Got Toilet Paper? Share It!

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BE AN ENCOURAGER!

One sock soars through my kitchen.  Another.  Gym shorts fly over my head.  A t-shirt.  Gross.  The air becomes a bit fragrant.  My house guest stands in the hallway grinning at me, chuckling.

“Uh… son.  Not  what I had in mind when I said I’d like to help you with your laundry.”

Just like in his college days when he’d bring home heaps of dirty clothes in trash bags, this was the packing mode for the trip from Missouri to Texas.

Picking up thirty pieces of apparel off the floor wasn’t my offer.

“You got any Spray-n-Wash?”

I headed to the laundry nook and heard more chuckling.

“I found it already!”  He fired the trigger saturating my blouse with spot remover.

More laughter.

It’s a blast doing life with grown sons.  Even if it’s for a week visit.

“Mom!  What’s the deal with your spices?  Don’t you cook?”

Giggling more, he fumbles through my cabinet next to the stove letting the oregano, garlic powder, paprika,  and pepper tumble out onto the counter.

“ Mom!  Go to Aldi.  99 cents a piece.  Get stocked up.”

I miss my grown sons.  Especially in this time of  uncertainty.

So many people are filled with fear.

I’m trying to focus on simple things.  And being grateful.  And people.

Relationships.

Many of us are under a shelter in place now.  I was sitting in my kitchen last night literally feeling like what I was sitting on might be expanding.  Maybe because my refrigerator is more stocked up than usual, as I thought it might be prudent  being prepared with food and supplies.

Hmm.  We all might gain some weight?   I  heard someone joke a few days ago about the ‘corona 19’?   In college it was called the ‘freshman 20’.  Yikes.  I joined that club and some more on top of that!  Pizza, pizza, pizza.  Snack foods out of the machine in the lounge in the dormitory.

Last night I was missing my grown sons, face-timed them and sure enough, being sheltered in place in California, they were working out.  Hard.  Right there in their apartment.

“C’mon!  Join us, Mom!”

I’d just come in from forcing myself to go on a 30-minute walk with my neighbor.

Begrudgingly, I did some yoga on the floor, got out my 10lb dumbbells, did some lifts, and just spent time enjoying watching them pump iron and stretch.

In this strange time we’re experiencing, I’m grateful for technology.  I’ve heard so many people utilizing online group chatting for meetings for business, church groups, or just catching up with family.

It was good for my mama’s heart to spend 30 minutes with them.

I think it’s important to stay connected, reach out to others, and look for the good things, the positive.  Encourage where you can, help if you can!

Last week a few of us were asked to bring a hot meal to one of our older members at church.   I got to bring soup and groceries to a widow that lives three blocks from me.

She smiled and commented on my cowboy boots.

“I used to wear boots.  I had several pair.   I’d wear ‘em when my husband and I would go dancin’”.

She has a story to tell.  And I’m looking forward to going back to find out what that is!

A couple days ago I was in Dollar General, picking up a few things.  Peanut butter, soup, flour, water.  And yes, toilet paper.  Who hasn’t been on the search for that!?

As I shopped around the line grew longer and longer.  I listened as people asked the  cashier about various items they needed they couldn’t find.  She apologized, explaining her manager was opening boxes from the truck as fast as she could. There were only two employees working.

A thin young lady walked out the front door for a cigarette break.  She returned, looking exhausted, and walked back to the stock room.

Unloading my cart in the parking lot, I knew what I needed to do.

I walked back into the store, made my way to the stock room.  As soon as our eyes made contact, I waved and smiled.  She looked a bit puzzled.

“Can I help you?”

“Um.  Please don’t think I’m weird,  I just want to pray for you.”

She hesitated.  “Do I look stressed?”

“Yes.”  I can’t believe that came out of my mouth!

I didn’t even let her answer me.  I just started praying.  Right there.  Not a long drawn out prayer.  Just asked for God to help her and encourage her.

When I finished, she whispered, “Thank you.”  Tears in her eyes.

I think it’s so important right now to help one another, look for ways to encourage one another.  Check in with people!  Make sure they’re alright.  And if you have a thought of something to do for someone, don’t ask if they need anything, JUST DO IT!!

I also encourage you to find some humor in all of this madness.

This past week I needed to go to Best Buy to take back a remote I bought.  My friend needed  a cable. We made a quick run,  and I couldn’t help but notice this STRANGE phenomenon.

THERE WAS A LOCKING DEVICE ON THE BOTTLE OF HAND SANITZER AT THE CHECK OUT!

I stared at it.

The cashier noticed my bewilderment and offered me an explanation.

“You wouldn’t believe all of the bottles of hand sanitizer that are coming up missing!!  We don’t know if it’s the employees or customers.  So we had to put these on every one!”

I was sad.  But then just chuckled.  The thought of it!!

We finished our business and walked out of the store.

“BEEP!  BEEP!  BEEP!”

We stopped as the alarmed surprised us.  An employee waved us on and my friend chimed, “I didn’t steal the hand sanitizer!”

Stay home.  Be safe.  We’ll get through this.  We’re isolated, but not.  Reach out to others.  I’d say technology is quite a gift right now to stay connected.

I’m enjoying the spring flowers beginning to bloom on my porch.

And I’m thankful for so much more time to be in God’s word and in prayer.

Isaiah 55:6 – “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.”

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