#nationalcoffeeday

A few days ago I was at our coffee cart.

The hustle and bustle of foot traffic was moving heavily passed me.

I smiled and waved at all the passers-by and served those who stopped.

But one woman stopped with no intention of buying coffee.

She was blond with a big smile and a sense of urgency and nervousness in her tone.

“Hi there, how’s it going?” I asked her, hoping it might calm her nerves.

“Hey Darlin!” she said.

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She continued, “I saw Mr. Billy yesterday running  around in the park having to hold on to his pants because they were too big for him.  I asked God what to do, and, well, could you give this to him today if you see him?” she said as she handed me an old worn out belt.  “I hate to put this on you, but I might not get a chance to today and I don’t want him to miss out on having this.”

Mr. Billy is a man who wanders around downtown.  He is sweet, always showing me his lottery letters, saying that he has been acknowledged for sending in his information.

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He runs around downtown, waving at folks, smiling all the time, and letting people know who all the downtown heathens are!

“Oh, yes, sure!” I said.

She hurried away before I could catch her name.

A few hours later, Mr. Billy comes running up to me, yelling out “Mrs. Laura, Mrs. Laura, I got an apartment today! I’m getting off the streets!”

We exchanged the worlds best high five and I proceeded to hand him the belt that was left for him.

“oh Mrs. Laura, it is so nice! For me? Are you sure?” he asked, in complete delight over this tattered belt.

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“Yeah I’m sure, someone left it for you!” I said.

“This is the best day! Did you know God is good Mrs. Laura? He’s so good. He gave me a belt today!”

“He is!” I agreed.

That moment was pretty defining to me.

A woman who gave a little of her time and her husbands old possessions, made someone’s day.

Mr. Billy was way more excited about his new belt than he was his new apartment.

Me? Well, I realized how much more my placement became as the girl at the coffee cart. 

Somedays it’s hard to stand there, hear peoples opinions of what they think of you as they walk by.

Somedays it feels tiring and too much to my schedule.

But then, there comes the day when all the hard work pays off.

When we get to give away our first profits to an incredible organization that is fighting human trafficking in the River Region.

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Blanket Fort Hope came by the cart to receive their donation a few weeks ago.

It was SO much fun getting to meet all those self-less giving people who started such an amazing organization.

It wasn’t us that did that gave that donation, it was all who came by and bought a cup of coffee.

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It wasn’t me who brought that belt for Mr. Billy.

It wasn’t me who started an organization rescuing kids from traffickers.

It was God’s people, doing great things, fighting the urge to stay selfish and set each other free.

Happy #nationalcoffeeday to all you giving and loving folks.

Keep setting people free.

A life of giving is a life worth living.

Be Secretly Incredible

Today has been a regular day.

A day filled with regular schedules and regular activity.

I spent my morning doing all normal LJ activity.

It was gloomy though.

The kind of day that makes you drag a bit.

But still a regular day.

I drove my sweetness, otherwise known as Cody Bell, or to others “Tody”, to work.

We listened to Rick and Bubba, because what else is greater than two country men yappin about this past weekend’s {disappointing} football games?

#welcometoalabama

 I began driving back to work, when suddenly it struck me.

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Today is September 21.

The day my Grandfather went to see Jesus just 4 short years ago.

I swerved across 4 lanes of traffic to reach the exit where the cemetery was.

It has been 4 years since I returned to that place.

A place that only brings memory of sadness and grief, but today was unordinary.

I stood in front of tombstones marked with the names of two I loved most, decorated with perfect fall flowers by my mom (who, mind you, stays fabulous and thoughtful at all times), Ed Welch and his gracious and perfect wife, Jean Sylvest Welch.

I stood with sickness in my belly, hard to believe I had been brave enough to return.

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But then it hit me.

There was no “regular” day to Grandaddy.

There was no day wasted on petty talk and mindless activity.

A man who traveled the world, but managed to love his family well.

A man who harvested the best tomatoes, taught all his grandkids to swim & fish, and replaced any bad word with “mickey mouse”.

A man who loved Christ and served his church with grace and leadership.

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A man who walked in the way of selflessness… and never let his left hand know what his right hand was doing.

He knew who Went Before him.

He followed Him with so much diligence that the smell of Jesus permeated the room when he entered.

He left a legacy that still pursues the lives of those who still have breath in their lungs, businesses are still running the carry his blessed name, and many are still above water because of sacrifices he made.

No day was a regular day for this ordinary man,

every day was an opportunity for success and pursuit of the kingdom.

Shouldn’t that be us?

Everyday a day to smile.

Everyday a day  to rejoice in new mercies.

Everyday a day to tell someone who they really are in Jesus.

Everyday a day to love well.

Everyday a day to say YES to what God has called us to.

Everyday a day to say no to negativity.

Everyday a day to say that positive word that someone needed in that moment.

Everyday a day to do something that makes us uncomfortable to give an ounce of comfort to someone in starvation for it.

Everyday a day to be secretly incredible.

Everyday a day to be more like Jesus.

I looked around that cemetery, in the pouring rain, with gloomy skies and my eyes welled up with tears.  I looked at the hundreds of graves where so many lay, but so many legacies left.

I stood there smiling/laughing through my misty eyes

SO excited. SO enthralled with God’s choice to love us, to give us a better home than this one, to lavish us with grace when a day feels so regular.

There is Joy in Knowing Him.

His kindness unending,

His legacy of timeless grace.