So ... this was my day today ....
The pictures should say it all ... but just in case they don't ...... ;)
I've been volunteering with the after school program at Shepherd Community for almost a year and a half now. I love it! ... I also pick up food for a couple of the after school locations on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. They had a special pick up today (Friday) that I volunteered for.
The task: I was to drive to IPS #65, load some food into my car, take it back to Shepherd and help unload it, and go home. Also, they wanted us to arrive at our location (mine being IPS 65) between noon and 3pm ... a good detail for the story you are about to read. ;)
What actually happened:
11:51am - I leave my house in Danville to head for the Eastside.
11:56am - I pull into McDonald's for a sweet tea ... what else? ;)
12:26pm - I leave a gas station in Avon, still heading to the Eastside.
Roundabout 12:57pm - I pull into another gas station off of 31 North to ask for directions to IPS 65.
Roundabout 1:15pm - I arrive at IPS 65. .... The secretary takes me into the room where all of the food is being kept. I see that there are about 5 big trash cans full of loose canned/boxed foods ... as well as 8 to 10 boxes/bags full of food. Amazing! It was great to see so much!!!! But then came the thoughts ... "How am I gonna get this food into my car? The trash cans most certainly won't fit."
Roundabout 1:30pm - I call Shepherd asking about transporting the food ... "Do y'all have some bags or something I can pick up at Shepherd and bring back to IPS 65 to help load the food in my car?"
2:20pm - I leave Shepherd after retrieving some bags. Notice the time frame .... yeah ... I got lost trying to get from IPS 65 to Shepherd Community ..... ha ha! ;)
Roundabout 4:35pm - I arrive back at Shepherd to drop off the food. ... During this just over 2-hour stretch of time, I got lost (again) trying to get back to IPS 65 from Shepherd ... 4 or 5 teachers and about 8 to 10 students and myself take ALL of the boxed/trash canned food and put them (individually!) into trash bags and throw them wherever we can find room in my car ... I drive back to Shepherd and get stopped by a train - probably the longest one I've had to wait at ever! Ha ha! ... and then I finally arrive at Shepherd.
Roundabout 5:00pm - I say goodbye to Mr. Derrick and take off for the ride back to Danville.
Whew!!!!!!! What a day!!!!! A trip that I thought would take 2 1/2, maybe 3 hours, turned into a 6-hour excursion!!!!! Man, oh man ....
To be honest, I was a bit put out in the beginning. I did a lot of driving today. I got lost more than once. We had a tough time getting all of that food to fit into my car. I had a long drive home afterwards. I was a bit bummed about the overall experience to put it lightly. BUT! I prayed over and over .... I sang worship songs .... I even danced in the car to some TobyMac and Family Force 5! I didn't want my attitude to ruin the day. I didn't have a great attitude the entire day .... but I did handle it better than expected, I think. Overall. ;)
AND! ... God, in all of His mighty grace, gave me some grace!
Firstly - I love Shepherd Community! I think they do amazing work with the people of the Eastside, and I am so blessed and privileged to serve with them to some extent. So even though not everything went according to plan, I would, somehow, do it all over again. ;) ... I was blessed to serve ... even though it was a fairly difficult day. :)
Secondly - a little boy at IPS 65 gave me a sucker. Ha! Gosh, it was great. I was walking out to my car about to pull it around to start loading up all of the food ... feeling overwhelmed and hurried ... and he just looked at me and said, "Would you like a sucker?" I asked, "A sucker?" I was taken a little off guard ... by the gesture and by the grace I saw in the gesture ... and I looked at him, smiled, and walked towards him saying ... "Ya know, that would make my day so much better actually. Thank you." And I took his sucker. :)
Lastly - While we were loading up the car, one of the students, a girl probably 11 or 12 years old, looked at me and said, "You're really pretty." .... Again, I was taken off guard by both the timing and genuine nature of the comment .... as well as the amazing grace I found in it. Surprised, I looked at her, smiled, and said ... "Oh. Well, thank you!" .... And as I walked away, back toward the room with the food, I smiled really big, laughed a loud, and said, "Thank you, Lord!"
Ha! It's amazing to me that out of a more than fairly stressful day .... God still managed to show me glimpses of His grace. Amazing. It makes me smile really big just remembering the day! What?! Ha! And yes, I am smiling ... really big ... right now. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for Your mighty, abounding, and amazing GRACE!!!