I was hoping our waitress didn’t see each time I told my child to sit down, he sang a song about shaking his booty to make his brother laugh hysterically. Sure, I threatened to take him to the car if he didn’t start eating, but to be honest, I was too hungry and tired to follow through. Who was I kidding? I knew she saw it. Everyone in an 8 table radius saw it. I wasn’t aiming for any parenting award, and lost my follow through motivation after the portable DVD player waged war against me a couple hours into our road trip. The boys weren’t all that angelic for our dining experience, my husband had a headache, and I was trying to rush the kids so we could get back on the road. She caught me eating a sliver of pie over by the dessert buffet. When she looked at me inquisitively, I explained to her I was hiding since the pie was something one of our kiddos is sensitive to. She smiled, patted my back, and offered me a cup of coffee. Each time she checked on our table, she chatted with our kids and made us all smile. It’s safe to say, I liked her. I liked her a lot.


As we were leaving the table to go to our car, our sweet waitress shook my husband’s hand and then hugged me goodbye. She either felt sorry for us, or she just really liked us. Either way, I appreciate a good hug, especially from someone like Ms. Barbara. The thing was, I was planning on going in for the hug first, but she beat me to it. So yeah, take that, dark world. Love isn’t as dead as you want us to think it is.


Barbara practically glowed with love and grace. I noticed it from the start. What we thought was going to be a pit stop to refuel physically, turned into a refueling spiritually for me. I love tangible reminders there is still good in this world. They feel like whispers floating down from God above saying, “I’m still here.” In today’s world, we need all the reminders we can get.


What would it take for you to be a light that shines as Ms. Barbara did in her restaurant near that interstate exit? Would it be the way you speak to your children today? The way you act towards your spouse this week? Could it be in the grace you show others when they aren’t on their best game? How about the way you love a random stranger you cross paths with?

Let’s look for opportunities and take them. Let’s send a message to this world that love is alive and shining bright.



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