Friday, November 18, 2016

Deeper Things: Unexpected Gifts

This week has been filled with unexpected gifts from unexpected places. They began on Monday when I found a lovely bouquet of flowers tucked behind my windshield wipers at the grocery store. A girlfriend I had seen at the gym earlier that morning must have seen me in the grocery store afterwards and had somehow managed to buy me flowers and find my car in the parking lot before I had finished paying for my stuff.  It was SUCH a thoughtful and meaningful gesture.
Just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes, especially when I think about what this incredible woman has been through the past two years.  Fresh flowers bring me a ridiculous amount of joy.

The second unexpected gift occurred when my friend's husband offered to watch all six of our children so that his wife and I could capitalize on the 50% off sale at Value Village. Not only was it nice to have a child free outing, especially since my hubby is away on a nine day hunting trip, but is was also nice to spend time with my new friend Melissa, whom I grow more fond of each time I see.

The third unexpected gift was finding an exquisite pantsuit originally priced at 525$ for 20$ at Value Village. When I checked the size my initial thought was - "it's too small".  For some reason I seem to have a difficult time gauging whether something will fit me.  I often assume that I am smaller than I actually am. It's a nice way to think of oneself, until you try to pull an item over your head only to find that it is not going to get past your shoulders or thighs. I thought for sure that this would be case with said pantsuit. Nevertheless,  I felt the Lord whisper "just try it", so I tossed it into my cart and headed to the change room. As I tentatively tried on the jacket in front of a mirror since the change rooms were all full, I  cringed inwardly, convinced that it was not going to fit. But it did! It fit me beautifully. It was only after I tried on the jacket that I noticed the original  tags still attached. I didn't recognize the brand, but the label said that it was made in Canada and 98% wool. SCORE!!!! I have never owned something so expensive and fancy in my life so I was pretty thrilled to find it. The neat thing is, I was able to wear to an interview the following day. My God is such a good God.

The fourth unexpected gift took place this morning when I got home from walking my children to school with two grumpy toddlers in tow. Levi had woken up at 5am and had refused to return to sleep and my five year old had been incredibly defiant and difficult that morning.  I felt grumpy, bedraggled and tired. All I wanted to do was curl into a ball and cry. To my surprise I opened my front door to discover some unfamiliar boots in my entryway and voices upstairs. My initial reaction was panic since I was certain I was not hosting mom's group until the following week and was completely unprepared.  And by unprepared I mean that I had not brushed my hair or teeth, swept the floors, put out chairs, made coffee....ect. Thankfully the two mom's that had arrived before me had already started washing the dishes and making coffee. My panic gave way to joy when I realized that spending the morning in the company of some incredible mommas and enjoying a cup of coffee I didn't make, was exactly what I needed. So, despite being unprepared, mom's group went off without a hitch. Chairs were arranged, heart's were shared, tears were shed, babies were snuggled and everyone left more uplifted and encouraged then when they had arrived.

The fifth unexpected gift arrived just  as I was finishing this blog post. I heard a knock on the door and opened it to find my neighbor handing me a large box. Inside: three HUGE play Mobil advent calendars for my children, each calendar thoughtfully selected for their age and preferences. I was blown away. BLOWN AWAY. More than the cost, which is significant, was the fact that she had taken the time to order them months ago. Not only that, this particular woman has her hands FULL.  I am in awe of her ability to work full time, provide a safe and loving home for  foster children, take on eleven puppies, several horses and do so with apparent ease. She is nothing short of amazing!

That being said, I can't help but feel immense gratitude, not only for my friends, but also for my heavenly father who cares about the intimate and seemingly insignificant details of my life. While I was the recipient of kindness this week I was reminded how He loves to partner with us in encouraging and uplifting those around us. We are, essentially, called to be the hands and feet of Christ. When he places things on our hearts to do for someone, it is because he knows exactly they need. Life is not always easy, sometimes it is heartbreaking, but we can lift one another up and breath hope and life into eachother's weary bones. Go and be the blessing that you are.

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