Friday, January 22, 2010

Day Twenty-one, Gift Twenty-one

I woke up this morning after seven hours sleep, refreshed and ready to go! Thursdays are the only time the entire week when all the kids and my husband are gone at the same time for about three hours. I look forward to this day as I have the whole house to myself and while I typically don't like to "be alone" and enjoy the chaos of our everyday life, it is nice to have an atypical morning like this once a week.

I laid on the couch thinking I would snooze while everyone was gone but was surprised to find that I wasn't tired. This was very exciting and I decided I would go do my strength training. Today was the first day of my 500 calorie per day diet and I was a bit hungry but not too bad. I did 45 mins of strength training and I've gotten so good at hula hooping on the Wii that I've opened up a new level. I hula hoop for ten minutes straight with about five hula hoops at a time, talk about a workout! I've been doing this to warm up and loosen my lower back before I do my strength training.

After working out, I was still feeling good and I did three loads of laundry. I was thinking, "Wow, I've done more this morning that I have in a week!" I was feeling pretty spectacular. Then Abbey and Justin got off the bus and I was thrilled that I had the energy to feed them and play with them. Abbey and I even did some preschool activities. Abbey, who has a speech delay, said "You awesome, Mommy!" That was awesome!

My respite provider came around 230pm to take over while I went to my massage, they were able to squeeze me in at last minutes notice. On the way to my massage, I headed to the pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions. The weather was dark and rainy, this is notable as we only get rain a couple times a year, it was quite windy too. When I pulled into the pharmacy, there was a man holding a sign looking for money. I hadn't ever seen him before and was concerned about him out in this weather. I pulled over to see if I had anything to even give him. I scrounged through my wallet to find $4...I wasn't happy with that. So I frantically looked around and I saw my Entertainment book. For those who don't know what these are, they are great. It is a book of coupons, they cost $35 and they have tons and tons of money saving coupons. As I looked at it, I remembered there were tons of free meals at the local fast food restaurants. I knew all the coupons were still there because we don't eat fast food.

I feverishly went through the coupon book and was able to find about twelve coupons for free sandwiches, drinks, etc, all within walking distance of the pharmacy. I wrapped the coupons around the $4 wishing I had more, but realizing it was around $40 in coupons. I pulled up to him in the car and I wanted to make sure to tell him "God Bless" but he beat me to it. As he looked through the coupons he gratefully waved to me. I didn't feel the normal high I do when giving a gift, just a heavy heart for a man in that situation. But it made me feel better to know that he trusted in God to care for him.

I went to my appointment and then back to the pharmacy, as I hadn't had time to go get my prescriptions earlier while I was searching for a gift. He was still there. I was worried about him as the weather was getting more and more rough. I drove away, still having a heavy heart. My car was hit by two separate tumbleweeds on the way home and I almost hit a flock of birds that didn't have the strength to overcome the wind. I came home and ate my little piece of chicken and cucumber and went to bed to watch some TV. The walls were creaking and the news caster kept interrupting with tornado warnings. He said to make sure that everyone was inside and to get in the bathtub and put a mattress over your heads as we don't have basements here. I laughed to myself as I thought, we could never fit us all in a bathtub!

But then my heart became heavy again, for all the homeless people in our area. The flooding is out of control, there is no where for them to go. I prayed for them and for the man I had given a gift today. I hope to meet him again. I pray he was safe through the night. Giving gifts really makes you realize that no matter what challenge you are going still have it so darn good.


Anonymous said...

I find myself having a heavy heart after reading about this homeless man. Today I found myself in the perfect situation to give a gift to a local man who is "known" to be homeless in our area. This man, or so the story goes, has been seen going through garbage cans and dumpsters from the area businesses. I have seen him around town walking done the middle of the road and talking to himself. I have always wondered where he lives, but no one seems to know. No one even knows his name or where he came from. When I saw him in the store today he was taking a very long time to select his items. He had a list that he was reading from. I watched him wondering if maybe he needed help finding the items, or maybe even paying for them. I walked around the store waiting for him to approach the counter. I was prepared to chip in some money so he could get everything he needed. I was sure that we would not have all the money for the several essentials that he had on the counter. To my surprise he had enough and it wasn't in change like you would expect. Here is where my heart gets heavy. It's was very cold tonight and it was already dark. As I got in my car, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he was walking. Where he was walking though was up a long hill, in the dark, on a road I know that there are not many houses. I felt as though I should stop and offer him a ride, but I was concerned for myself because of his oddities. I feel a bit ashamed that I may have a least been able to help him out a bit. I am hoping that God directed my heart not to do it and it wasn't just out of my own possibly unjustified fears. I have given several gifts today and hope that God will lead me everyday to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you were feeling better today. That is a gift to me from God. Your story about the homeless man is great. I hope tomorrow is a good day

Desiree said...

I don't think it is safe to pick up anyone that we don't know. You really need to keep your safety top priority and regardless of how a person looks, they may or may not be safe. It is important that while giving your gifts, you are also making wise choices based on the dangers of todays world and it would have been dangerous to pick up any man that you didn't know. I'm glad you didn't do it!

God Bless,