Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life Lessons..... Ephesians 4: 32

Ephesians 4:32a- And be ye kind one to another.....

Kindness is always in style.

This was a phrase my mother would always tell me.  As she said, fashions come and go, but kindness never goes out of style. 

This is something that I have tried to remember (and Brian said it was something that attracted him the most to me) and practice  as I go to stores where store clerks are sometimes having a rough time with their registers, when a cashier is in training, when an employee goes above and beyond to help me find that one little thing I need.

On Monday, after a wonderful Sunday spent with Brian for our anniversary (thanks Mom and Pops!) and a particularly rough night with Addie who was catching what some little boy had brought with him to library time on Friday (why do parents bring their sick children to places where other children are? Suzette, don't even get up on your soapbox.......), I put on the local news to see if we were going to have rain. All of last week we have had heavy rain, and after last months electric bill, I wanted to use the clothes line again instead of having to resort to the dryer.  The satellite showed no rain, but the TV volume was low, Brian was walking out the door, and Addie was saying goodbye to him.  I never actually heard the forecast.

After Brian left, I began getting things ready for Addie and me to go grocery shopping.  I threw a load of laundry into the washer, did my morning quick clean, made beakfast for the two of us, went to hang the washed laundry, got us both dressed, and out we went. 

Our first stop was Publix where shopping is not only a pleasure, but many of the employees know us from our frequent visits and store loyalty.  Addie always politely asks for a cookie at the bakery and it tickles everyone that she always says "Thank You" after she gets it.  One employee in charge of handing out balloons always finds us to give Addie her balloon.  She gets so excited to see him, and I think he loves her reaction to his gift.

We left Publix and headed for Walmart (not my favorite place to shop, but sometimes I just have to when their prices can't be matched by better deals at my other stores).  I began to notice clouds building up and hoped we would get home before the deluge.

We found everything on my list for us to cook all of the great meals I have planned for the week except for one thing (what in the world is quick cooking tapioca and which aisle is it in?).  We went to the cashier and as I was pulling the money out of my wallet to pay, we heard the skies open up and the rain just poured like Niagara Falls onto the roof, the parking lot, the cars,

and my clothes that were still hanging on the line!

We went to the door and Addie was busy saying hi to the elderly women who were sitting on the benches waiting for the rain to let up. 

Then I saw Pauline.

Pauline is an elderly greeter at Walmart who Addie and I always make sure that we visit and say hello to during our occassional trips to Walmart.  We appraoched her, she saw us, hugged me (from three feet away since my belly won't let anyone get closer than that), told me how beautiful Addie was, and we began talking about her daughters, pregnancy, her 31 hour labor, and the rain.

Then, although there were customers filling the area where you first walk in (between the two sets of sliding doors), she called a male employee over and made plans for me and Addie to get to our vehicle while she held onto my groceries.  She had me give the gentleman the make and model of our vehicle and when I pulled up in front, she was going to have him put my groceries in the trunk for me. 

Of course, my umbrella was in the car (which Addie kept me reminding me of... and the fact that my clothes were all wet from being outside when it was raining), so she lent me an umbrella and off we went.  I am only able to walk at this point and carrying a 30 pound bundle of love, joy, and good times made my walking a little slower. Not to mention that my slip on sandals kept getting caught in the water building up in the parking lot.  I started praying out loud, "Jesus, help us," with every step I took. And every time I said that Addie would echo.  The only way that I can carry her is if her leg rests above my belly, but while she was trying to keep her balance she would unintentionally push down on my belly- not painful but very uncomfortable.  Ian also decided to show his discomfort by kicking as hard as his 7 month old developing body could and rolling over in the most forceful ways imagineable.

We reached the car, and I opened Addie's door to put her in. 

Out popped her balloon from Publix!

I tried pushing it back in with the one hand that was partitally free and out it popped again!

Addie was giggling uncontrllably as she watched me trying to make her balloon behave itself while trying to keep her dry and not drop the keys which were also in my hand.  I started laughing, too. I was almost tempted to let the balloon fly away but there was enough water in the atmosphere without my daughter adding more because Mommy couldn't get the balloon to stay in the car.

With one final push I managed to get it far enough into the vehicle that it stayed put.  Addie quickly got into her seat, I ran (ummm..... walked quickly) around to the other side of the car, got into the back seat, buckled her in, and then climbed over the front console into the driver's seat (not easy!).  I pulled infront of Walmart and there was the gentleman employee waiting for me.  He opened the trunk put in my groceries, I passed him the borrowed umbrella, thanked him again and again, waved at Pauline, and was off..... while many other customers were still in the lobby waiting for the rain to let up.

As I drove off, Mom's words came back to me, "Kindness is always in style."  Just taking the time to say hello, listen to Pauline tell me about her grandchild who is close in age to Addie, and find out how she was doing during our visits to Walmart turned into a bigger blessing by having someone with connections in my corner when I needed it most. 

That was never my intention. I was just trying to teach my little girl how to be kind to others by taking the time to be a friend.

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