I have a hard time believing that things are purely coincidental. I lean more towards believing and being in awe of how God seems to somehow bring seemingly random things together at just the right time. These past two weekends have been perfect examples of that. However, I am still trying to sift through all my emotions and thoughts about last weekend so I will share about my crazy day today…
About 2 months ago the kids and I were in Target. LONG story short (at least for this part 🙂 ) I saw this elderly woman trying to work one of the kiosks at the front. It seemed obvious to me that she was confused and unable to find what she was looking for, so I offered to help. She was looking for a wedding registry and couldn’t figure it out. As I tried to help, her husband came in, and naturally, my children engaged in constant conversation. I don’t even remember what all they talked about, but at one point in time Sam said: “Ok. Mom. This is my new friend, Mr. Jim. He said he would read me a book if I came to his house. He loves to read and so do I, so I need you to give him your phone number because we are friends.”
The couple both seemed delighted by Riley and Sam and their “amazing vocabulary.” (I just like to talk a lot :)) We all began to talk. Jim’s company, years ago, had a King Air and he enjoyed talking with me about Ryne and his new job. I talked with Mrs. Joann about where we were from, what we did, etc. She told me that most of their kids lived in different states. One thing led to another and we exchanged numbers. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and we (the kids and I) went to their house to visit and for dinner. The kids insisted that we do “our thing” we do at dinner. (we go around the table and share one thing that was the worst part of our day or something that made us sad, and the best part of our day or something that made us happy. It has been a GREAT conversation starter for us and we have learned a lot about Riley and Sam we wouldn’t have known otherwise…) I felt a load of bricks hit my chest when Mr. Jim said the worst part of his day was calling his daughters to tell him he had lung cancer again. Turns out he had found out the day before and they had called all their children, hours before we came over. The next bit of the evening was spent asking questions, praying, and of course, Jim read Sam a book.
Fast forward to today. The kids and I were in Tyler running some errands. I was selling some things and was supposed to meet up with someone who was a no show. I decided to take the kids to Chik-fil-a so I could use their wifi and try to get ahold of her… While we were eating this family walked in. I noticed them because they had 6 children (later I found out ranging from 2-12) and they all looked SO CUTE!! I remember thinking “Goodness… how did that mom get up, and get all 6 of her kids looking so adorable? And they are all so well mannered!!” (I rolled out of bed, threw clothes on today, and prayed I didn’t see anyone I knew :)) So just before I left, I stopped the woman and told her that she had such a beautiful family. Her children were so well behaved and cute to boot! We exchanged small conversation. She asked where I was from, where did I live, etc. Her husband piped in: “You just moved to Jacksonville? Your husband is a pilot? – Do you Know Jim and Joann?”
Turns out they are neighbors to our new, dear friends, Mr. Jim and Mrs. Joann. Mrs. Joann had told this woman all about me and my kids because we had made such an impression on her. Joann was sure that we would be good friends… During our conversation we just happened to talk about many different things that I have been praying about lately. She is the National Vice president of an international company that sells through consultants. Listening to some of her testimony was inspiring to me about so many different thoughts and ideas that I have had lately. We too exchanged numbers and went our own ways. (this whole conversation delayed me from leaving by about 45 minutes)
THEN I went outside to find that I had a flat tire. (Did I mention that Ryne is out of state?) I felt the tears well up inside of me. I turned around and before I could cry, there was a man- standing right there- Mr. Rodney. He told me that he noticed my tire when he went into eat so he had been watching to see whose it was in case they needed help. (Wow. Thank. You. SO. Much) My flat turned out to be a difficult tire to change… First of all, it was 40 degrees outside and misty. We had a hard time finding the spare, getting to the spare, getting bolts off, tools got busted, had to ask multiple strangers if they had special tool, more strangers came to help. When it was all said and done: 7 wonderful people stopped and offered to help, a sweet teenage boy (joined with his mother who kept me company) helped the man fix our tire, another gentleman went and found the tool we needed, and an hour later- my spare was on. I got in the van and the tension squeezed out of me as I cried.
If I had never talked to that wonderful couple at Target we wouldn’t have those new friends. The kids seem to offer joy to Mr. Jim and his wife as he is now undergoing chemo- again. Their family is all far off and already we have been blessed by their friendship.
If we didn’t know them, they wouldn’t have mentioned me to their neighbor. I wouldn’t have even met them if my buyer hadn’t been a no show. I am excited about visiting with them again over the next few weeks.
And if I hadn’t stopped to talk to them, Mr. Rodney wouldn’t have arrived at Chik-fil-a yet. I guess someone else could have helped, but Rodney went above and beyond to make sure that the kids and I were taken care of.
And here it is… just days before Thanksgiving. I have been a little sad because we have decided not to travel this holiday season and although I know it is the right decision for us, it hasn’t been an easy one. Visiting with that family today at Chik-fil-a reminded me of how thankful I am for the “big” family I had growing up. Although we don’t have 6 kids… I have my own family that is continuing to grow and seeing them together reminded me of how thankful I am that I will spend this holiday season with Ryne and the kids. I am SO blessed by all three of them.- While we are in the midst of many financial decisions, I am thankful for my Van too. It may have been a long ordeal, but I am home, in my pajama’s, and a cozy house. I don’t know what will come of some of my new friendships, but I sure am glad that God’s timing is always perfect in our lives, in every aspect of our lives too.
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1