In the past, I have written posts about some of the acts of kindness and service I have been moved to do. And then, not to boast, proudly posted about some of the other acts of service the guys in my accountability group have done. Well, today my wife had a good day being moved by God to serve and be open to His guidance and calling. Below are her words.

Sunday night there was a local family who suffered a terrible loss. Not only did their house catch fire and burn but their 6 year old daughter perished in the fire. I have been wanting to do something to help anyone this Christmas season but I have failed miserably. So Monday night during my accountability group the question came up on what action I was going to do this week. I said two things: 1) start doing devotions with my husband 2) help the family who lost so much in that fire. Well, Tuesday rolled around and I did not make that promised call to the Red Cross. The day came and went. I woke up this morning and my only intention was to stay in my pajamas and bake. I also had a terrible headache. You see, lately when God is trying to tell me something I get a pounding headache. This morning I woke up with a doozy. I knew why — “Help that family” God was saying. Selfishly I didn’t feel like it but I put some jeans on, didn’t bother with my hair or face and went out the door to WalMart. I had printed out a list of their needs from a news story. This is going to sound awful but I wasn’t getting a happy fuzzy warm feeling doing this. I loaded the cart and bought at least 2 of everything they needed. Toys for their youngest child, clothes for all of them, shoes for all of them, even some blankets I proudly found on clearance. Done. Let me pay and drop it off and get home.

As I headed to the register, I was stopped by woman I knew from my son’s Scout troop. She was just as happy as could be — a big smile and a heart of gratitude. I asked her how things were because I hadn’t seen her in at least 6 months. She talked about her own house catching fire and how she had to do most of the repairs herself. How two of her daughters and suffered terrible accidents but were recovering. All she could do was express gratitude and how blessed they were. She said they persevere and always count their blessings. Her joy was flying off her. I couldn’t help but be a little jealous and felt very selfish. You see, I had heard about what had happened to her months before and never did anything to help. I failed.

On to the register, let me get out of here. I emptied my goods onto the belt and as the cashier rang my stuff up she said to me, “This isn’t for you, is it?”. I asked how she knew. She said everything here is on her cousin’s list. You see, her cousin was the dad in the family of the house that burned. I didn’t know what to say except I was very sorry for her loss. She talked about the little girl; what a light she was; how sweet she was; how special she was. She talked about how that family was struggling but she said it’s ok because we all have each other and that’s all they needed. She said she was blessed to live in such a community that is helping to support them. She talked and talked and cried. I didn’t say a word. I was there nearly 15 minutes and nobody ever got in line behind me. Strange, because it was WalMart at Christmas time and no one got behind me in line. Maybe God knew she needed someone to talk to and put me there. OR maybe God knew I needed to hear what she had to say. She thanked me and I asked her if she could give me directions to the address I had. She replied that no one was home because they were all at the hospital. However, she told me I could drop it off at “Hucks” – a gas station down the road. I wished her a Merry Christmas and headed out.

Upon my arrival at Huck’s, I talked to the cashier who asked if I could wait while she got the owner. I went out to the car to get the bags and was greeted by the owner, the man’s best friend. He was holding his own drive to help this family. As we unloaded, there was one thing that got to my heart more than anything. He noticed I bought new shoes for each of them. With a tear in his eye he said they have never had new shoes before and that this will make them feel special. All I could think of was my endless trips to Shoe Carnival and my 50 pairs of shoes I own and never wear. Humble pie for me. When I went into the store to help him put the items in a box there was a woman who was buying a lottery ticket. She bought it and left. On my way to the car, I noticed her in a beat up old car with two car seats in the back. She was scratching off the tickets and I walked away. I thought to myself, why would she spend $5 on tickets when she has kids – that money could buy a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. I failed again, as I drove away my head was pounding. God told me it was not for me to judge.

I have learned a lot today. Actions speak louder than words. I do try but usually I just open up my check book; that’s the easiest thing for me. Jesus didn’t go the easy way, did he? Don’t just say you’ll bring someone a meal, DO IT! Don’t just say you will help, HELP. Don’t offer to donate, DONATE. Don’t talk about it, JUST DO IT!!!!

I spend money on my wants vs. needs; that is clear. I will be donating my shoes to Edge Outreach.

I won’t pass someone in need, even if I disagree with their lifestyle choices. I am not anyone’s judge for there is only one great judge.

I am blessed beyond what I deserve and I’m not always so grateful. I find things to complain about: my constant headaches, my fighting kids, my messy house, my weight, etc. Be grateful for all the good and Praise the good Lord for everything.

I came home and baked. I brought my cookies over to a neighbor’s house who was not home but her mother was visiting and informed me that my neighbor has been in terrible pain and will most likely need surgery. Her mother was so worried because she said she had to go home for a few days to get things in order and then she would return. She was concerned about what would happen to her grandson while she was gone; who would take care of him and her daughter? I wrote down my phone number and told her to call me when she left and I would be the one to help. I promised her and meant it. My headache is gone.

Devotions with my husband will be a go if he’s ready for it…

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

5 Comments

  1. Mrs. Aslowerpace says:

    I forgot about the garbage man. I gave him some cash, he said, “maam they pay me to do this job, it’s OK”. Wow, again he’s just being grateful for having a job. I told him Merry Christmas and thanked him for doing his job. And BTW I went back to WalMart this morning, and yes 3 people got behind me in line….

  2. Caroline Dyer says:

    Maria this is why I love you. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

  3. James Dyer says:

    I love it when we hear from Mrs. Aslowerpace. I hope nobody saw me when I had tears in my eyes… I’m gonna lose my man card for sure over this.

  4. Mom says:

    Yes, Maria, that day had God’s fingerprints all over it, didn’t it. Isn’t it amazing how He works! And isn’t it humbling to know He uses us.

    Love you!
    Kitty

  5. Mary Alice Haldeman says:

    Miss Maria I barely know you– yet I know your touch. Your works and love have helped my dearest ones. Your words of wisdom have helped my youngest treasure when her parents couldn’t. You are truly a blessing to many.
    You are there when others truly need you. God bless and THANK YOU.

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