This is the season for reflecting and thinking about all the things we have to be thankful for. This year I find myself being a little emotional when I think of all I am thankful for. I have three (true) stories I have been thinking about constantly and wanted to share them. They have been unwilling to leave my mind and have truly changed my perspective!
#1 After a few hours of picking up wet soggy leaves, Carson, Hannah, and I headed off to our local 7-11 for a well deserved slurpee. I didn't bother changing my clothes or cleaning up at all and needless to say we weren't looking our best. Carson had a dirt smudge on his face and dirty wet knees from kneeling on the grass. Hannah had red watery eyes from being outside and wet knees too. We were all wearing our work clothes which were now pretty dirty.
We ran in the store grabbed our slurpee and went to the cash register to pay. The total popped up and I started digging through my purse. I was certain I had enough coins to pay the total and continued to rummage. I could have easily slipped the cashier my debit card or the $10.00 bill I had, but you know how it is-I didn't want to use those for my 1.92 tab. I still needed to find 5 cents when the man behind me reached over and provided the nickle. He said to me "Here you go, don't worry about it. I've had hard times too."
I turned to look at him and embarrassingly explain "Oh no, I have the money..." but I stopped. This man looked as though he had lived through hard times and they weren't over yet. In my imperfect eyes, I thought I should have been giving this guy some money not the other way around. I simply smiled and said "Thank you" and he smiled back and cooed to my baby.
My heart was humbled and it reminded me of the story of the Widow's Mite (Mark 12:41-44).
I have much yet I give little.
#2 We have been feeding the ducks at Beus Pond as often as we can. On this particularly week as we were getting out of the car, a disabled man was unloading the trunk of his car-which was FULL of bread. The man saw Carson and asked Carson if he wanted some more bread to feed the ducks with. Carson happily accepted the bread and we took our arms full of bread down to the feeding dock.
The man continued to tell me that every day he goes to a different set of stores and asks them for the bread that is expired (that they would normally throw away he said) and brings it all to feed the ducks. He said he worries about the ducks and wants to make sure they are getting enough to eat.
You all know I have a soft spot for animals and this made me want to cry! I couldn't imagine all the time and effort it took this man to go to the stores, gather the bread, and bring it to the pond each and every day. I know they are "just" ducks but they are also one of God's creations. It made me think we are all in this same big world, just trying to do our best each day, and make a difference somehow. This man made a difference.
#3 Another money story. A few nights ago Cam and I were discussing money while Carson was drawing at the kitchen table. We were not arguing. The conversation consisted of Cam trying to convince me that we should invest in another rental property with me trying to talk him out of it! It wasn't really about money as much as it was about the time it would take Cam away from being home.
Carson got the impression that we needed more money to be able to buy the rental property. He tapped us on the shoulder and slipped us this note. My son knows only to give.
Click to enlarge.
I am blessed. I am grateful. I can do better. I want to do better. I can give. I can make a difference. I am thankful for these small stories to help me see what is truly important and just how blessed I am. I have much to be thankful for.