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Here we go with another rainy weekend. You know what I really dislike doing in the rain? Grocery shopping. It seems like every time I go, the parking lot is full, the store is packed with people, and I’m drenched from head to toe after putting my groceries in the car. Going shopping in the rain does not bring me joy.

Normally I park in the back of the lot, enjoying the extra walk, but on this particular day I was thrilled to see reverse lights on a car in the second spot closest to the store. I stopped my car and turned on my turn signal, patiently waiting for the car to leave so I could take its place.

As I lifted my foot off the brake and turned my steering wheel, a silver-beige car scooted ahead of me in the opposite direction and took the empty spot.

Unbelievable!

I literally sat there for a second with my mouth open in shock. Seriously? I was here first! So many negative thoughts filled my head in an instant and it took all I had not to let the moment ruin my morning. After all, it was just a parking spot. Did it really matter?

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As I parked my car and walked towards the store, I saw the person who took my spot. It was a young woman with a small child carried on her hip. I immediately felt horrible for the negative thoughts that filled my head moments before. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in her shoes – a mom dragging my child out in the rain to get the necessary groceries, praying for a spot close to the front door.

We entered the store at almost the same time, both turning to the right to find a cart. Many were wet, having been brought in from the rain, but I found one that was dry and pushed it towards her. “Here,” I said with a smile on my face, “This one is dry.” She smiled back in appreciation and said a quick “Thanks” as she put her daughter in the cart.

My day was filled with joy, just like that!

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I walked the aisles of the store, my mood brightened by the random act of kindness, and decided to do another RAK for a mom who might need it.

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Then, as I was checking out, I overhead the girl beside me mumble that she wished she had brought some change, so I gave her some of mine to help her out.

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It’s funny how being kind to others can change your outlook on the day. When I left the grocery store and put the groceries in my car, I didn’t even notice the rain.

May your travels be filled with joy no matter the weather or season!

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This afternoon I decided to visit a local consignment shop, searching for some summer clothes for the kids and a few “new to me” books to add to their already overflowing bookshelves.  (We LOVE books!)  The sale encouraged us to bring our own bags to make it easier to hold on to our items while walking around and it wasn’t long before the foldable cart I brought was half full.

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Usually consignment sale checkout lines are very long with a wait time of 45 minutes or more.  I was prepared for this delay and quickly joined the line that was already wrapped halfway around the store.  As I was standing in line, I noticed the lady in front of me was leaning on a cane.  Step-by-step we shuffled along in the line and I realized her bags, overflowing with clothes, were dragging along the cement floor.  As I looked closer, I saw the bags were wrapped around the base of her cane and she was pulling them across the floor as we advanced towards the cash registers.

Well, this just wouldn’t do – here I was standing right there with this half-empty cart!  I gently tapped the lady on her back and said with a smile, “Here – let me help you with your bags!”  I then bent down and unwrapped the bags from her cane and added them to my rolling cart.  “There’s no need for you to drag those along – let me put them here until we get to the front of the line.”  She was very appreciative of my kind gesture and for the next half hour we filled the time chatting about this and that.

Her items and mine

Her items and mine

Finally it was our turn to checkout so I carried the items to her spot and placed her bags on the counter.   She thanked me profusely for helping her out which brightened my day!  🙂  As I turned back to the line to wait for my turn, it occurred to me that she might need help taking her items to the car once purchased.  I returned to her and whispered, “If you have time to wait, I’ll take your items to your car for you, too!”  She turned to me with disbelief and joy radiating from her face.  “Are you sure?  You don’t mind? How sweet of you!”

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It didn’t take long for me to checkout my items and within minutes I was pulling the rolling cart to her car.  Along the way she told me more about herself and why she walked with a cane.  Her name was Shirley and she suffered from spinal stenosis; she also had both hips replaced.  “I can still walk, but I just get really tired sometimes.”  We found her car and I placed the bags in the trunk. “Thank you for your kindness!” she added as we hugged and parted ways.

It was a wonderful start to my weekend!  May you be inspired to notice those around you and take initiative to offer help.  We could all use some help every now and again, wouldn’t you agree?

Be blessed, dear readers and Happy Friday!  🙂

Today’s Random Act of Kindness was an easy task, but one rarely acknowledged or even noticed by others. As I was walking to my car today after a quick shopping trip at Target, I glanced across the parking lot searching for my van and voila… Not my van, but a perfect opportunity to bless someone else!

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Yes, the infamous lazy man’s cart just sitting there hogging up a parking space.  The irony here is that the parking lot was near empty – not like the owner of the cart had to fight through lanes and lanes of cars to get the cart back to a safe place!  I actually started laughing when I saw this, because a friend of mine, Sheri, had just this week shared how she always puts unwanted carts back where they belong.  I told her that she inspired me to add this to my RAK list for Black Friday, not knowing that an opportunity would present itself just a few days later!

So instead of turning a blind eye (“It’s not MY cart!”) I did the right thing and retrieved it, then returned it (in addition to my cart).

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Such a simple thing to do, yet it still felt good.  Now the cart won’t block someone from parking.  Or prevent the lady in the white truck from putting her children in the car.  It will also keep the cart from rolling in the wind and dinging someone’s car (because, folks, that’s just annoying and aggravating!!)

Be sure to check back on the blog Friday afternoon through Saturday as I am SURE I will have several Random Acts of Kindness to post from Black Friday shopping.  I’m almost giddy thinking about my surprise plans!

I wish you all peace and joy as you go about your travels and special plans for Thanksgiving.  Be blessed and pay it forward!

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