Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The $10 Mother

Has anyone ever given you a tip for being a great mother? Not a verbal, “here’s-how-you-do-it” tip, but an actual cash tip?

In my devotional book for mothers, Nancy Campbell shared an encounter that happened to her daughter, Evangeline, while out shopping with her five youngest children.  While in Wal-Mart, a woman—a complete stranger—came up to her and said, “You are an incredible mother! Here’s some money,” and gave her a ten-dollar bill. Then, awhile later, she approached again:  “I’m not finished. You have to know you are an incredible mother! Here’s another $10.”

For a few days, I was pondering what in the world she was doing that was so impressive in this woman’s eyes.  Coincidentally, I downloaded an audio teaching by Evangeline called “The Adventures ofMotherhood.” In the message, she recounted the Wal-Mart experience and shared additional information.
As she was walking down the aisles, she was praying in her mind, asking God, “Am I a good mother, 

Right after that prayer, the woman approached.

 “She didn’t even see me mother! We were just walking,” she said.

But she had to be doing something! Perhaps it was just her countenance and general demeanor toward her children that so impressed the woman.

While no one gave me a $10 tip during my shopping trip yesterday with my children (although a very pregnant mother so kindly offered to let us go ahead of her in the check-out lane—and then insisted we traded places!), I have been contemplating what makes us the kind of mothers others take note of (and may even tip!). Here are some thoughts:
  • Smile at your children! 
  • Act like you enjoy them, even if the feelings aren’t flowing easily at any particular time. Feelings always follow actions. 
  • Speak kindly. 
  • Handle your children gently. We’ve all seen the mothers who yank their children away from things. Let’s not be “Yankees.”   
  • Be proud of your group. 
  • Be proud to be a mother! 
As Nancy Campbell writes,
 “When you go out with your children, lift your head high, put a smile on your face, and be proud to be a mother. You have the most important career in the nation. God Himself is your employer and you are determining the future of this nation.

Be a light in the midst of a society that does not embrace children. Do not be intimidated. Show your love for your children as you speak sweetly to them and are patient with them. If God has blessed you with a number of children, be proud to display your ‘blessings’ from the Lord.
You reveal to the world what God is like for He loves children. Jesus did not reject children. He welcomed the children to come to Him. (Mark 9:36-37).
There is no more beautiful picture than to see a serene and happy mother with well-trained children in tow. There can be no argument from those who don’t embrace children.”
A high calling. I’m working on becoming a more serene and happy as a mother every day, and certainly, training our children well is a constant work in progress. That’s why I’m a mom in need of His mercy. I’m so thankful that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence to find mercy and receive grace to help us daily in our time of need. There are eternal rewards. And maybe someday, there will even be a financial reward, like an out-of-the blue tip!

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Sharing with:
Women Living Well
Works for Me Wednesday @ We are That Family


  1. "How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers." (Mother Teresa)

    I loved what you said about being a "Yankee" -- having lived in upstate NY for 8 years and most of my kids born there! That's one that will stick with me! :)

    Great words to live by here!

  2. Thanks Kelli! I was not aware of the Mother Teresa quote, but I LOVE IT! Have a great day!

  3. Wow -that is neat!
    I was given a present before by a complete stranger in the grocery store parking lot before. She saw me loading up the kids and groceries and said something kind. Then 20 seconds later she popped back behind me and with movie gift card. I was just so pleasantly surprised.

  4. That's really neat, too! Once, I had a lady behind me buy my groceries, because when I went to reach for my wallet, I discovered it wasn't in my purse. (I guess I had left it at Safeway a few days before, and the manager got it--thankfully--and called the bank, who called me later).
    Anyway, when we left the store, there was a huge rainbow in the sky. I've always thought that was such an encouraging sign of God's faithfulness and how He always provides!
    Hope you got to take a fun date with your husband or kids with the gift card!
    I hope, too, that when we're older, we can be those encouraging older women to the young moms :)

  5. Great thoughts! I definitely want to show motherhood in a positive light when I'm out in public, but it is a challenge when I have all of my children with me AND I'm trying to shop. I was just reminding myself yesterday to be gentle and calm and sweet in mothering my children because that's how I would treat other children. So sad, but it's true. Sometimes I am sweeter to other children than my own.
    I've never been given cash, but last fall, I had 2 sick children, so I had to load up all 7 (including the 3 week old) and drive 50 miles to the pediatrician. I hadn't had time to pack a lunch, so we just went to Dairy Queen. I was exhausted and overwhelmed and missing my husband (who was working out of town for a month.) I put on a brave face and walked in and there was a woman at the counter placing an order who, after we ordered, gave her credit card to the cashier and said she wanted to buy our lunch. She said she was from a large family and knew what it was like. I was blessed. Not the same as someone giving you money because you are a good mother, but I do think that God sends you what you need, when you need it.
    Just as we are helping our children grow, we are growing as mothers. I know I have grown so much since my first children was born!

  6. Wow. Honestly, it sounds to me like it didn't matter what the woman saw. The mother prayed, asking God if she was a good mother, and it sounds like the Holy Spirit prompted that woman to give her some confirmation. What an awesome story!

  7. Cheryl, I'm so glad you shared this great post! We were just talking about some of these stories in our Mom Heart Group last night. I think I'll share your post in our fb group. Thanks! Hope you are having a great week!

  8. Thanks for the post! I hope my demeanor is like that woman's. It's definitely something to think about. Thanks!

  9. What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing this wonderful reminder.