Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I've Learned...

Last night the girls and I were at WalMart doing a little shopping. We got in line, and I noticed a middle aged man in front of us, with his two daughters that looked to be pretty close to Macie's age (she's 8). He said at one point that when he got close to x amount of money, he needed the cashier to stop ringing things up. My ears perked up a bit, and I just casually observed the situation. When he got to the end, I saw the anguish on his face, as he was putting things aside (hamburger meat, milk, potatoes, etc...). My first instinct was to offer to purchase those things for him, then I ran through all of these scenarios in my head of him being offended that I offered, and Lord knows I did not want to insult the man. Then I thought, ok I'll hurry and get up there and have her ring the items up, and I'll run them out to him. That didn't work either, our cashier was slower than the day was old, so by the time she even started ringing things up, let alone got to the point where I could pay, they man was long gone. So what does that mean I did, NOTHING... I felt terrible. I teared up in line several times (ya'll I didn't lie when I said I'm emotional). I had the perfect opportunity to step up and do something, and I let that moment pass me by because of fear. Fear for making someone feel small, when I could have made his day.

I've always wanted to take part in some sort of 'pay it forward' type of situation. When in line of a drive thru, I often think, I'll pay for the person behind me. Then I think, well what if they ordered half the menu and their bill is $40 or something ridiculous, when really that probably NEVER happens. Again, letting fear dictate the situation. How many of you have paid it forward? How wonderful did it make you feel? I'm determined to do something nice for a complete stranger in the NEAR future! I've learned... that I should do what I feel God is pushing me to do, even when I'm afraid!!

I'm sure lots of you have read this before somewhere, or maybe a version like it. I just love this, and every time I read it, makes me stop and think a little.

I've learned...that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I've learned...that when you're in love, it shows.

I've learned...that just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.

I've learned...that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I've learned...that being kind is more important than being right.

I've learned...that you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I've learned...that I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.

I've learned...that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I've learned...that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I've learned...that we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned...that money doesn't buy class.

I've learned...that it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I've learned...that under every one's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned...that the Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I've learned...that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I've learned...that love, not time, heals all wounds.

I've learned...that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I've learned...that there's nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.

I've learned...that no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I've learned...that life is tough, but I'm tougher.

I've learned...that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I've learned...that one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I've learned...that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I've learned...that I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

I've learned...that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

I've learned...that the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.



Miss Southern Vol said...

Oh my goodness that is too sad. I teared up just reading about it! It is so hard because you dont know what to do in the moment when it should be second nature to us! Wonderful post as always!

Rebekah said...

This made me tear up again! It's so hard to know what to do in the situation, but I really think that if God is pushing you to help, then we should. I know I'm guilty of not doing it!

Aly @ Analyze This said...

I did this through Starbucks a few months ago. It made me feel so good, but definitely my mind swirled with the "what if they are buying for 40 people" .... Don't be so down/hard on yourself .... you at least thought about it and next time you'll be prepared to step in and do it. I don't think offense would be taken, but a light in this guys eye. And maybe/hopefully HE will pass it along :)

Taylor @ The Undomestic Momma said...

I have been in that situation and totally regretted not helping someone out. This is all so true!

Emily said...

This is such a great post to make us all really think about how to give back. Thank you Molly. I don't know what I would have done in that situation at WalMart, but because of this post, I will be thinking about it and hope that I am prepared when the time comes.

MrsV said...

I've paid it forward many times. At the ballpark when a child can't count out enough change to buy his snowcone, in the check out line when an elderly woman has gone over her limit. Mind you, these have not added up to much or cost me a significant amount but it made me feel good. However there is an occasional time when I go out of my way to be helpful and the reaction isn't what I was hoping for, and it hurts my feelings. I've learned that if you make the decision to help someone, whatever the situation, don't put an expectation on the situation or their reaction. Be satisfied knowing your intentions were good.

Lindsi said...

Oh, Molly, this tugged on the strings of my heart. I'm so guilty of letting fear take over in these situations. Thanks for the encouragement on "paying it forward!"

Lindsey said...

molly - thanks for making me tear up-i got a little emotional when reading your tweet last night, but this hits home a little more.
it is unfortunate that so many people aren't able to provide the way that they wish.
i'm all about paying it forward-after we got stranded outside breckinridge colorado a few years ago and a couple [complete strangers] offered to take my family down the mountain to the airport the next morning, and after finding out that we had no where to sleep so they offered us to stay with them [yes this whole story could have ended tragically-however we [my entire family together decided] it was either going to be a great story or we were all going down together!]... it ended up being an amazing story - and we now have lifetime friends out of it. and because of tim and sally, i don't hesitate when someone ask/needs something - because of their nice gesture it has made me not think twice about doing something for someone.
just know next time you won't have to sit there and ponder.. your once nice gesture to someone will only cause a ripple!
[sorry for such a long comment!]

C.Byrd said...

Fear can get in the way of a lot of things, can't it? Sometimes you just gotta think, What Would Jesus Do? I know it's corny, but the 4 little letters WWJD pops into my head when I see someone in need. Obviously, Jesus wouldn't just turn his head and pretend to not see someone in need... I love paying it forward and try to do so every chance I get. My fiance and I stop to see if random people need help on the side of the road or in a parking lot all the time. Of course, I don't do this when I'm alone(in case that person tries to abduct me!) But I agree with MrsV, know your intentions were good even if someone does get offended by your good will. :)

~Haley~ said...

So sad that there are people out there who can't really afford to put food on the table for their families. And usually it's at no fault of their own. While it's scary to take the first step, and it might have made him uncomfortable; offering to pay would have been amazing. Fear paralyzes us in those situations sometimes because the way society is. We're taught that accepting help from others makes us weak. I pay it forward as often as I can, because I know that I've been through hard times and having someone else's helping hand is the only thing that got me through them. I hope to be that same helping hand for others throughout my life, even if they're strangers.


Amber said...

This made me cry! It's true. Fear will paralyze us time and time again. We have to try and not let it do that to us. Don't worry darling. I'm sure that God will present another opportunity for you to pay it forward, and your daughters will be with you, so that way they can see what a good thing it is, and they can do the same thing too. :)

Tracy said...

I've learned...that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

This is my favorite...thanks for being that friend! LOVE YOU!

Katie said...

Oh, Molly, that made me tear up! What a sad situation to be in but what a great lesson you were able to pass on. I loved reading those! I love how you write from the heart - always makes me smile!

Ashley said...

Loved this post....All of those "I've Learned" really make you think and speak so much truth. Love you girl!

Ashley said...

LOVE these lessons learned! Thank you ;)

Melissa Jo said...

This made me cry! I too have been in the same situation, did nothing & felt guilty for days aftewards. Don't give yourself such a hard time, there will be another opportunity for you to be able to help someone.

Mrs_Thielke said...

Amazing...I needed to read this post. Thank you so much for posting this! I'm your newest follower!