Yes and Amen

This last Monday, as I was preparing to leave for a few days away, I hurriedly packed a lunch for my son.  He still likes a note in a lunchbox (a fact that pleases me to no end), but prefers them to be funny or have some kind of riddle to solve.  In other words, no mushy love notes that might cause him to get the wrong kind of lunch-time attention!  Our compromise: we have an understanding that if any mushy notes find their way into his lunchbox, they will be buried on the bottom, under the sandwich, and marked "TOP SECRET."  That way, he can read it on the sly and no one's the wiser.  (I hesitated to write of our secret, but I figure there probably aren't any fifth grade boys reading "Treasure the Ordinary," so I think I'm pretty safe!)

Monday morning called for a mushy note, as I wouldn't see him for three days.  And just as I buried the napkin declaring my love for a certain blonde ten year old, his sister saw what I was doing.

"A top secret note?  I want a top secret note!" she pleaded, her huge gray eyes lighting up.

"But, you're not taking your lunch today.  You're eating in the cafeteria." 

"Well, maybe I should take my lunch, then."

That did it.  I didn't have the time to start on another lunch at such late notice.  I quickly headed off the morning rush catastrophe by telling her I would put a Top Secret note inside her backpack for her to read while she was at school.  This solved everything--a secret note AND the school's chicken burger, which she happens to really like.  It's a both/and world she's living in.

Only it wasn't. I forgot. 

I have no idea how it happened.  Too many things on my mind, I guess.  But, it wasn't until I was two and a half hours down the highway that I remembered.  And I was miserable, picturing a little girl excitedly opening her backpack to find her top secret note and discovering that she must have been disavowed as a spy, or, even worse, that her mom didn't keep her word.

And that's what was really bothering me.  For the last fifteen years, as we've been on this wild adventure of parenthood, my husband and I have had one very important commitment to our children.  We keep our word.  Which is not always easy.  It's taught us to be very careful as to what we commit to.  We learned pretty quickly not to announce our plans way in advance, as plans can change, and we we wanted our kids to know that if we said we were going to do something, we were going to do it.  It's probably why we're still in the habit of not announcing the "special treat plans" until we are in the car, backing out of the driveway!

So, my forgetfulness left me in a dilemna.  I finally decided I needed to make amends via the phone, which meant recording a "top secret" voice message and sending it to her daddy with the strict instructions that only a very specific eight year old girl could listen.

Success. 

I was forgiven of my absent-mindedness in the thrill of receiving a spy-worthy voice recording.  Oh, sweet absolution.

And while I'm grateful for the second chance in the promise-keeping department with my little girl, I'm still very aware of how many times I fail to keep my word in my other relationships. 

The offer to pray for a friend that I don't think about again.

The commitment to myself not to do "that" again.

The promise to the Lord I gave in a moment of earnestness that too soon fades into apathy.

And my shortcomings make me grateful.  Grateful that I serve a God who does not forget His promises, and has never failed to fulfill even one of them.

"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ. And so through him the 'Amen' is spoken by us to the glory of God." (2 Corinthians 1:20)

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:15)

His promises are written all throughout His word, and each and every one has been bought and paid for. 

Each and every one are still redeemable, with no expiration date. 

And each and every one are for me.

Just another reason why I love the Promise Giver.  And just another reason I want to be like Him.