Whooo hoooo! Another Friday! My dad sent this to me this morning and I feel like it’s fitting:
Here we go!
Favorite Moment: After all our family had left after such a fun trip, Josh and I got to enjoy a date night and boy, did we have a blast! We first headed down to St. Paul where our friend Jason’s food truck (Jake’s Street Grill – check them out if you are in the Twin Cities area!) was stationed at an outdoor festival. We saved our weekly “cheat meal” for this occasion and Josh enjoyed some wings and I had lobster and shrimp tacos. OMG – SO GOOD! Anytime you put fresh seafood on a corn tortilla and add fresh pico, guac and cheese, well, you can bet I am swooning. From there we took a pit stop at Cabella’s, which is a favorite store of my hubby’s, a breeze through Starbucks for a cup of tea, and then we drove to the drive-in theater where we parked, played cards for an hour, then leaned back into the thousands of pillows and blankets we brought. We watched Planes 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy – both great! The weather was perfect and the company was my favorite. :)
Favorite Drink: I love Yogi teas and have found 3 that I have particularly been crushing on the last few weeks. I love the Green Team Blueberry Slim Tea iced, the Berry Detox hot and the Bedtime tea at night. Holy cow, the Bedtime tea knocks me out like a drug! There is something magical that is laced in there that puts my mind into an instant sleep-mode. Give them a try! (Plus the tags always have such a great little sayings on there too.)
Favorite Act of Obedience: You know those times when you are prompted to do something and you ignore it? And then the times that you are prompted to do something and you follow through? Well, I had one of those this week and am so glad that I listened to His gentle whisper.
It happened yesterday at the end of a long work day. My bladder was pleading for me to drive faster and my brain was reminding me of the meal I signed up to bring to a church friend and the groceries I had yet to buy for it. Stop now, make your bladder your motivator to get through Aldi fast. I swung through the store, racing around and pulled up to the front to check-out, noticing 2 cashiers working, one with a long line behind her and the other empty, just finishing checking someone out. I dashed to the near empty line and that’s when I noticed him. (He looked like a Bill, so that’s what I will call him.) He was about 40, standing far away from the register, almost in the first aisle, but facing the register.
Me (C): Are you in line?
B: Well, yes kinda of, you see …
And that’s when I noticed all that was going on. He had several copper rings wrapped around his neck, large ones, almost touching his belly button. His head was covered in a fishing hat that looked like it was lined with aluminum foil. On his right shoulder he held more large metal rings, those ones silver and he was resting on a cane while leaning into his cart. Around his neck he wore a huge cardboard sign that said “SEVERE EPILEPSY – PLEASE, NO CELL PHONE NEAR ME.”
B: You can go ahead, you see I have to wait for her to come to me …
C: Oh gosh, you’re fine, no worries, I will just go in this other line.
My brain was still trying to process everything and I turned to wait in the long line while I observed several other people coming up to him to see if they could scoot in front. Thankfully everyone decided to either pass him and come to my line or wait behind him. People were starting to stare and I started feeling this deep nudge in my gut of empathy for this man. I watched as the cashier walked over to him and he handed her his credit card for the purchase. She was relatively pleasant and he explained that he couldn’t go near the register so would wait by the boxes for her. He then slowly held out his hand and I observed as he struggled for nearly a minute to open up his fist and drop some change into her hands for a few bags. By then it was my turn in line and I was pulled away from watching his struggle. As I breezed through, swiped my card, packed up my bags and turned, I noticed him standing by the door waiting and watching as the cashier rang everything up. My heart and my head just kept screaming to do something, say something, acknowledge him. (My bladder was screaming RUN FOR THE CAR!) I moved quickly to walk towards him as he turned to walk towards the door. There was an old lady, probably in her mid 80’s between us. He set the pace for the exit line, which seemed like it was in slow motion. You could tell every step was painful. He moved so slow that the old lady behind him gave an exasperated sigh and muttered “oh man, come on” more than once. His metal rings were banging and each move he made seemed to be in difficult. I waited patiently behind him as the old lady blew past him. I looked to my right where my car stood and to my left, where he was slowly turning and I knew I had to act.
C: Can I help you load those up in your car?
B: Really? You would?
C: Absolutely, let me bring these bags to my car and drop my cell phone off and I will be right back.
By the time I did that, he managed to move a few feet and I slowly walked with him back to his vehicle, where we unhinged the back of his blue beaten down truck. My mind was racing, what do I say? Just talk to him, the voice whispered back loudly.
C: How’s was your day today?
B: chuckled Hard.
C: I have to say, I really admire your drive to come out here today and get these groceries. It looked really hard. The line, the looks, I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. You have severe epilepsy?
B: I actually have muscular dystrophy and the epilepsy is a side effect from that. It’s really hard. He managed a small smile.
C: How hard, you still seem to manage to have a good attitude despite it.
B: No, you should see me when I get home. It’s really really hard to keep living. The cell phones are so hard, when people have them near me, it can set me into a severe seizure. I ask people to put them away in stores and they say no. I had a seizure in a store the other day and a man just stepped over me while on his phone. No one sees me. Less and less stores are willing to help me. The cell phone towers made it hard. I don’t have a good attitude, I just try to make it through each day.
By then I had everything loaded into the back of his truck.
C: Let me return your cart, I will be right back with your quarter.
As I pushed the cart back, my heart ached for him. I turned back, returning with his quarter as he slowly loaded his metal rings into his car.
B: Why did you stop? His voice started to shake. No one ever stops. No one ever notices me. I am just a big inconvenience to people.
My emotions were starting to take over and my words weren’t articulate anymore.
C: I stopped because I noticed you and I saw how hard this must be for you. I admire your persistence to come out here and buy your groceries and face the difficulty that it must be.
We soon after wrapped up our conversation and I headed back to my car and drove home. The whole way I drove home I was so mad at myself for not asking his name, for not telling him that I would pray for him, for not even thinking to tell him that I stopped because God put it on my heart to do so. I wish I would have grabbed his hands and prayed out loud for him. I was so mad at myself for not letting him know who I represented. But even in those moments of self-frustration, I heard But you saw him. And that’s what he needed today. Let Me handle the rest.
Friends, I am so glad I saw Bill. I am so glad that I followed through on those promptings and was richly and deeply blessed by my encounter with him. If you could, stop right now and say a prayer for him. God knows his first name, He knows his pains, his struggles, his worries, his hardships. Pray that God will renew his spirit, that others would see Bill too and that he wouldn’t feel so alone. When we obey, God acts. We may never know how, but we can leave that part up to Him. (And just so you know, I actually didn’t even think twice about my bladder from the time I said something to Bill until the time I walked in the door.)
Favorite Quote: “Intentionally look around for measures of joy each day … Remember joy is a choice we make, not a feeling we hope to get from our circumstances. It’s good to look for the good to celebrate it, even in small ways.” –Lisa Terkeurst-
Favorite Meal: I got to enjoy a patio night with some girlfriends earlier this week and loved it. My salad was amazing, but even more so, I am so thankful for friends who can laugh together and do life with.
Favorite Funnies: Alright, this has gotten long so I will wrap this up with some giggles for the day. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!
But wait, there’s more!!! Here’s an added bonus Favorite –
Favorite TV Clip: Bobbie Thomas opened up about her journey with IVF on the Today Show this week and I found it incredibly touching. One of the best videos I have seen about what’s it’s like. If you want to peer into our world for a few minutes today, I encourage you to check out this link. — click here for the video. (The image below is just an image and will not direct you to the video. You will likely get a 15-second commercial prior to the video starting.) I promise, it’s worth it.