When Steve and I got to our daughter’s home in Oregon, I piled the grandkids in the car and went to Super Wal Mart to stock up for Christmas dinner and shop for their mom and dad. It was very busy on this Christmas eve eve, but the store was huge the crowd seemed minimal in any given section. Shopping with a 12 year old girl and 3 boys ages 13, 14 and 16 is an interesting adventure. They ran into school friends, debated over what color shirt to buy mom, pondered if dad would like the yellow Oregon Ducks hat, made a unanimous decision on Pepsi as the drink of choice and voted for me to make chocolate chip cookies.

(Here they are on Christmas morning waiting for the “all clear” sign to come downstairs. Big brother was still sleeping!)

As we got to the check out counter the lines weren’t too bad. Panicking that we had a very full cart and I didn’t bring any bags with me, I noticed the cashier putting groceries in plastic, not paper. Relief flooded me as I was glad Oregon had not adopted the “you bring your own bags or we will sell you ours” law. Just then I noticed a commotion at the register beside me. The patron did not have enough money on her prepaid card to pay for her necessities. I saw orange juice, diapers, fruit, baby food and cereal coming back out of the plastic bags. She just had the basics.

Observing her, I could see she was a  very slight young woman with blonde pink striped hair and a piercing in her lip. Her jeans were torn but they were meant to look that way. She wore a modest white tank top with a long sleeved open tee. Not exactly the clothing for the 35 degree weather outside. Sitting in the passenger seat of the cart was an adorable “Gerber” baby. The child looked to be about 13 months old, well fed and clean wearing sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt. Summoning the manager, the clerk asked the young lady what she wanted to put back. Swipping the card again she was very surprised there wasn’t more money on the card. She stated she was sure there was. The manager arrived and I asked him how much was left to pay on her bill. He told me, I paid it. I had the money in my hand already and just handed it to the cashier. The young lady looked at me and tears rolled down both cheeks. I asked her name, she said “Jamie”. Then looking at her baby she said, “Leo” and mouthed “thank you”. I  smiled and said, “you’re welcome, pay it forward.” She nodded yes and went her way. My grandkids stood there stunned. I honestly had not thought about them being there at that moment.

Loading our groceries on to the conveyor belt I prayed for Jamie and Leo and for my grandkids that this would leave an impression on their hearts. One of the boys asked me if I knew her. I told him I did not. He asked why I did that. I told him it was the right thing to do. My prayer is that those around us who witnessed that simple spontaneous gesture would be touched by it. Helping others should come naturally to us. Sadly it is not that way for many.

As we left, I found a very shiny penny on the floor right by the door. I knew God had me at this place at this time for so many reasons. When the Holy Spirit prompts you, go with it. Let Him lead the way. Receive the blessing. Trust God. Let 2017 be the year of trust and blessing ❤

#InGodwetrust #ProjectPenny #Leavingalegacy #Whenyouwalkwiththewise

Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor better than silver or gold.

This morning I am missing my Grandpa. William S. “Sid” Smith was a dapper man. He was always dressed in a suit and his signature hat. Boy, was he a smart dresser. He would say that you should always be dressed in your best because you just never know who you might meet. He was in the real estate business so his personal presentation was very important.
Last week as I was doing some sorting and cleaning I came across a VHS tape titled “Thanks For The Memories”. Curious, I put it in the VHS player that my husband insisted we keep. I was very glad we did when I saw what was on that tape. 

In 1988 my sister Pam and her husband John drove  1 hour east to Grandma & Grandpa Smith’s home in Campo. They went to take a video of Grandma and Grandpa narrating their 16mm and 8mm movies. The narration would tell us who our relatives were and give color to the celluloid treasures. That is exactly what was delivered, treasure. There was my dear Grandpa and Grandma looking fit and healthy. As Grandma played the piano and Grandpa described anniversaries, birthdays, sporting events, holiday celebrations and family shenanigans he caught on film, tears welled up in my eyes. Beautiful memories including Grandma in a hula hoop contest with us, my mom and dad in happier times and my Aunt Pam’s wedding where I sang Happy Birthday at the top of my lungs as I got to the end of the isle after performing my flower girl duties. You see Grandma grabbing me away and putting her white gloved hand over my mouth. There were even shots of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra at a golf tournament in Palm Springs. That was a kick! If you don’t know who those men are, Google them. They were very famous in their time. 

