Thursday, November 19, 2009

A "God Sighting" Among the Flowers

One morning as I drove to work listening to my favorite radio station, listeners were calling in sharing their stories of “God sightings”. Everyone who called in had a unique story, some small and some huge, but they were all stories of events that had taken place in their lives that they recognized as having been orchestrated by God. They were proud to share them with others, and rightfully so.

So, here is my “God sighting”. It is a story that is special to me because God’s handwriting is all over it.

It all began on Friday, June 19 while shopping. As I have already shared in a previous entry, I woke up on this particular morning with an overwhelming desire to start this blog. It had been on my mind off and on for quite some time, but not like this day. Prior to this, I had gone as far as to write down some ideas I had for a title. None of them felt right, so I sort of gave up, knowing God would give me a title when it was time. In case you are curious, one of my ideas was “Turning A Molehill Into A Mountain”. And while not such a bad idea, I knew it was not the one.

So, why was I making such a big deal over the title? It just was for me. My journey is a big deal. This blog is a big deal, every aspect of it, including the title.

Our mall’s location, as well as, some of my favorite stores, T.J.Maxx being one, are located on one side of town and a very few others, such as Steinmart and Trees- N-Trends are located on another. Normally I would go to the mall area , but for a reason I cannot remember, I went to Steinmart. My daughter also works in the part of town where Steinmart is located. While there, I felt an urgency to buy her a “happy”. I had sensed through some of the messages she had been putting on her phone’s contact information that she was having a bad week at work. I prayed and asked God to show me something special to buy her. And then I walked directly to an area where I spotted a pair of slippers (fuzzy, white, made to look like flip-flops). Perfect! She works very long hours at her job, stands all day, deals with a tremendous amount of pressure and stress, and also has some medical issues with her feet. I also bought her a bath sponge (one like she loves) and some yummy smelling bath gel. (She has an obsession with bath and beauty products. One year for Christmas, I found a cute duffle bag for her and filled it with all sorts of bath and beauty products purchased at Wal-Mart. This was not her main gift, but she has always remembered this one and still talks about it today.)

I needed to take my purchases to her at her job, so I wanted to present them to her in something other than a plastic bag, and I also wanted to give her a card. Steinmart’s gift bags are located in the very back of the store, tucked away in the corner. I think I forgot on this particular day that they even carried gift bags, causing me to make a trip to another store. I went to Big Lots located in the same shopping center directly behind Steinmart.

Now, comes a confession: I have a quirk! Actually, I have more than one, but I will only let you in on this one for now. It involves gift wrap, gift bags, and cards. They have to match! I do not know why, they just have to!

I found a pretty gift bag fairly quickly. The bath sponge I purchased was on a handle, so the bag had to be kind of tall. The one I chose (not really many to choose from that wasn’t birthday, wedding, baby, etc.) was muted green with a picture of three or four long stemmed flowers (maybe Gerber daises, not sure) across the front. I liked the bag, now off to find a card, a matching card!!

The cards were located on an aisle across and behind the aisle with the gift bags. I scanned the cards for a few minutes and could not find one that was appropriate or that (well, you know) matched! I thought I could find one that was blank on the inside so I could write my own message. With no luck in finding one I went back to the gift bags because the stationary was also on this particular aisle along with the packaged thank you and invitation cards. I thought I could possibly find something there, but again, no luck. I repeated this: scanned through the cards, went back and scanned the stationary. Keep in mind that I am praying, asking God for the right card as I search.

And then I found it! I am now back at the card display for the third time. The third time's a charm, right? I don't know, but I started crying on the card aisle in Big Lots as I held in my hand THE CARD. Not “the card that would have to do”. Oh my goodness, no! It was THE CARD, the card He gave me to give to her! I fully understand and know that God is aware of my little “gift bag/card matching” quirk. (as well as all of my other ones). But, I had given up on finding a card to match the bag I had found. I had begun just hoping and searching for one that was either blank or had the appropriate words in it, not caring what color it was or what kind of picture was on the front.

All I could think of as I stood there holding this card as I sobbed was, Oh ye of little faith!! I guess I had forgotten that He cares about my little quirks. Not only did He give me the card that matched the bag I had found, it was also the card with the most wonderful and perfect words for me to share with her. It was also the card He gave to me as well. I was completely aware of the fact that He had just given me the inspiration for the title of this blog AND an idea for my first post!

Sorry for the poor quality pictures, but you get the general idea.  Remember the description of my gift bag: pastel green with long stemmed flowers! The colors do not show up very well in these pictures, but the bottom of the card, as well as, the inside is a shade of light green.

The poem on the front of the card is the same one located on my sidebar.  The inside reads: "Take time to smell the flowers, and take time for yourself".  You're very special.

Wow, what a God sighting!! What great and wonderful things He can do - even in the way of something as simple as a card!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Beach

I spent a few days this past week at the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama with a friend helping her paint and redecorate her condo.  Here are some pictures I took off the balcony of the ocean and some of the sunset one evening (the pictures did not do the sunset justice. It was breathtaking.)