This week, Madilyn has been sick as I’m finishing the semester and Justin is under major stress with work. This weekend, our family plans of all going to Jake’s first hockey tournament together had to change so the boys headed to the beach and I stayed home with our girl. Today, she finally started to do better and took a great nap so I thought I’d take a trip to Aldi for some long overdue shopping.
With three kids, to only have one that is strapped in the baby carrier so she can’t go anywhere and can’t ask for every snack, felt pretty luxurious. Even if she smelled like spit up from coughing up half her bottle on herself in the car. Newsflash third kid- as soon as you start feeling better, you get thrown back into life, and mom doesn’t pack all the reinforcements for when accidents happen. Sorry. I digress. So what happened. I pushed my cart with my smelly little girl strapped to the front of me. I bent down to get items, stretching over her and around her. She wiggled and kicked some, but hey, I didn’t have a screaming kid or one running away, so I was winning. Here’s where my magical shopping trip got even more magical.
I recently posted about my favorite books for 2019. One was “Everybody Always” by Bob Goff. This eye opening book talks about becoming love, even in the hardest of circumstances. Bob Goff talks about loving everyone and that Jesus can be in anyone and anywhere. If you aren’t Christian-please don’t stop reading, I promise this story is for everyone. If you are Christian-read this book! So this book has really spoken to me as I have felt like I’m increasingly faced (especially at work) with difficult people and loving them can be a challenge. It is hard to remember that Jesus can send anyone, anywhere but I saw it today.
Right now we live in a world divided by beliefs and our country is greatly stereotyping groups of people and social media is only making this division worse. So for the past few hours since my grocery trip, I have felt compelled to share my story.
Aldi was packed. My patient, wonderful baby was even getting fussy, she is still a little under the weather. Shopping is stressful. I think the only reason I even noticed what I did was because I only had the one child, ha. Three people helped me or offered to help me at Aldi. Probably 100 people were easily packed in the small store. Some cutting in front of me or totally unaware of their surroundings or that I had a baby strapped to me. But then there were three people. Three people who took the time to offer help and love. Three people I feel need mentioning because they are often portrayed as our most vulnerable or needy in our society. Today they represented strength and generosity. First, the old man I noticed could barely walk and leaned on his cart. He held the door to the fridge so I could get the milk. Next in line, a woman with no teeth and old, raggedy clothes told me what a beautiful baby I had and that she had a good girl baby too. Did I need any help? No, but thank you, I said with a smile and we had a 5 minute conversation in the long line about having 2 boys and 1 girl each. The third person, still almost brings me to tears as I type. As I’m loading my groceries on the belt, very awkwardly around a baby I hear “help?” then, “need help?” It took a while to register as there was an accent and I didn’t quite realize the man was talking to me. I look up and see a Hispanic man and his wife, smiling and he said “you help?” and gestured to my cart. He could barely speak English, yet saw my need and reached out for help. I thanked him then, and then again in the parking lot. I have been pregnant or carrying children in stores for 8 years and never once has someone asked to help put my groceries on the belt. Never once. And this man, did. I met Jesus today. He sent me three angels, and for once, I was available and ready to see this.
So what if you aren’t Christian or even if, like me you are, what is the take away? Be kind. Always. Love everybody, always. It’s cliche, we’ve heard it so many times. I’m not the first to blog about it, but the reminder never gets old. Appreciate those that are put in your path. Be grateful for those that reach out. You never know who you might touch, like a sleep-deprived mom of three who really needed her faith rekindled today.