Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Never Want to Forget This Time

I am experiencing one of those times in my life that I never want to forget.
I am like most people.
I think more, talk more and write more about the things that are bothering me, the things I'm worried about, and the things that aren't right in my life more than I talk, think and write about what is going right and good and just fine.

I don't mean to be that way.
But just like people say they don't want to watch "bad" news, but if all you play is clips of the Puppy Bowl and the water skiing squirrel, they don't watch. Well, maybe the Puppy Bowl isn't the best example, but you get it.

You're probably wondering by now what that photo has to do with what I've got going on down here in this 3rd paragraph.

Well, that is the most festive, wonderful worker for the Metro system in DC. I don't know her name, but she is a station manager at Farragut West.  And this season of my life that seems to be overflowing with blessings right now, started with her.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way into work, and I noticed her. Again. I have noticed her before, because she is always super cheerful, telling commuters "Have a great day, stop and enjoy the sunshine!" or "You can do it, it's almost Friday!" And now, she's decorated the station for the holidays, is pumping Christmas music as loud as she can on a little boom box, and wearing antlers.

I knew when she told me to "Have a blessed day" that day, what I was going to do.  I went up the escalator, bought her a little $5.00 Starbucks gift card, went right back down the escalator, and handed it to her, and thanked her for all that she does.  She almost cried.  It was the cutest thing ever.

That was when it started.
The very next day, a $5.00 Starbucks e-gift card popped in my inbox.
A couple days after that, co-workers provided me with several MORE Starbucks cards! And, I guessed how many Hershey's Kisses were in a jar, so I won that, too.

Remember this post from a few months ago?
I was so stressed out, thinking about Michael's home health care while I traveled so much for work.  Well, I have been super stressed out lately, looking at January, when I will be on the road almost the entire month, and wondering how in the world we were going to pay for the home health care.
An old friend, a girl I cheered with in high school contacted me, and encouraged me and Michael to apply for Medicaid.
We had tried before, with no success.
But, I figured, hey - we can try again.
It's a lot of paperwork.
It's an uncomfortable letting-in of the state into your personal business.
I think we both almost cried happy tears.
And we both slept all night long, good, for the first time in a long time, knowing that the huge burden of that huge expense had been lifted.

I was just back from my last trip to Iowa.
There was a knock at my door.
The mailman.
He's been bringing several boxes and packages lately that are Christmas gifts. But, I wasn't expecting him this day.
There was an envelope.
And a really funny card.
And one of the greatest surprises I have ever experienced.
A generous woman with a great, big heart who reads this blog - took the time and consideration to buy more than several gift cards for me.  And for us.  All tailored to the things I blogged about the day before.
It was incredible.
I cried as I texted Michael and called my mom.

I have heard of people being blessed like this out of nowhere, but I'd never experienced it for myself.
It blew me away.

Monday, I had to attend a meeting at our company's headquarters in Virginia Beach.  It was so great to see my colleagues in VB that I usually only email or talk to on the phone.
There was an end-of-the-year chapel/awards ceremony.
And little me was awarded the big deal award.
With it, came a significant "blessing," if you can read between the lines.
WOW.  I couldn't stop thinking about how God is just blessing me left and right.

In the middle of all of this, I dropped my phone in a cab the other night, and I was so sure it was gone forever. BUT NO.  The cabbie actually FOUND IT and RETURNED it to me! I gave him a reward, but still. This was just something else amazing.

On top of all of this, I had wonderful time with my sister and her friends and family, and I got to see my Mom and my stepdad.  They all blessed me with wonderful Christmas presents.

It is overwhelming, the blessings that have come to me in the last 2 or 3 weeks.  There are too many to even count.  All of this doesn't even count my health, my wonderful family, my loving husband, my job that doesn't even feel like a job, my vacation time at the end of this very busy year, my warm safe home, my working SUV, my pets..... you see.... God has been so good to me!

I know exactly what I want to do.
I want to remember this.
I want to share this.
I want to pay every bit of this experience and every cent of every gift I have received FORWARD.
So, if you feel like you are one of those people like I was, who just heard about other people being blessed, and wonder if it will ever happen to you.
I say, do not give up.
Keep on rocking on.
Keep on doing good.
Keep on believing.
He is in control.
He does still bless people beyond what they can imagine.
I am not making this up.
This is for real, and it is happening to me.

I understand to whom much is given, much is required.
Just as I have cried out to God in my desperation and weakness, I cry out to him in my joy and thankfulness.
God, use me in this.
Use us.
And if you want to keep blessing us, that's totally cool! :)


katie said...

i completely agree!!!

ps...i miss VA so much. did you know that i attended university in lexington? yep. i attended southern virginia on an athletic scholarship to play soccer. such great memories! we actually just went back last month because i spoke to the student body. i keep trying to get us to move back :)

Jennifer said...

Just cried reading this post. Thank you for reminding me that, in the face of trials (we've had many this year) there is much for which to be thankful. Love you... Jen

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Katie, Lexington is SO beautiful! I love to just stroll around the cute shops downtown! If you are back again, please let me know, I'd love to meet you!!

Jennifer, you are welcome. I know what it is like to be in the middle of the season of trials. I am glad you have some hope. Keep climbing, girl! Love you too!

Kristen Maddux said...

I love to see God come thru!! Thanks for sharing, your thanks...and for vowing to remember. It honors God so much when we do that! It's easy to be more like the 9 lepers who walked away than the one that returned to say thanks. And personally, I think He's more apt to do it again if we do! :)
It's such a joy to hear about stuff like this happening. Congratulations, you ARE blessed!!

Tamara said...

Keep it up! "You can do it! Friday's almost here!"