Motherhood is a constant learning experience. Every week there’s something new you thought you had already figured out, but no. Reality shows up, smacks you in the face, robs you of whatever confidence you have in yourself, and promises to come back next week and do it all over again. At least that’s how it happens in this house. This week, I learned that I can no longer buy “the good orange juice”. And here’s why:

You see, I typically buy generic orange juice, seeing as how you can get an entire gallon of it for almost half the price of a smaller jug of the name brand. And it normally lasts the whole week. Dave and I usually don’t drink it, and the kids never complained, so it’s been a pretty good arrangement for us.

But last week, the Tropicana was on sale, so my husband and I thought, “Sure. Why not? Our little angels deserve a little fresh-squeezed goodness sometimes.” And I smiled to myself as I placed it in the cart, counting up the cool mom points I was going to score when the kids saw this one.

Fast forward to the next morning. The kids were getting cereal bowls, Dave was making eggs, I was packing lunches, and everything seemed to be pretty normal until someone pulled out the Tropicana.

Immediately, the mood among the kids changed. They started grabbing for glasses and clamoring for cups. Elbows were flying as they rushed to the table to be the first to pour the precious juice. And over the usual morning racket, I began to hear the bickering. Child B was yelling at A for choosing the “largest glass possible”. Child D was fussing because no one would pour any juice for her. Child C was mad because Child A didn’t pour enough for her, and every child was stating their case for orange juice justice to Mom and Dad who were the only ones completely speechless for the moment.

Who knew that Not From Concentrate could have this much power over people? It was the most blatant display of self-interest I think I’ve ever seen in my house. Dave and I stared at each other in disbelief, until the sad verdict was finally announced that if this is what Tropicana does to us, then we will henceforth and forever, (or until the last child goes to college) buy only generic orange juice in this family. The sad silence hung over the breakfast table for approximately 3 seconds while the new information sunk in, afterward producing a new surge of selfish propensity, heightened by the “last chance” desperation factor.


“Those kids!” I muttered as the last one walked out the door to school. “Well if that’s how they’re going to act, then they’ll be missing out on a lot of Tropicana.”

Then, not like the usual ton of bricks, but more like a clean, refreshing wave gushing over me, I got it.

“Ah! So that’s it, Lord.” And I realized: I’ve been missing out, too. But, on what, I wondered? What have my attitude, my actions, my lack of attention to the right things, been causing me to miss? Oh, I’m blessed, for sure, but what more could I be enjoying? What more could my kids be experiencing, if only I would get my act together? What might the Lord bless me with if He knew I would handle it well?

More influence? More time? More financial gain?

{He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good… Proverbs 16:20}

And maybe even more prayers answered the way I hope they will be?

{If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me… Psalms 66:18}

I’ve known these things for as long as I can remember. But, every now and then, I need a reminder that I need to be living it.

He’s promised it. He willwithhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly. I don’t want any of God’s good things withheld from me. Not even orange juice. How about you?