Mr Softee

icecreampicI could hear the jingle echoing loudly from the ice cream truck strolling down our neighborhood. What is it about the ice cream truck that gets kids and even adults so giddy and excited? It’s super-cool!

My 5 year old runs in the house searching for some dollars. He knows he has to be super quick. Hurry Mom, there’s not much time. I scramble together some change and he jets out the door hoping to catch the driver of the delicious summer treats. He’s too late. Bummer. The ice cream truck had already exited our gate and was on his way to deliver tasty treats to other boys and girls anxiously awaiting his arrival.

Tears began to flow down my little one’s cheeks. He grabbed my car keys and said come on, mom, let’s chase him. No, Logan, we can just wait until next time. He will be back here in the neighborhood soon, trust me.

He was devastated. It didn’t matter that we had 4 different selections of popsicles and ice cream sandwiches in our freezer. He wanted the enjoyment of stepping up to the ice cream truck right then, and picking that perfect refreshing treat that would cool his taste buds at that exact moment. Not later on, or next week, but now.

He later sits down to begin his homework. I hand him the list of spelling words for him to study and write out on paper. His mind is still stuck on his ice cream treat and the disappointment of not having what he wanted, when he wanted it. He looks at me with the saddest face and pouty lips and takes his paper and pencil from my hands and begins to write. I assume he is writing out his 5 kindergarten spelling words and practicing for his test. I come back to check on him a few minutes later. To my surprise, the spelling words that he was assigned were nowhere on the page.

This is what I see written… My Mom says nooooooooooooooooo nooooooooooooooooooooooo. Multiply that o by a hundred and you can imagine how full the paper was with the very descriptive word no. Seriously there was over 100 o’s. I couldn’t help but snicker. I told him it would be ok and there is always a next time. To cheer up. He would come back again soon.

How often do we feel this way in our own life? We wanted a particular something at the precise moment and when it fails to be delivered, our hopes and excitement begin to fade, and we wonder if it will ever come?

His Nana came over that weekend and I shared the story with her. She laughed and laughed at the thought of what had occurred. She helped him make his very own ice cream money jar out of a nestle quick bottle. It was decorated with funny faces and the words ICE CREAM or I WILL SCREAM money.

The next week his friend and him are jumping on the trampoline. The familiar tune is heard coming down the street. He runs inside, fully prepared, grabs his money jar, and jets out the door in seconds. Sadly, again he is too late. The ice cream man is already down the lane.  We both begin to run barefooted down the sidewalk, hoping to catch up with him. The truck is no longer in sight, but we can hear the tune, so we follow with our ears. Again, he escapes us to no avail.

This past week Logan had some procedures he had to endure on his face. There was a type of freezing method applied to his lips and neck to remove some warts. I had to hold his arms down and tell him it would be ok. It would feel like very, very cold ice-cubes. He was so tough and took the pain like a big kid. I was so proud of him. As we left the office I saw a familiar truck. I thought, here is my chance to fully redeem myself.

The ice cream man is literally driving right in front of me. He circled through a parking lot and I am flashing my lights and trying to get him to stop. I must have looked like a crazy woman. I follow him out to the red light, still flashing my lights at him. He never even noticed. Logan advises me to pull up right beside him and wave my hands at him and motion ice cream! Yay! It worked. I got his attention. Smart kid.

He pulled over and my son had the sheer delight of stepping up to the Mister Softee Ice loganicecreamCream truck and placing his order for a colorful jolly rancher popsicle. I smiled inside and out. I was so happy! He was finally getting his long awaited treat after weeks of waiting. We drove to one of my fav spots on Grace Lane in front of Gateway Church. We come here a lot and open our sunroof and watch the planes fly overhead and dance and have silly times. It’s a fun mommy-date. We enjoyed lots of love and laughter.

I have been reflecting on this encounter a lot this past week. I am reminded of a statement that an Embrace Love girl had told her son when he wanted a pair of spider man web shooters. She was teaching him that we can’t always have what we want, when we want it, all the time.

She said:

Sometimes God says “yes.” 

Sometimes God says “not right now.” 

Sometimes God says “I have something better for you.” 

That is such practical and sound advice.

That same day our 2 boys were playing together at Chuck E Cheese. We were having a mentoring session and talking about some decisions and struggles that she was facing. Lots of questions about how to move forward. Where to move, do I stay here, do I go, what is the path that God wants me to take? I just want to know right now. What is the path He has laid out for me? It would be so much easier if I just knew right now.

She looked up and instantly saw a sign on the back of an ice cream machine at Chuck E Cheese. It said “chill out”. She began to laugh and said God just told me to chill out. He will show me the plans in His timing.

If God were to give us the layout and map of our whole life and have all the details laid out before us, we wouldn’t need God then. We would not need to trust Him daily for guidance of every step. We could see every bump, u-turn, delay and obstacle and no longer rely on God’s strength to pull us through. We might say, “ok God, I know how this is going to turn out, I have already seen the outcome, so I can take it from here.” Sound familiar?

In those moments we are crying out to Him to give us the answer. What is my next step? Or asking Him to deliver our requests at that moment, whether its an ice cream, a boyfriend that will love you and your baby, or a place to live or whatever you may be facing at the time.

He will sometimes respond with an immediate yes. Or possibly not right now. Or, I have something better for you.

It is in those moments that our faith is strengthened. We learn to rely on His word, His timing and for His promises to come true.  We begin to seek Him with our whole heart. Really lean in and seek His desires and plans for us. Not just what we want, but what He wants for us.

We sometimes assume that He enjoys being hard on us, and always wanting to tell us nooooo. In reality, He is the ultimate Mister Softee. He has the softest, most generous and giving heart of anyone else that has ever been or ever will be. He delights in giving you the desires of your heart. He makes us melt in His Presence.

This morning as I was preparing my heart to write out this blog, so many thoughts were coming to mind. My family and I were sitting at school watching Logan as he walked across the stage for his kindergarten graduation. He smiled so big and was so excited of his accomplishments. He learned all of his ABC’s and 123’s and he is ready to move on up to first grade.

My older son, who is moving up to the 8th grade now began to ask me a question. At first my response was no. Then my husband sent him a text and said… Mom says noooooooo. We all laughed and remembered the ice cream incident. Then Landan sends me a text and says, U will be the coolest mom ever. Coolest coolest coolest mom everrrrrrrrrrrrr. The best mom ever in the whole word ever… like the most coolest in the whole galaxy. Coolllllllllesssstttttttt everrrrr. I laughed at the sight. I heard a whisper in my heart. Yes. And then I thought about the timing of writing this blog for today. God was speaking even now at this very moment.

We as Mom’s have soft spots and enjoy giving our children what they desire. We also have to make clear decisions and know when to say no, not right now or we will see (one of my famous responses). For all of these moments and everything in between, you can always seek God’s response. He is always waiting to lead and guide you in every step, even in parenting. Just ask Him. He will show you what to do, say, and how to act.

Landan then sends me a text. My mom says yesssssssssssssssss!! 

Smiles in my heart. Lessons learned.

Maybe you are searching and waiting for a delivery truck to come to your home and bring you exactly what you need. It could be diapers, dollars, or dozens of different things. Just look up to your true Mister Softee. He longs to give you the desires of your heart. He will be your Powerful Provision. He is full of unlimited resources and will pour out His blessings upon you. All you have to do is ASK!  Keep your eyes and ears open and listen for His tunes. Jesus is all you need! He will deliver!

From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in- we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes, we saw it happen! We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ . Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! {1 John 1:1-4 MSG}

Written by Salina Duffy

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