Each time I would come on the screen he would say, “well there’s ole Terrie Ince”, with a smile in his voice. I most definitely was Grandpa’s girl. He called me Terrie Ince because my cousin Tod could not say Terrie Lynn. It would always come out “Terrie Ince”. That name stuck and my 3 cousins still call me Ince. All of the grandkids had a nick name. They were Grandpa’s terms of endearment. I am pretty sure I told the story of going into Solomini’s cocktail lounge as a 6th grader selling Girl Scout cookies in an earlier blog post. Because I was Sid Smith’s granddaughter George Solomini bought all of the cookies in the trunk of my mom’s 57 Ford. If you know 57 Fords they have a huge trunk so there were a lot of cookies. Grandpa had done business with George with just a handshake. Grandpa said that a man is only as good as his word. He also taught me how to really shake hands like I mean business. Sid Smith always made the first gesture to shake hands. Around town he was know for his suit, hat and honesty. He was a man of his word. If he said he would do something he would. He also said to my mischievous brother a time or two, “there’s gonna be a hind end kicking and you’re gonna furnish it!” 

I have this laminated piece in my bible. Each time I run across it I thank God for the lasting legacy of Sid Smith. There are so many life lessons I learned from him. Because of his example I work hard, keep my word, love loyaly, read my Bible daily, refined my cooking skills, have Hershey bars and kisses in my freezer (he had his in a drawer in the kitchen and he said we always needed just a little sweet after dinner) and never let my children or grandchildren pay for a meal if I am with them.  I should probably write a book about him someday. There is so much more to say about his huge personality and steadfast love for his family. It is Grandpa Smith’s legacy that really got me going on leaving one of my own. Yes, a good name is worth far more than gold or silver for what good are gold and silver if you have no integrity? 

One day I will write about this beauty. Until then I will say, be a person of your word, treat others with kindness, make your yes be yes and your no be no, help others without obligation, work hard, be the example you want remembered, be wise. If you find a penny today write about how you will trust God to help you leave a lasting legacy.

#whenyouwalkwiththewise #InGodwetrust

Tell The Ugly Dragon To Leave

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which trancends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.(NIV)

As I was reading in the Bible this morning and asking God to inspire me to write more pages in the daily devotional I am writing, He took me directly to Philippians. Oh how we worry, don’t we? Am I making right decisions? What am I doing with my life? How will we afford health insurance? Can we find a good doctor if we do? Am I a good mom, aunt, sister, grandmother, etc.? How can I protect my kids? Am I feeding them a healthy enough diet? Do I measure up? Should I change jobs? Should I quit work? My mom is sick, will she die? Do I give my kids enough attention? Sitting them in front of the computer is easy, am I doing it too much? Are they provided for? What will they grow up to be? What is my husband doing when he is not with me? Am I pretty enough, skinny enough, desirable? I am sure you have many more questions that would fit here. My goodness, it never ends!

When I was a preschool director I used to stay up nights being anxious about what parents were thinking, how the staff was working, if the children would be safe, if our school was up to date, if licensing came (as they do, and unexpected) would we be written up, how I could make this better and more aesthetically pleasing. Goodness, I ran myself into the ground with worry! Then I started studying Philippians in earnest. I finally came to Philippians 4:6. When I got to that verse it smacked me right to the floor. I was missing out on peace. That is what I was craving because being in turmoil all of the time was killing me. Falling on my knees, I gave it all to God, thanking Him for the opportunity to lead and nurture those precious children for Him. That was what really mattered anyway. He gave me such a peace that it overwhelmed me. On occasion, worry would  rear it’s ugly dragon head out of nowhere and I would let it stay for a while. Mercifully, the Holy Spirit would gently and sometimes not so gently remind me that I had turned it over to God. Why was I letting the dragon stay?

Paul is telling the Philippian church here not to be anxious about anything. They were under persecution as new Christians. The church was being scattered and many put to death. He is telling them not to be anxious! That sounds to me like something to really be anxious about. What Paul is doing here is giving them and us a roadmap about praying and asking. First, he tells us that in every situation to pray. I know that seems unrealistic, but think about it. You do not have to close your eyes and bow your head to pray. God can read your thoughts. Then Paul instructs us to be thankful when we ask; thankful for the outcome whatever it will be. God would bring the precious Philippians to a place of peace regardless of the outcome.

Once your request is made, peace will stand guard over your heart and mind. When someone is standing guard they are making sure that no intruder enters. The peace that God gives will stand watch as you go through your day. Can you just see Peace marching back and forth across your heart and brain? I can’t think of any better guard than Christ Jesus Himself, can you?

Breaking it down – we present the request to God, being thankful for who He is and what He will do no matter the outcome. We know that He wants the best for us. We leave the request with God and allow His peace to keep us calm. Spinning our wheels in worry only makes us more miserable and pretty useless. Trusting God in any given situation will bring us peace. Stand firm and tell that ugly dragon to leave! 

If you find a penny today tell God how you are trusting in Him.