today we ran to town before it got too hot...running errands in the heat is not my idea of fun. i was in a hurry, not wanting to dawdle. yet...i was stopped dead in my tracks.
at wal-mart i paid for our small purchase. then trooper had his own purchase and the girls had their own. i was getting a little impatient when i noticed a man standing behind the girls waiting in line. "girls, hurry up, someone is behind you in line." most people would have just smiled at me and maybe nodded their head. but, this gentleman, with tattoos up and down his arms said, "oh no...it's cooler in here. there's no rush. it's great they are learning to use money. are you saving any?" he asked directing his voice to the kids. he then discussed the importance of saving money while my kids nodded their agreement.
in the parking lot an elderly man parked next to us. "are you running errands with your mom? that's great. it looks like you have some great kids," he said looking at me. "yes, they are a blessing and a little ornery at times" i said with a smile. he agreed that kids should be a little ornery and told me briefly about his kids and grand kids and ended with "have a great day."
it doesn't stop there. nope.
at the grocery store in the produce section the kids dropped some apples near a woman. she kicked one by accident, apologized, i apologized and the kids hurried around collecting apples. then she said, "excuse me...are you a homeschooling mom?" i was a bit surprised...how could she tell? it is that obvious? i smiled and said, "yes, we're a homeschooling family." this kind woman then said, "i want to encourage you. i homeschooled my three boys and the oldest is in the military. he has the highest test scores, spy level. i'm convinced it's due to homeschooling. keep it up," she said looking at us. we all shook our heads up and down. i smiled and said, "thank you very much."
i then contemplated what the past 30 minutes meant and what i was to learn from them. three strangers took the time to offer words of encouragement for myself and my kids. i didn't feel like i needed encouragement in the homeschool arena but i had to admit that i did feel boosted by their votes of confidence. because, let's face it, sometimes homeschool moms stop and ask themselves if they are crazy. i have more than once.
my point is not to brag that i have amazing kids although i know i do. my point is to remind myself and you to take the time to encourage others...even strangers. it may change the course of their day, week or maybe even their life. our lives shouldn't be about us but what we invest in others.
so...let's take the time to encourage someone today, this week. every day.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11