Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 20: Let someone go before you in line.

Sams Club in Puerto Rico is not an easy feat. The parking lots are always crazy. The store is always full of people.

The lines are LONG..
No matter what time you go.
I dread the waiting in line.
I despise it.
The kids equally despise it.

Today, I had a cart full. I had already made several other stops before this one. My feet hurt. I was ready to home. By the time I made it to the checkout lane, I was grumpy and done.

Ian was the only one with me. He was begging to bust into the cookies sitting in the cart. I caved. He smiled. Which made the woman in front of me smile. It was a cool little chain reaction. It helped elevate the aching back, and throbbing feet.

I looked behind me to a man standing with just 3 things in his cart.

I looked back at my cart. I looked at the lady in front of me grabbing her receipt and I turned to the man behind me and said he could go ahead of me. He quickly moved around my cart without cracking a smile, a nod, a whisper of gratitude. He paid for his items and away he went.

Ian looked up at me and whispered- "He didn't even say thank you!"

After I checked out and we had loaded our groceries into the car. I explained that some people just didn't think like we did. They are so wrapped up in "To Do" lists or to busy going through the motions of life to notice the kindness around them.

Ian sat quietly next to me for a moment and than says-

"So he doesn't know how to find THANKS in GIVING, does he mom?"

I just laughed and asked him to hand me a cookie. :)

Day 19: Help to the needy.

DAY 19: Help to the needy.

As we were driving home from the $60+ grocery store trip, we saw a station wagon parked next to a dumpster with a wife and three kids sitting inside. The husband rummaging through the trash looking for cans and various other things with a stick.

As we drove past, I asked the kids if they saw what I saw? They said yes.
I asked them if we had EVER had to dig through a dumpster to find food or a source of money? They said no.

I asked Shane to open my wallet to see how much cash I had left. It was a little over 10 dollars. I pulled over and told the boys I was going to drive back and give whatever money I had left to the family.

Ian emptied out his pocket full of change. Shane grabbed all the change out of the ash tray.

I caught him just as he was getting back in the car.

My eyes watered as I gave what I had to him. I muttered "May God Bless You!"

As I walked back to the car, I prayed he wouldn't spend it on booze. That he would use it to provide for his family. That our simple act would allow him to feel HOPE and know that God was looking down upon his family.

I got back in the car to the boys smiling, asking what he had said. What I had said. I smiled as I wiped the tears away and just simply prayed again out loud-

"Thank you Lord for always providing just enough for our family, may we never take your provisions for granted! May we continue to find THANKS in GIVING what you have allowed us to have." 

I didn't grab a picture. It didn't feel apporpriate.

HUMBLING Experience..

Day 18: Give a stranger a ride.

Day 18: Give a stranger a ride.

Living on a tropical island= Being blessed with amazing weather. (most of the time)

Usually it is always sunny. And you can almost always tell when a monsoon monster is about to attack. The boys and I were out and about running errands and swung by the exchange for some last minute items before heading home.

When we entered the exchange it was bright sunny skies.

Hot! Muggy!

When we left the exchange the sky had turned dark gray. And we just made it into the car as the heavens opened up for a downpour.

As we exited the gates from the Exchange and made our way home, we noticed a man walking with a newspaper over his head and a couple bags of groceries. My first initial thought was- "Sucks for him, my babies are in the car and I promised my husband I wouldn't pick up any more random people!"

But then Ian spoke up, he must have noticed him too.

"Mom, I know that guy! He lives on base"

BINGO! A loop hole in not disrespecting my husbands wishes! 

I put the car in reverse and rolled down my window just enough to yell out- "Need a ride?" He hesitated for a moment and then smiled as he motioned towards the car, already a bit drenched.

He said he had just moved here a couple months ago and was the OS for something or another. (I really should pay more attention to other job titles besides my husbands.) He said he hadn't thought to bring an umbrella with him. I suggested it be an every day accessory, especially if he planned on continuing to walk to and from work.

The boys asked him a million different questions on our short ride home and as we dropped him off at his front door he was extremely grateful for the ride and went on his way.

When we left the Exchange I was exhausted from all the running around we had done that day. I was a bit grumpy and short with the kids. I had a goal- make it home and take a nap with Jeremiah. But after picking up that man (which he told me his name and I forgot) my heart was full of contentment. My boys were smiling. As I looked through the rear view mirror at my boys sitting in the back seat, there was a sense of peace. I could see their little minds spinning with thoughts. Hopefully, those thoughts were finding THANKS in GIVING.. I know mine were.. :)

Day 17: Treat to the Gate Guards.

Day 17: Treat to the Gate Guards. 

They stand guard 24/7 to protect us. To make us feel secure coming and leaving our home.
We are thankful for them.

They sit in that tiny little shack with no A/C fully clothed with bullet proof vests to boot. With a heavily powered pistol at their side. Many days with the intense Puerto Rico heat beaming down on them.

Yes, it is their job. They knew what they were signing up for when they agreed to take this job, but I wonder, how many people THANK them when coming in and out of the gate? I know how many people give them attitude because of expired tags, un-valid insurance, taking to long with another person holding up the line preventing them getting home quicker. I've been guilty of it myself.

(Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread for some of our favorite guards!)

I can tell you this.. I sleep better knowing that they are there. I leave things I shouldn't in my car from time to time because I feel secure. What makes me feel secure to let my children ride around at dusk, or go to a movie past dark- Knowing that we live on a base where the security officers take their job seriously. They patrol the neighborhoods while we sleep. They remind my kids to wear a helmet when they forget. They care about us and our safety. Which makes it VERY easy to find THANKS in GIVING.