset that she pushed me back and ran away. I watched her sadly; then I followed her.

She sat in a ball of hurt on the bed, tears making muddy trails down her dusty cheeks. She didn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her have this good thing. Ice cream is good, isn’t it? I listened to her try to rationalize why I would say no. Watching her struggle to understand something so simple for us mommies made me see how my human thinking would struggle to understand God’s answers, too.

I sat waiting for her to calm down and be ready to listen. She was still trying to catch her breath when I pulled her onto my lap, wrapping my arms tightly around her. I brushed her hair away from her face, stroking her grubby cheek gently.

“I know you are disappointed. You can’t have ice cream right before dinner.” In terms she would understand, I explained we had something better for her, something that would really fill her up, make her strong and healthy.

As she sat on my lap, wanting her own way, she was sweaty and dusty and smelly. She was probably covered in chiggers from playing in the trees. I wouldn’t want to hug anyone else in that condition. But she was my hurting child, and I wanted to comfort her more than I wanted to clean her up.

As I wiped away her muddy tears, I told her about the dessert I had planned, how it would be so much better than the ice cream truck treat. She listened to me, let me hold her, and we read together, the sound of my voice comforting her.

After a dinner of fresh BBQ pork, collard greens, corn, and rice with a glass of milk, she got her dessert of ice cream melting over a bed of pound cake covered in homemade strawberry topping with whipped cream. Then I scooped her up and scrubbed her in the tub, fresh and new, after I had fed her and honored my promise.

In one evening God showed me

  • how ‘what I want when I want it’ doesn’t account for the myriad ways I cannot see His plan coming together in His timing,
  • how what He has planned is far better than what I thought I wanted;
  • I see how He pursues us in our hurts and disappointments,
  • how He comforts and loves us even when we’re dirty messes,
  • how He feeds us milk then meat, sometimes giving us dessert blessings, too;
  • then how he lovingly cleans us up, making us new and fresh.
  • and how He answers even just my prayers for encouragement in spades.

I prayerfully sought some encouragement tonight, and God answered me through a sadistic ice cream man who really needs to visit after dinnertime.

23 Replies to “Ice Cream Messages”

  1. Wow, there is nothing quite like the school of motherhood, is there Jennifer! 🙂 Thank you for sharing these lessons. (P.S. Do you think it’s normal that now I really want ice cream?)

  2. Aww, great post. God can speak to us in crazy ways. Even with ice cream trucks. Ryanair for the reminder to always seek God’s voice when things happen in my life..

  3. So sweet. God teaches me more about His ways and will through my kids as I try in vain to teach them. He is a marvelous Father and you’re example of how He is teaching you is perfect. Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Marissa

  4. Sweet post! I need to remember this in my own life and have patience for what is to come and not wallow in self-pity and disappointment for what I don’t get. Great lesson for all of us.

  5. Great story. Great lesson(s). And I think you listen very well to what God is instructing you. Thanks for sharing so we can learn along with you. I believe God is speaking to us all the time, sometime in various ways. I was in my car when something similar happened to me and I had a “God Instruction Moment” out of the blue. I remember writing down on a stray napkin “God is speaking all the time.” Good listening on your part.

    And who knows that God didn’t send that ice-cream man around your neighborhood at just that precise time to teach you (and us) these very lessons? You were asking, right? God is good. (And now I want ice-cream too.)

    1. Tom, I believe he sent him that moment for that exact reason. I’m just glad I had the presence of mind to focus on Him in my parenting and listening. Sometimes life gets too loud and I forget to find the quiet places to listen.

  6. Even as an adult, sometimes it is hard to see that the “good” we want immediately isn’t God’s best for our long-term happiness and gain. Thanks for that reminder!

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