Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot sunny day? Our family sure does, especially with a warm cookie at the bottom of the bowl. The other day as I scooped vanilla ice cream for my girls, I asked one of my daughters if she remembered the story of the bowls I was serving them in. She didn’t, so I gladly told it to her. It’s such a sweet memory, that I thought I’d share it with you!
Back in 2005, my husband and I moved from our home in Plano, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas for a 10-month church-planting training program. We had a heart to start a church in North Carolina that would “connect people to Jesus for life change”. There were so many details that would be worked out over the course of the almost year that we were there, but the decision to leave was very difficult. It left us quitting really good jobs, selling our home, saying good-bye to friends and moving to a place we had never lived. Oh, and I was 7 months pregnant with our first child when we arrived. We’ve always had a thing about multi-tasking!
We were beginning to raise support (like missionaries) for our early church-planting years, so our budget was much different from when I was working. One Fall morning, I went to the grocery store to buy a few things and spotted the most adorable ice cream dishes. They looked like waffle cones dipped in chocolate with sprinkles on top. It was probably my maternal instinct kicking in, but I immediately wanted those little dishes. I could imagine my children giggling and eating out of them on some future day (when I actually had children of my own) and it was a glorious sight, right there in the middle of Kroger.
A moment later, reality set in… I didn’t have the budget to buy these little “bowls of joy” and even though I might be able to squeeze them in, we didn’t “need” to buy anything else since we’d be moving again in about 9 months. I put them back on the shelf and walked away. I told myself that “someday” I would buy little waffle ice cream bowls for my children.
Fast-forward about 3 months.
I was sitting at a Christmas party with a bunch of the staff from Fellowship Little Rock and all the church planters and their wives. We ate some good food, laughed and talked, and then there was a gift exchange. As these exchanges typically go, some gifts are complete junk and others are like hitting the jackpot!
Well on that day, I hit the jackpot. After lots of stealing trading of gifts, as I recall the rule was each gift could be traded twice, my husband and I left with the very bowls I had held in my hands that day in Kroger!! I was ecstatic!
Now, this probably seems silly to some, but when you’re stepping out into the great unknown and asking God to do big things that only He can do, you take note when He does even the littlest things to catch your attention. To me, it felt like He was saying, I love you. I know the hairs on your head. I know that what you’re doing is scary to you and I care. I even care about the ice cream bowls you wanted for your future children. He had my attention and He’s had my allegiance for much of my life, because you see, He does care and He does love intimately and He does know the heart’s of His children. And each time I scoop a little ice cream for my four little girls, I look at those four waffle cone ice cream bowls and I’m reminded again.