Someone very special is turning fifty-something today! Happy Birthday, Renae! I know you didn’t have a choice, but I’m glad you are my sister, and even happier you are my friend!
Everybody Eat Cake! In honor of big sister’s birthday and the blog’s birthday! CHEERS!
(Posted from my phone….hope this works!)
Christmas Eve Eve. So many directions I needed to run today, but I found myself doing a work errand with my husband. That was two hours of quality time that we would not have had otherwise. As we said our goodbyes and I dropped him back at his store, my head trying to manage my time and list… I decided, since I would be out of pocket for my friend, “Bernice” at the nursing center, for a couple of days, I would run by Panera Bread and surprise her with her favorite soup and bread. But not before running into the grocery store next door and buying a cupcake for Lenora, who reminded me last week that today was her birthday. And that she loved chocolate. Smile. As I stood in the back of the line at Panera, glancing at the clock and scrolling through my phone, I heard a little voice, “Ma’am. Ma’am.” I continued to scroll and then the little voice became a bit louder. “MA’AM!” I turned around to see a little blond headed girl, maybe three or four years old, leaning over the booth with her hand extended towards me. “This is for you! Merry Christmas!” I glanced at her parents on either side, then I reached out to the little hand, still reaching towards mine, and took the tiny little candy cane in my hand. I thanked her and wished her a Merry Christmas.
As my day continued, I didn’t get half of my to do’s done. There will be no cowboy cookies traveling in our car tomorrow. No strawberry cake. The “wrapped” with care gifts are mostly stuffed bags. But that’s okay. The little one with the beautiful smile reminded me what it’s really all about. It’s not the wrapping or the gift. It’s the joy from the heart that makes the difference.
Bless the child. Bless her parents. Merry Christmas!
A few months ago I shared about my friend, Bernice, that lives in a nursing center. She has had some health issues lately and has needed extra daily love and care.
A conversation with hubby today…. “I really don’t feel like going today, I mean, I really wouldn’t mind a day to stay home and curl up on the sofa.” But she counts on you…. “I know. And I have her blanket I washed. She needs that.”
A conversation with Bernice at the nursing center a little later…. “Hi Bernice, how are we today?” Oh honey, I just knew you would come. If it weren’t for you I don’t know how I would make it. I know you must be getting tired of coming, but I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. I love you so much. “You mean a lot to me, Bernice, and you are a strong woman.” I don’t feel very strong. If I rest a while, will you be here when I wake up? “Of course I will.” Then here, hold my hand…
I’m not even sure why this topic came up, as hubby and I splurged on soup and salad at Panera Bread last night….. but he told me about a guy that used to work for him when we lived in another state, and he said that at least once a week, this employee would thank him for his job. This man also shared that in his opinion, the greatest sin in this world was ungratefulness. While I understand that we are not supposed to rank sins, the more we processed this opinion, the more sense it made.
Doing unexpected things for others is something I enjoy. From letting someone go in front of you in line at the store to surprising a friend with a mid-afternoon iced tea at work, that single moment of “you did this for me?” is a little high. Perhaps I am shining the light on the fact that I am a selfish giver? That is not my intention. My purpose is for that person to be reminded that they matter.
But is it harder to give when it is expected? Is it even a gift when it’s not from your heart? As we come into this season of Thanksgiving, are we pausing to be thankful? Are we making our list and checking it twice out of obligation and tradition?
I want to strive to be more grateful for the little things and the big things. I am going to give from my heart and hope it is understood. I am going to attempt to smile when I’m on the phone so that it will be “heard” on the other end of the line. (possible exception would be the insurance adjuster from my summer car accident! ha!) I am going to put my smart phone aside when I am with others and be in the moment. How can future generations teach kindness and gratefulness and attentiveness, if they do not know it?
May we all be grateful. Not just in November, but every day. May we recognize reminders of our blessings. The sun in the winter, the diamonds in the snow, the giggle of a baby, the warm soup on the stove, an old photograph. You will know. And you will smile.
The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough~