This morning my daughter Jennifer Parrish shared an amazing story of how a complete stranger chose to bless her and her family. It is a beautiful story of ‘paying it forward’ and choosing to be a blessing in this world. This is from her FB page today:
I don’t get “serious” on here often, but something remarkable happened over the weekend and I think it holds an important lesson for all of us. I was waiting in a long line to check out at Target with a stockpile of SIX boxes of diapers and various groceries (crazy couponing, of course!) The couple behind me struck up a conversation with me to pass the time. We talked about my baby, mostly. First time mom. Sleepless nights. Those cute yet elusive first smiles and laughs. Jokes about how many diapers she must be going through as they eyed my cart. The cashier finished scanning my coupons, and as I was grabbing my card to pay, they stuck their credit card in the machine. WHAAA??? I was astonished. And overcome with emotion. I think I thanked them a thousand times as I gathered my things, teary-eyed. I haven’t stopped thinking about this. Did I say anything that made me sound like a charity-case? No, I don’t think so. I think they saw a new mom, putting an extraordinary amount of effort into saving money on the things she needed and they genuinely wanted to make a difference. What a gesture! It got me thinking a lot about money and the kind of example I want to set for my daughter. We’re all feeling the pressure to make more money, save more money, spend more money…we’re all obsessed. Even my “crazy couponing” can be viewed as an obsession with money. It’s a sickness. We have a roof over our head, food on the table, and clothes on our backs. And that’s more than most in this world. I want my little girl to know that; to really appreciate that. I think we all need to remember IT’S JUST MONEY. It’s what you do with it that really matters. Maybe it’s less about constantly collecting new and better things, and more about finding contentment and appreciation for what you have been blessed with. Maybe if we find ourselves in an opportunity to help another person, we should take it–without weighing it against our own needs first. Total strangers paid for a new mom’s diapers…and made a lasting impact on her philosophy about money, and the real value in life.
Thank you Jen – for sharing your heart with us today. Your post reminds us all how a simple act of kindness can mean so much. You are an amazing young woman and your daughter is blessed to call you Mom.
Thank you Lord for the kindness of these people. Bless them 100 times over!
Here is my daughter Jennifer and her beautiful daughter Devyn:
I don’t believe everything I hear these days. Maybe that’s the wisdom that comes with getting older. I used to believe everything anyone ever said. I was so naive. Really.
My heart is sad today. I went to visit another church and found out the old Worship Leader and band had left. Another Church had offered them more money for their service. Why is our worship for sale?
And then the girl who came to church playing the ‘victim’. Months later to realize she had told the same lie to 3 other Church families. We gave, she took, and when confronted with Truth, she left. Why is our compassion taken advantage of?
And the woman who came looking for money. We gave and she left. There is so much more available here. How about healing? Why not stay for the real Living Water? Jesus can heal those wounds and give you things money could never buy.
And those in the Church who have money, yet treat those who don’t have money as if they have lesser value to God. In Christ we are all the same. We are all equal. We were CREATED EQUAL, by God. Money doesn’t matter. The widow and the fatherless are just as important as the millionaire.
My heart hurts, for all those who see people through dollar signs.
For those who have money and those who don’t.
For those who think money can buy people and then they ‘own’ them. They think they can order people around because their wallet may be fatter that particular day.
People are worth so much more than money.
Money is made of paper! It will burn up in the End Times anyway. And all those funds will be gone in a day when the Internet crashes. Really.
Now I understand why Jesus tipped over those tables.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not for sale.
The Blood of Jesus cannot ever be bought.
Help us Lord – to value people, not things or money, in Jesus Name
The life of an Artist. It’s not easy. We are determined to share, our thoughts, our creations, our songs. Because that is when we feel alive. We live and breathe to share. We couldn’t bottle it up if we tried. It would be like shaking a soda bottle and watching it explode. The top would blow off. That is what it’s like if we don’t share.
Truthfully, you don’t even have to like it. You don’t even have to pay us for it. We will share for free, because that is how we feel alive. We are creating – something. Just like God created us. He pours into us and we have to pour it out or we will overflow! God is the Master Artist. And He created everything with the Word. He spoke it and it came to be.
In the beginning God CREATED the Heavens and the Earth. Good news – the Creator of the Universe lives in you! Let the creative out of you, make it, sing it, paint it, write it – go have some fun! 😉
You are more beautiful than you think! And your value is not based in this world. Yeah really. There are many, many clothing and makeup companies that don’t want you to know the secret. They make millions upon millions on products to feed our low self image. And then let’s add in the photoshopped images seen on our media and magazines. I have heard it said that if Barbie were a real person she couldn’t stand up – that’s how disproportionate her body shape is.
So what’s the “secret”?
YOU ALREADY ARE BEAUTIFUL!
God made you that way.
He already put it in you!
And we have value based on what He says, not the world.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day. (Psalm 139:13-16 MSG)
I received this email from a beautiful woman in Christ the other day. Thank you Sister Jeanne!
“The Pickle Jar”
The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.
As a small boy, I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.
I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar to admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.
Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.
Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. ‘Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back.’
Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly. ‘These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.’
We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. ‘When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again.’ He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled
around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. ‘You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,’ he said. ‘But you’ll get there; I’ll see to that.’
No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar. To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me ‘When you finish college, Son,’ he told me, his eyes glistening, ‘You’ll never have to eat beans again – unless you want to.’
The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed.
A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words: he never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.
The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. ‘She probably needs to be changed,’ she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.
She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room. ‘Look,’ she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak. This truly touched my heart.
Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life, for better or for worse.
God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for GOOD in others.
“The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched – they must be felt with the heart” ~ Helen Keller
“The shame and the downfall of a modern materialistic society is her inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children. I praise all the cultures of this world that naturally harbor and actively manifest these instincts. If a nation or if a population of people fails to recognize the excellent value and distinction of the lives of her children and is defective enough to have lost the capability of expressing and acting upon these instincts then there is nothing that can save that nation or those people. The prosperity of a people is not measured in banks, financial markets, economy and the death of its humanity is evident not through the loss of life but in the loss of love for its children.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.”
– Psalm 127:3-5 NLT
Precious. More than Lord of the Rings. More than that. You are precious to me. And you are precious to God. Really? Really. Precious, Chosen, Loved, Known, Treasured and Adopted by God.
This was new to me. I always thought I was all those words the ‘other guy’ said. Nope. Doesn’t matter what he said. God calls us precious. Having value to Him – because He made us – for Himself. Now that sure changes things doesn’t it? Value based on WHO made us, because He said so. Thank you Lord!
1. (of an object,substance, or resource) of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.