Yesterday, after a particularly slow morning of tedious tasks, I decided to venture out to Trader Joe’s to stock up our fridge. I eyed the clock, knowing that I would need to move quickly if I wanted to make it back home before the rush hour traffic began. The end result was me looking mildly homeless, relying heavily on dry shampoo and a sketchy bun that was a lot more tangle than faux mess. A dab of concealer under my eyes and a sweatshirt over my head and I was out the door, slightly concerned I would see someone I knew, but reassured by the fact that they may not in fact, recognize me.
My drive was short, a mere 11-miles, perfect for starting a podcast. With Craig Groeschel chatting in the background, I drove, feeling the weight of the gray, wintery dreary Minnesota day. As I rounded my exit, the sun popped through the clouds and I couldn’t help but smile. The warm rays felt so refreshing and the short-lived need for my sunglasses made me feel hopeful that spring is near.
I found a front row parking spot, which is a simple win while grocery shopping. Armed with my list, I busted through the few aisles of Trader Joe’s, only impulsively purchasing goat cheese and a new breed of apples. (Talk about another win!)
The registers were empty and I slide my cart forward, quickly meeting my cashier, J, who shared a remarkable resemblance to Santa.
J: Why hello!
C: Hi, how are you doing today?
J: I’m wonderful. And how’s your day going?
C: It’s going good, thanks!
Then without a pause, J asked: What about it has made it good?
(Sidenote: I LOVE THAT HE ASKED THAT QUESTION! I love that he prompted me to intentionally think about why my day was a good day. Love love love.)
C: You know, honestly, I got to use my sunglasses on the way over and saw the sun peeking through the clouds and that was just really refreshing. Plus, I got a front row spot, so that’s a bonus. (chuckle)
J: That’s so wonderful. Every day we wake up we are given a gift. I’m glad to hear you are looking for them in big and small ways.
C: So true. And also, I loved walking in and seeing the tulips on display. They remind me spring is coming.
J: Aren’t they beautiful? Tulips and daffodils, both are in season right now.
C: You know, I always see the daffodils but how do they work? They are just in a big crate over there with no water?
J: Daffodils have to be kept out of water because once their stems hit the water, they will blossom. Then they will bloom the most beautiful yellow blooms for about 2 days and then their purpose has been filled. It’s amazing how they will just come to life in a few hours with something as simple as water.
C: How about that!? That’s cool, thanks for sharing. Let’s add to my list that I learned something new today too.
J: Tell ya what, on your way out, stop by and grab 2 bouquets of daffodils, on me. I am going to mark it down right here, and I want you to go home and put them in water and enjoy their blooms over the next few days. Okay?
I have to admit, I felt a little emotional! It was just such a kind, simple, unexpected gesture from this man. I muttered some sincere words of appreciation, feeling a little foolish about how surprised I was at his kindness. He continued.
J: See, it’s the little things in life, isn’t it? I hope you enjoy them. There’s no such thing as too much kindness in the world! And I can do this for you so I will. Plus, I don’t just give gifts at Christmas.
(And then he gave the tenderest wink and I swear when he said that, I looked at him with wide eyes like I was talking to the real Santa Clause. I have to chuckle now imagining what my face looked like.)
And with that, he handed me an empty flower bag, packed my filled grocery bags into my cart and sent me off to grab a few bouquets of daffodils. And as I walked out to my car, I couldn’t help but feel so incredibly blessed to be the recipient of this small but generous act of kindness.
So now my challenge to you: Who will you give daffodils to today? What’s a small gesture of kindness that you can do for someone who doesn’t expect it? Will it be paying for the coffee for the car behind you? Or slipping a note in the mail for a friend? Maybe it’s dropping off a bouquet of flowers to someone having a hard week. Or giving up the good parking spot at Target for a stranger. Maybe it’s offering to bring a struggling mom’s cart back to the carousel at Costco or perhaps utilizing Amazon Prime and sending a small surprise to a girlfriend. Whatever it is, large or small, monetary or not, do something kind today. The domino effect of kindness doesn’t stop there. My cashier has no idea how his gesture would affect you reading this right now, just as you have no idea how much your gesture will mean to someone else. Like the water is to the daffodils, one small action to a weary soul has the potential to refresh them, allowing them to smile, be energized and blossom.
Let’s be people who give daffodils today.
19 thoughts on “daffodils.”
Ah! You caught me at such an emotional day reading this post, but I seriously needed this. THANK YOU. What an awesome gesture that means way more than just free flowers. I loved it.
AGREE! It’s way more than free flowers! Gestures go such a long way! Love you friend!! <3
I love this! What a gift! This is totally why I love Trader Joes. And I want to remember that last question — “What about this day was good?” I love how that digs deeper.
Yes! ME TOO! It’s on my list for sure to use. Snaps for Trader Joe’s! :)
Stop it! Thank you Jesus for blessing Chelsea today! Thank you that you love her and are constantly seeking her out!
What a sweet, sweet gift! Now THAT will make your day! PS. I am glad I am not the only one who goes out in public looking like I haven’t showered in days!
Right!? That totally is a day maker! Thank you for sharing the excitement with me and also, for being real about that kind of greasy days hahah! :)
This post was amazing because it calls us to a challenge! I think it’s s refreshing to see that there are good people out there who genuinely care. So cool how God used him in such an unexpected way! This definitely calls me to look for how I can bless others. Thanks for this!
I am so glad you are willing to take the challenge! It’s so rewarding! :) And I agree, it is refreshing!
I love that he asked you to be specific about your day. How often do we ask the generic question “How are you?” And give the generic answer “Good.” What a lovely coversation and gesture. And I don’t know about your TJ’s parking lots, but in Denver you’re lucky to even get a parking spot! :-)
Right!? And it was so fluid that it was obvious he has asked it before, but also was curious to know. I love it! And YES! Their parking lots are zoooooos!
So great, Chelsea! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Sharon! :) Your comment brightens my day!
The small acts of kindness are really what gets me through life. I always try to buy a coffee for the person behind me in line, or just let someone into the line of traffic when they are trying to pull out of a parking lot. It is my hope that something little like that will turn around someone’s day. I know that it can for me. Such a wonderful story. I would honestly call and speak to the manager about how wonderful that man was (maybe not mention the flowers just in case lol) but managers get so used to dealing with upset customers I’m sure he’d love to hear about the nice man at the checkout line :) The flowers are beautiful – thank you for sharing!
Great idea! I’d love to pass that along to him, great thinking!!!! And isn’t it so true? The small acts are what keep me going too!!!! Thanks for being a light in the world!
Why am I crying?!
Ha! I love it! I am so a cryer too!!! <3
I loved this post and will definitely be “buying daffodils” for someone today. It is the best feeling to bring a smile to someone unexpectedly. Thank you!!!
YES! It is the best thing! Would love to hear how you brightened someones day! :)
Love, Love, Love this story!!! I always knew Santa Claus was real! ;)