December 28, 2013
By Tina Chandler
Letís see the timeline of events... plans made weeks ago to provide the supper meal on Sunday the 22nd to 60 courageous women and children.
The week before was chock full of other things to do, personal and work-related. As the week went on, the weather report for the weekend looked more and more dismal - predictions of an ice storm followed by 5-7 inches of snow (spread across the metro). Even when I went to bed Friday, the weather report hadnít improved.
When I woke up Saturday - it was pretty clear. I rechecked my list and headed to HyVee. The parking lot was CHOCK full. I turned down an aisle and there it was - a spot near the store waiting for me! The store was just as packed - Saturday shoppers, holiday shoppers, pre-storm shoppers all converged to make for aisles stuffed with people. The potential for high tempers and frustration was great. Got all the way through the store, found everything on the list (and then some) and even got to visit 4 special ladies (3 from church and 1 from Codyís elementary school). I never saw anyone with a short fuse, never noticed a grimace. In fact, I witnessed people helping each other find that one thing on their list they couldnít locate themselves. People were helping!
Made it through the produce section and turned toward the checkout lines. All I could see down the row was line after line, 4 or more people deep all with overflowing baskets. I headed that way and there it was - an aisle with only 2 baskets, one that was paying and the 2nd without much at all! I took my spot in line. I started to unload my 15 lbs each of chicken, sausage and potatoes and everything else under the roof!
A couple of people came to the aisle behind me, looked at my basket and moved on. Then a lady with a hand basket came up and I offered her to go ahead of me. She refused at first, but after a couple more invitations, she took me up on it. She "Merry Christmas"d me and left. There was lightness in the air, not the usual tension felt in a pre-storm, Saturday visit to the grocery store.
Well, I got home in plenty of time to unload the groceries, while Lukeís jaw dropped at the amount of groceries! Heís a trooper to indulge my whims. Gumbo got cooked, rice got steamed, potato salad got mixed up and 112 chocolate chip cookies (there were more, but we tested them) got baked.
The ice covered everything, the snow fell all around. Sunday was iffy. I thought the meal might have to wait until Monday. But God had other plans! The roads were long cleared by 3:30. Headed over and shared time and service with some special ladies and kids.
Godís timing is perfect! Thank you Lord for allowing me the share YOUR blessings!
The lesson? Donít force your own idea of Godís plan. He will reveal the need, provide the opportunity and set the wheels in motion on HIS timeline. It is our responsibility to be open to His plan and act on it.