The snow outside is getting deep and yet it just keeps on falling down. I haven’t seen the ground underneath it for over a month now. Definitely not something I am used to dealing with having come from a place that normally is lucky to even get a trace now and then. Thankfully though, the snow has not been the only thing piling up around here.
As a single mom with two kids (all three of us disabled or with special needs) I have had quite a bit of experience bearing a load that was never really meant to borne by one lone person. Many are the nights I have prayed quietly, sometimes with tears on my cheeks, for the comfort and help of someone to walk this journey along side me; to share the joys as well as the tears, the triumphs as well as the struggles, to simply cuddle with on a cold winter’s night while watching a movie. That blessing has not been one I’ve been granted yet, but in it’s place I see encouragement and reminders that God cares and He hears delivered to me through the kindness of strangers that come in and out of our lives. This winter, the deeper the snow gets, the more the kind strangers seem to show up.
Our first blessing came when the boys were struggling to shovel out the sidewalk at least enough to get to the mailbox safely. The snow was deep, they were struggling with focus (it’s kids in the snow… focus issues are to be expected haha ^_^ ), and their shovels were necessarily small to make them useable for the kids. Across the street from our home is a small community church. As the boys were digging their shovels in for another round after a brief snow ball fight, two young teens and their dad pulled up in front of the church with huge shovels. Long story short, I asked the teens if they would be willing to let me pay them to help shovel us out and they not only refused the money, but they have come back every single morning the snow needed to be removed again and without even knocking to alert me to their presence. I still don’t know who they are, and they still won’t accept anything in return the few times we’ve managed to catch them in action.
Another blessing was when I found out the doctor team here decided to pick up our family for Christmas. They bought both boys some really meaningful and fun gifts for under the tree and they gifted me with both necessities like the specialty laundry soap and bath soap I need due to Joshua’s allergies and simply little things to make me smile like new coffee mugs and a replacement of a beloved movie I had lost when moving to Idaho. A very moving experience to have someone care so much about my family.
Today, the stranger we encountered was a store clerk where I was attempting to trade in snow boots. Someone (from the team of doctors) saw my shoes full of holes and decided to gift me with a way to keep my feet warm and dry this winter. ❤ The gift made me cry from the gratefulness that flowed out of my heart for them. Unfortunately, the boots were not able to fit though so I went to see if they came in a bigger size. Upon getting to the store it was discovered that the only ones big enough to fit were more than I could afford, even with the trade in. The worker that was helping me look for a replacement had chatter me and my kids up about the boots so knew about them being a gift. She also caught sight of my holey shoes as well and couldn’t hide her reaction. All I could do was shrug and say that they were old. I didn’t know much else I could say in response. When she went to help ring up the bigger size and found that the difference in price was too large for me, she pretended to be accessing store coupons to help lower the price only to turn around and hand me a receipt. She paid in full for the new boots and wouldn’t even take the gift card I received for turning the smaller ones in! I admit I thanked her, but other than that I was too shocked to think so just stood there stuttering in amazement.
Then on the way home, while turning the corner where my home sits, our car got stuck in the piled up snow. As I stood there struggling to push it forward while fighting back the anxiety of being stuck in the middle of an intersection, 3 other cars pulled up and got out to help. Digging out my tires, pushing from the back, helping steer from the front… and all with smiles and words of encouragement the whole time. It took 3 adults, 3 kids (David included because he just had to be part of the action lol) and a lot of muscle power to get the car moving forward again, but they did it. They didn’t leave me stranded to figure it out by myself. A blessing that touched me deep as it was also an answer to the silent prayers I was praying on that normally quiet and lonely street while pushing against a car that refused to budge.
Being a person who values kindness in action to the point that I set up and manage a group to promote it and used to set up special events just to spread it to those who rarely see it, having the kindness come back to me like this has been overwhelming but so beautiful at the same time. So, all things considered… if the deepening snow brings out the kindest of strangers, let it snow! ❤