~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Saw God Today

Stoop shouldered and milky eyed with knarred hands, a life time of hard work shows in his every movement. Life may have taken a toll on the old black man’s body but not his spirit.

Today, like many others, he picks his way through the vegetables: selecting a half dozen tender pods of okra and a small bunch of turnip greens then makes his way over to the bargain table for some “less than perfect” tomatoes, onions, and a too large sweet potato. Dinner is going to be some kind of good tonight! He is a kind, gentle soul talking to other customers as he makes his way to the cash registers.

Laughing and telling stories of her grandchildren she catches a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye as he feebly counts out change for his purchase. She looks at her cart full of choice veggies and home-made jams and jellies then sees her own twisted and swollen arthritic fingers camouflaged by diamonds and precious stones. Life surely must have been different for these two strangers.

She has seen him in the store before. It seems they always shop at the market on the same day. Quietly, tenderly she leans over the counter and tells me, “I want to pay for his purchase.”

As Pat bags his groceries she tells him not to worry…today someone else has paid the price.

This simple act of kindness has “God” written all over it! From taking care of the less fortunate to the “golden rule” and yes ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is in the Bible…

Then I thought of the price that had been paid for me…by someone I didn’t know. That purchaser was Jesus Christ. He paid the price for the remission of my sins not with a credit card as this woman did for the old man, but with his own blood! The procurer of redemption acted on my behalf and I didn’t even know His name! I have to tell you I stopped right there and thanked Him again for reaching out and snatching me from the pit of destruction and setting my feet upon a solid foundation from which springs a life worth living. I thanked Him for the kindness of a stranger to a customer I dearly love to see enter the store.

I was reminded by a simple $5.00 transaction that God is indeed alive and well and He dwells within the hearts of His people.

Today the old man received the gift of fresh ingredients for an old fashioned southern dinner; but I received the gift of seeing my Savior use another to lift the burden of a stranger. Her gift will last a day…Jesus’ gift lasts for all eternity.

To whom will you be the hands… the feet… the purse-strings… the heart of God?

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” NIV

Friday, July 24, 2009


Here I sit in a corner booth of BJ’s Market Café. The air is thick with the smell of smoked bacon and sausage punctuated occasionally by the aroma of a passing basket of fresh-from-the-oven, homemade buttermilk biscuits, YUM! So this is the place my husband has eaten breakfast and lunch every day since he graduated college, and every summer before. The main dining area is crowded with a hodge-podge of humanity from retirees to farmers; construction workers to brokers; local law enforcement to the suspiciously ungainfull. Just now; my husband, his dad, and uncles walk past me. Jimmy sits with the men, I suspect out of respect for me as my head is buried in this laptop. They have settled just behind me at their usual round table nestled in the back by the big screen television where the Fox cable station silently displays the most recent headline news.

My niece, Dominique, has just set a steaming cup of hot coffee in front of me. It is strong and black, a deviation from my regular sweet, creamy, chocolaty “designer” coffee. Starbucks, this is not! It is the kind of place that serves up good old-fashioned home cooking featuring southern fried everything, sweet tea, heavenly home-made deserts, and strong coffee. Ahh, my toast is here.

My sister-in-law, Jeanna, has owned the diner for almost three years now. It is attached to the “farmers market” she has owned and operated since she was a senior in high school. She is truly an amazing woman and an inspiration. She was the first in my husband’s family to really take the time to get to know me. The first person outside of Jimmy who demonstrated daily what living life out loud as a Christian really meant. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

The past couple of months I have been working for the market in the green house. It is one of the reasons I have been away from bloggy land for so long. That and the death of my dell laptop’s mother board. I had forgotten how physically hard the work was but I haven’t felt more invigorated…more alive…more healthy…in a very long time.
Jeanna’s son, Michael, now manages the market where he works with his wife, Amanda and sister, Dede. Their children frequently roam the café, store and greenhouses when business is slow. I think this family part is one of the things I like the most. I travelled so much while they were growing up that I didn’t know them as adults; even though we live a stone’s throw away. ..Totally not the southern rural family tradition. In the past I met significant others during the holidays but missed graduations, birthdays, wedding s and other milestone events and now I guess I am trying to make up for lost time.

I love plant season! Surrounded by the explosion of color from the firecracker plants, the profusion of brilliance as I enter the “sun” house and welcomed by the waving arms of the Kimberly Queen ferns in the “shade” side of the greenhouse; I wonder how anyone could walk through here and not believe in God. How they are, in fact, experiencing full force the beauty of His creation. That the herbs they are buying for medicinal use, or just to live a more “organic” lifestyle are ,in fact a gift directly from above.

I love these customers just as much as the ones who stand in the aisles and talk about what God has been up to in their lives lately. I love the opportunities God provides on a day to day basis for me to share who He is and what He can and will do when a soul is laid bare and the door of the heart opened wide to receive His glorious gift of salvation. How in one step their life could be changed for all eternity.

In just a few minutes I will close up this laptop, stash it under the counter, slip into a pair of work gloves, and head next door to begin the daily routine of straightening, organizing, and arranging the various plant displays. We are having a sale this week and the customers are coming in droves. More exercise, more opportunity, more of life. This is the life God has granted me…if only for a season…plant season.

UPDATE: Plant season is over and with one person short I am working the register full time for another month.

Monday, July 20, 2009


It seems forever since my last post. I can't wait to catch up with you. I have been away from the blogosphere since March! OH MY!!! That's what happens when your old dell bites the dirt for good and you go to work in your family's greenhouse in the middle of plant season.

Needless to say, I am back. I can not wait to catch up on all the exciting things I have missed...especially, I missed you all.