Each morning upon awakening, I grope my way to the bathroom, my eyes not yet focusing, then stumble back to the bedroom. I clumsily arrange pillows against the headboard into a comfortable place to sit while I coax my eyes open and will my brain to engage. A few minutes later Joe appears with my stainless steel mug filled with strong black coffee, a spoon for sipping until it cools enough to drink and a strawberry breakfast bar.
Joe started this act of kindness several years ago, not long after I realized the benefits of consuming the beverage on a regular basis.
–It gives me an excuse to sit through a much needed wake-up time.
–It provides the boost that keeps me from falling back into sleep.
–It washes down the snack that provides me with enough energy to cook a more nutritious breakfast.
Bonus: –It makes me feel loved for Joe to voluntarily bring it to me each morning.
The first few sips of coffee and the sunlight streaming through my bedroom window serve to help my eyes focus. As I reach for my Bible I breathe a quick prayer, asking God to teach me something new.
Today I added to that prayer, “Help me make a difference in someone’s life today.”
I picked up my journal and read my notes from the last few days. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 KJV
I can’t count how many times I have read, written or quoted this verse. I have seen it fulfilled many times throughout my life. As I began to think on this, I made my plans for this day.
The basic plan was already laid. Joe and I had made a pact to work every day in our rented storage building until we get it under control. Today marks the second week of our labor. We set up tables in front of the building, filling them with junk that we hope will become someone else’s treasure and put enough dollars in our pocket to pay the storage rent for another month.
As I continued sipping my coffee, my thoughts wandered to three young girls who pass by each day on their way home from school. The two older girls go straight home, but eight year old Cheyenne, small enough to pass for five or six, stops to talk. She asks about the things we have for sale, and without pausing, rattles on, answering her own questions. She is intelligent and a quick thinker.
She reminds me of my nineteen year old daughter, Mariah, when she was that age. Mariah could carry on intelligent conversation with adults and most people liked her. A few, though, did not want to be bothered by a kid. I like Cheyenne, but I don’t have time to talk to her. I have work to do. I just want her to go so I can get my storage job finished and spend some time at home cooking, cleaning and writing—the things I have put off in honor of my pact with Joe.
But here I am this morning drinking coffee and asking God to direct my steps today, and I think of Cheyenne—not just Cheyenne, but her sister and their friend. God is telling me I can make a difference in those girls’ lives.
This afternoon, three girls got off the school bus. Three girls stopped to talk. Each clamored for attention. I sat in my chair this afternoon, listening to and talking to those young girls. I did not feel the usual guilt or pressure to be up cleaning, sorting and organizing. I was at peace with what I was doing this day.
God wanted me to sit and listen and talk with those little girls today. I don’t know His reasons, but I am thankful for those little girls, Joe, the coffee, and the time to meditate on God’s words. But most of all, I am thankful for God, who directs my steps and allows me to make a difference.