Stop and smell the flowers…

Lately I’ve been fighting this internal battle, it’s not new to me, but it’s still hard. The usual thoughts…why me, why us, where is the good, why can’t I get to where I want to be, how many more sacrifices, why God? And the list goes on. The guilt I face everyday for being physically unable to do the things that used to be be so easy, can be so frustrating. I want to be better, I want to exercise, I want to be a better mom and a better wife, I want want want…

But, God obviously has other plans for me. I’m not angry with God (at this particular moment) but life does seem very unfair at times and it’s easy to get down. 

But, I NEED to talk about three positive and uplifting things that have happened to me recently that just reminds me of the good in the world. These incidents have shown me that despite my health obstacles, despite what’s on tv, and what’s going on in the world, that there still is good in this world and that God is always working. I don’t think I focus enough on the postive and I think it would do a body good for everyone to have a few subtle, but monumental positive experiences in their lives and truly be aware and gracious for them.  

  
As most of you know, we are currently in the process of moving. We found a beautiful home in the middle of Bethany and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. We are buying it privately and the title company was moving at a snail’s pace, but the current owners gave us the keys early and have allowed us to paint, get appliances, change the bathroom, etc to our liking and we don’t even officially close until this Tuesday. The fact that these once complete strangers let us into their vacant home, gave us the keys, and said “go for it” has been such a blessing. We have been able to work at our own pace. Move what we can and work on what we want without being rushed and without it completely wiping me out. I have been able to help some…not as much as I would like but we are so incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to get everything ready on our own schedule.  
  
The second blessing happened the other night at Kohls. As most women are aware Kohls is great at the vicious cycle of sending a certain % off in the mail, plus giving you the Kohl’s cash depending on how much you spend. I have to admit, it’s a clever strategy and one that I fall into easily, especially since we are moving. I needed to buy some new frames and couldn’t find a cart. I had about six very large frames that I was lugging around with me through out the store. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to most but I have no strength or muscles left. So I literally felt like my arms were being ripped from their sockets and I was going to tip over. I finally made it to the check out lane and a very sweet lady in front of me told me to go ahead of her. This complete stranger had no idea that I am currently sick and weak, but she did it out of the kindness of her heart. We started talking and she was very sweet. She then slips over to me a 30% off coupon and compared to my 15% off it was just awesome and so kind and thoughtful. The cashier rang me up and I gave her my Kohl’s cash, the 30% off coupon, and my card. Soon after she was putting the frames in bags she realized that she forgot to use my Kohl’s cash.  Ugh. This poor lady who let me go ahead of her was now going to have to wait longer because she had to call the manager to come and fix it. I felt horrible about the whole situation and at this point I am running on fumes and know that I need to get back home ASAP. So the manager finally comes and I keep apologizing to this nice lady that  let me in front of her and finally everything gets taken care of. In return, I earned another 20.00 dollar kohl’s cash and so I turned around and handed it to the sweet stranger that showed me such kindness. I didn’t need that, and it was one of the only ways I knew how to show her how much it meant to me for her to allow me to go ahead of her. She was shocked and so were many others standing around. To see the shock on these peoples’ faces just proved to me that many have given up on humanity and selfless acts of kindness. But, they are there if you look hard enough.  
  
The third and most powerful thing that recently happened to me brought me to tears. My mom, dad, Parker, and Amelia and I were at Culvers the other night getting supper after a long day. I thought for sure the kiddos were being wild and acting up, I was also exhausted and running once again on fumes. We got our food, said our blessing, and then began to eat. Parker was busy telling us stories about his day and every now and then Amelia would lean over with a ketchup kiss and plant one on me. It was perfect chaos. As we were finishing up, I gathered up the trash and threw it all away and as I was walking back to the table a very nice lady stopped me. She grabbed my hands and said, “I just want you to know that you are a great mother and you are doing such a good job. Your kids are wonderful and your family is filled with such a kind spirit.” I started crying, I’m sure most parents out there can relate when I say that I never think I am doing good enough. I especially have my moments when my patience is tried, all the right buttons are pushed, and I’m excited for bedtime. But this beautiful stranger made me feel appreciated, made me proud, and made me feel like I was getting something right regardless of being sick or healthy. She began to cry and then we hugged one another. It was a beautiful moment shared between complete strangers and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I returned to the table and instantly everyone wanted to know who that lady was and I simply said, “I have no idea, but she and I were supposed to meet tonight, and she was full of encouragement that I needed to hear.”  
 
So, yes there is still good in the world! And yes, people appreciate you and others if you just stop for a moment to “smell the flowers” I think we would all notice more positive and less negative. We would all feel a little more special instead of taken advantage of. It’s all about perspective and treating others how you want to be treated. I’ve had time to stop and smell the flowers in a forever busy world and my heart is full because of it. When was the last time you stopped to smell the flowers?  
 

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