Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Picnic on the Go, Flower Girl Dresses and Conversations Along the Way

Dear friends,

It was a Saturday morning and Mommy still wasn't feeling 100% well after a bout with a head cold or flu or whatever kept her in bed for a couple of days.  But life goes on, doesn't it?

My teenage son wanted to go down to the church office to help a moving party.   To save gas and time and my energy, I wanted this to coincide with a trip to the grocery store with the four younger kids, but we couldn't seem to pull ourselves out of the house until almost noon.  By the time we got there, they were almost done at the church office and were planning to hang out for a little while.  The Super Walmart was a few miles away, and my teenage daughter had borrowed my cell phone, so I felt pretty uneasy about making a full grocery run just then if my son didn't have a way to get in touch with me and I didn't know how long they would be there.  What to do?

After pulling away from the church office, I remembered the Publix grocery store a few blocks away.  I don't usually shop there because the prices are quite a bit higher than Walmart and Aldi and the discount bread store -- but they do often have Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) sales!  Yes!  I decided that we would just buy whatever was on sale and whatever else we really needed to tide us over for a few days.  Oh, and it seems the kids had forgotten to each lunch before we left and we were all getting HUNGRY!  So, an impromptu lunch was also on the immediate agenda!

My first grab: two packages of fresh baked muffins (apple bran and blueberry) for a BOGO total of $3.  Then Ritz crackers (also BOGO) and some sliced American cheese, a rare treat.  School supplies were also on sale, and we needed tropical fish food, which we were delighted to find in their pet department.  Add to that some other great grocery deals, and out we went!

Where to eat?  That was easy!  After all, this is Baldwin Park, one of my favorite places to hang out!  Just behind the Barnie's, there is a lovely public (not just for the restaurant) patio next to a fountain.  No plates?  We used the store ads for place mats.  A lovely little impromptu picnic, all the more fun for the spontaneous adventure factor.

Somehow, we had forgotten drinks in our grocery foray, so we went back in and bought some lemonade juice packs.  On our way out, as I was calling to my son Micah to come in a certain direction, a lady with a delightful accent stopped us.  "Do all of your children have 
Biblical names?" she asked.  Yes, they do!  She wanted me to list them. "All 10 of them?  I have 10 children!"  Yes!  OK, there's Mary Hannah, Julia Grace... and so forth, all the way down to our youngest two, Benjamin Peter and Melody Lynn.  I know that's not the name of a person in the Bible, but Psalm 57:7 does say, "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!"  Lynn, my middle name, means waterfall, and even that is in the Bible in Psalm 42:7 - "Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me."   The lovely lady, whose name is Janet, told me that her grandchildren, who have a Lebanese daddy and live in Kuwait, all have Biblical names, too.  She is from Glasgow, Scotland, so we had a nice chat about the time I spent in Ayrshire as a teenager on a summer mission trip.  Janet is a Christian and just from the few moments I fellowshipped with her, I know she is a sweet-spirited one, too.  I loved talking to her and I'm so glad she was bold enough to strike up a conversation.  These are glimmers of grace in my life.

Not too long after I arrived home, my daughter Julia called and asked me to bring Melody to a store to try on two flower girl dresses for the October wedding.  So off I went again, this time with just Melody and Naomi!

For some reason, the price tag was missing on the dress Julia chose, so I offered to take the dress and find out how much it was.  The store was extremely busy, but there was a young man at customer service who was doing an amazing job directing things, answering questions, and, of all things, SERVING CUSTOMERS!  I was impressed, and decided to tell him so.  First, I asked him his name. He grinned, then replied, "Why do you want to know?  I have some aliases I can use!"  Good humor, too!  Then I asked him -- his name was Derek -- for a customer response card so I could write him a kudos.  Just at that moment, his manager walked up, so I told her instead.  I think people need to hear when they are doing a great job.  Honest encouragement is manna to the soul, don't you think?

Just a little slice from a day in the life of a busy Mommy.

Just paying attention to the small things, the good things.

Oh, and did I mention that I am finally reading Ann Voskamp's treasure
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are  -     
        By: Ann Voskamp
that my daughter Mary loaned to me. That's just about Ann's whole point: Notice the little things, and offer thanksgiving to God for them.

You can visit Ann's blog at

Virginia Knowles

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Food on Fridays

1 comment:

  1. she looks so cute in that dress!!!! and i want to read that book, too. everyone raves about it!


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