Blessings and Bumps
In 2010 my pre-Thanksgiving shopping trip was a bittersweet moment. A few months earlier, my daughter’s family had left the military life for two years so that my son-in-law could finish his bachelor’s degree. What a blessing! For the first time in years, all my children were close to us in Illinois. Then, a few weeks later, my husband accepted a job in Utah. The blessing was suddenly replaced by a bump in the road I thought we were traveling down.
I stayed behind in Illinois until our house sold. Finally, the move was set for the first week in December. Our family would gather for a final holiday meal in the house we’d lived in for twenty-five years. A few days later, the movers would arrive. So besides a shopping list, I carried a heavy heart to the supermarket.
Rummaging through the turkeys, I showed another woman where the larger ones were located. She told me that she worked at the store and had earned enough points for a free turkey. But she would be going out of town for the holidays to visit family. Suddenly, she said, “I want you to have it.” When she insisted, I accepted it gratefully. Later I rushed out to my car and grabbed a copy of my latest devotional book as a thank-you gift for her.
That final Thanksgiving dinner at our old house was sad in one sense. But the free turkey helped ease my pain. Not because of the money saved, but because in the kindness of a stranger named Debbie, I saw a reminder that God has blessings for us along every road we travel—no matter how bumpy the path is.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.