Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Grocery Store Trip To Remember

Growing up I loved going to the grocery store.  My Dad and I went together on Saturday mornings.  It was our time.  While I still enjoy it, I don't look forward to it like I used to.  Since I don't enjoy cooking for one, the foods I purchase are much more mundane, so the trips themselves often leave much to be desired.  

After putting the trip off for more than a week, there was no getting around the grocery store today.  I proceeded to get my cart and scurry through the aisles as quickly as possible during my lunch break...head down so as not to be distracted by anyone.  Thankfully, the lines were short today.  I began to place my items on the conveyor belt...happy to be in and out in record time...when I heard a voice from behind me.  

The lady behind me in line appeared to be in her mid 50s and said she couldn't help but notice the book in my purse and wanted to know what it was about.  Now that I'm back in school, it's not uncommon for a book to find its way into my purse, so off the top of my head I had no clue what book she could be talking about.  A quick look brought a smile to my face.  She was looking at my copy of Made to Crave.  

Made to Crave was written by my sweet friend, Lysa TerKeurst, and it uses the idea of food to show how we were created to crave more than just food...we were created instead to crave God.  While many tell of pounds lost due to journeying through the book, Lysa is quick to point out that the book was not written as a weight loss book at all.  The book was written to help all of us get to the core of who we are and what we are wrongfully craving more than our Heavenly Father.  

As I explained the premise of the book, the sweet ladies eyes filled with tears.  She began to tell me that she had struggled with bulimia for years and had only recently gotten out of a treatment center.  I stood in the check out lane in awe.  As she spoke, I knew that this was no "chance" meeting.  This was God ordained.  I began rifling through my book...pulling out all of the little post it notes that I had stuck in it along the way.  With underlines and highlights, it wasn't brand new, but I knew that this book was supposed to go to my new friend.  Despite her protests for me to keep the book, I placed it in her hands and quickly prayed that the Lord would bless her reading it just as he did mine.

Thinking that was as good as it could possibly get for the day, I turned around to the cashier to pay for my groceries.  I slid my debit card and typed in my pin only to find out that it had been declined.  How in the world could that be?  I knew I had much more than enough.  Embarrassed, I glanced down at my card and noticed that it had expired last month.  As I was trying to see if it would be possible to hold my groceries while I ran down to get cash (the grocery store I was shopping at only takes cash and debit), my new friend stepped up and insisted that she pay.  I tried to stop her, but her card was run before I had the chance to put up a fight.  

As I fought back the tears while bagging my groceries, I couldn't help but smile as I heard the cashier discussing the series of events with the gentleman behind us in line.  The man mentioned he could hardly wait to get home so he could tell his wife all about it.  The cashier was just surprised that things like that even happened anymore.  

Before I left, I gave my new friend a hug, thanked her for her generosity and assured her that I would be praying for her.  While it's true I may never know what becomes of the book or my friend Linda, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God ordained every detail of the grocery store encounter today...and that leads me to believe that He's not through working in the situation!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Long time coming…

Last Monday night I found myself eating dinner with two sweet families that were meeting one another for the first time.  Two moms.  Two dads.  Two daughters…and me.  As I sat at the table and thought back to how they were even meeting in the first place, I couldn’t help but smile.  So here’s the back-story to how that meeting came about…as best I can tell it…because it’s almost just too difficult to put into words. 

Four years ago I stumbled across this blog.  I vividly remember finding it while I was traveling for work.  So, alone in my hotel room, and with nothing other to do that night, I read past posts and cried for hours.  While I had little in common with Paige, I loved it instantly.  Go ahead and read for yourself.  I’m sure you’ll love her too.  From that day on, I became a faithful blog stalker.  For years, I read every single post, but never dared to comment.

Fast forward to last August.  I was in Tuscaloosa to help my sorority out with sorority recruitment.  After practically living at the sorority house for two weeks, I got to know lots of the girls, Emily being one of them. In one conversation we had, she mentioned that she had a younger sister that was a senior in high school that was thinking about going to TCU or Ole Miss.  I told her that I knew a girl named Libby from Birmingham that was interested in the same two schools.  How fun would it be if they ended up going to the same school and becoming friends?  Since we live in the world of technology, we both pulled up facebook to show each other pictures of the respective girls.  As she clicked through the pictures of her sister, Abby, I sat speechless.  I had seen these pictures before.  I had seen them on a blog.  Not just any blog…they had been on Paige’s blog.  I immediately began explaining to Emily how I knew her sister because I was obsessed with a blog that I remembered her being on.  She laughed and said something to the tune of “oh yeah…that’s our friend Paige.  We’re good family friends.”  In my mind I thought FRIEND?  You actually know this awesome lady and her husband and daughters and they know you?!  It was almost too much for my little brain to handle.  Though I had only known Emily for a short period of time, and didn’t even know Abby at all other than her pictures, I decided right then and there that any friend of Paige’s must be fabulous, and if Abby and Libby did go to the same school, they would need to meet for sure.

Let’s skip ahead again to this past January.  I got a call from Emily to tell me that Abby had been accepted to TCU and was going to go for a visit.  I told her that Libby had also been accepted and since she had visited earlier had already made up her mind that she was going to go there.  We introduced the girls to each other through Facebook…what did we do before that came along??  Abby made her visit to TCU and fell in love with the campus and the town of Fort Worth. When I heard the news I could hardly stand it.  I was so excited that the girls would have the chance to meet and get to know each other. 

I guess that brings us up to the present.  Earlier this week, Abby’s family was passing through Birmingham, so the girls and their moms worked it out for all of us to grab dinner.  While they had been talking on the phone for a month, this would be their first in person meeting.  It was such a special treat to be able to see both families interacting…and from the looks of it, I’d say that they are going to have a great time in the fall.  I can’t wait for my first visit!


I know it was long…but I really couldn’t cut anything out.  I just love how the Lord wove all of the strands together…from Paige, to Emily, right down to the girls choosing on their own accord to go to the same school.  So, the next time you think that God’s not in the details…I hope you’re reminded of this post.  He is most certainly in the details…some of the details just take longer to show how they are part of the bigger picture.