Finding Treasures at Cracker Barrel

The Cracker Barrel chairs out front rock and sway. We slip inside, and I head straight to the bathroom. That’s a joke in my house because I can’t go from Point A to Point B without needing to find a restroom. 

“You can go get a table. I’ll find y’all,” I say.  

I pass this sweet elderly man waiting by the restroom door. He’s propped his elbows up on the counter. He looks so out of place, yet so comfortable. Peaceful. Purposeful. Maybe he’s waiting for his wife. I smile. He smiles. I feel drawn to him.

We eat dinner. I’m so routine. Chicken and dumplings for me … light on the chicken. The dumplings are my favorite part. Why waste valuable, limited space on your least favorite part? 

We make our way to the exit with these treasures tucked away in a brown paper sack. All three of us girls have one item each. 

Can you guess which treasure is mine?

Plus two Andes thin chocolate mints each … the kind in the green package. My sweet proof is missing.

We push through the door, and there is that sweet man sitting in a rocking chair out front. I smile.

“Bye,” I say.

“Don’t forget to write,” he replies, with a smile.

I laugh myself hysterically all the way to the car. His personality reminds me of my grandfather. It took maximum restraint not to run up and hug him. Walking the length of that front porch, I have to repeat his comment to the girls and explain a little, and then they laugh themselves hysterically, too.

“Don’t forget to write.” The treasured meaning knocks me right upside the head, wraps around my shoulders like a scarf, and pulls me in for a tender kiss.

Yes, Lord, I’m listening. I won’t forget to write. I’ll write. I will. 

When discouraged, O Soul Within, the Lord knows and sees. And He speaks through the least likely people, who end up being the most likely people. It really all makes sense.

What if that sweet man were waiting for me? All along. What if he was an angel? What if?

And I’m reminded of a journal that was given to me recently, at a lady’s retreat I spoke at. I didn’t have time to make one like everyone else because I spent time in prayer and preparing. But I shared about how special journaling had been in my life. And before I left, the ladies gave me my very own. It’s so cute, y’all. It even has a tiny journal pocketed on the inside.

And I know the Lord is speaking straight to my soul. Oh, the sweetness that waits for me. 


Don’t forget me, He breathes into my heart. Time is valuable and limited. I’m the only one who makes sense.

Write your novel story for me, to me, share with me. 


Share your life with me. Share your days and nights with me. Push through the doors to see me. Listen for me. Let me be your routine. 

Select me. Seek me with all your heart. Let me be your favorite partyour treasure.

I am so un-fit for The King, but He pursues me anyway, like I’m the greatest gift in the world. It’s humbling …

Our treasures from Cracker Barrel. Did you guess correctly?!

Merry Christmas!

Have you ever wondered if you’d just entertained an angel? Or perhaps wondered if an angel had just entertained you? Has God ever used someone interesting, least expected, to speak to your heart? I’d love to hear your story. 

8 thoughts on “Finding Treasures at Cracker Barrel

  1. Shelli, what a beautiful post and picture of you three ladies. <3 I had guessed the red scarf.

    The most memorable thing that was spoken to me through someone least expected was a woman who hadn't even heard my prayer request at a meeting (hearing problem), but felt the Lord was prompting her to give me a word. “Everything is in His hands,” she said. A week or so later I needed those words as our family went through what I'd call a triple-decker trial. At night I'd say those words over and over to help myself fall asleep during the ordeal. The woman was a widow who had been through a very long valley and had come out the other side stronger than ever. Later I told her she had helped me through a hard time.

    Yes, dear friend, “don't forget to write” in the way He has gifted you to, so it will multiply and continue to bless those who read it.

    Blessings & hugs as you prepare for Christmas ~ Wendy


  2. Wendy, that's beautiful. “Everything is in His hands.” God's timing is so perfect, not only with circumstances or provision, but with people, too. He always comes through, so that we can somehow come through with our sanity. Thank you for sharing your story.


  3. Shelli, what a beautiful post. I was pretty sure the white scarf was yours, but thought the red was possibly yours. Couldn't decide. 🙂

    I've definitely had people speak into my life. In terms of writing, when my first story idea popped into my mind, I shared it with a writer friend. My thought was that I would write that story, some day . . . like when the kids were both in junior high or some far-off time down the road of my life.

    What she said was, “You need to write that story.” As in NOW, not down the road sometime. Her words spoke deeply to the dream hidden in my heart. My husband confirmed this thought when I shared with him. And, five years later, I'm still writing, learning, and loving it. God has ways of speaking to our hearts that we never expect, doesn't He?

    Loved your story, sweet friend!


  4. Maybe you're an angel because this has kind of been on my mind lately and now you write this post. I haven't journaled in a while, gave it some thought and then started to forget about it again. So thanks to your nudging I guess I'd better start up again. Thanks Shelli


  5. Yes … His ways are so amazing, funny, outlandish … you just never know. Like Wendy Mac wrote on my FB, it makes you just want to keep your eyes peeled for what He might do, or who he might use. And I'm so glad you wrote that story … I know you are, too!


  6. I know what you mean, Gene … I used to be so faithful journaling, and then I let some time lapse by without doing that. Aggravates me at myself because I love looking back at what happened in my life, the funny things said, the amazing or funny ways I saw God work. When we don't write it down, we tend to forget. I always say that journaling is like a major motion picture … the best classic of all, and all you have to do to view it is just read. 🙂 Blessed by you, Gene.


  7. I think an angel helped a college friend and me when we were driving through a barren part of Oklahoma. We'd gotten a flat tire and were in the starting processing of putting on the spare, when a man pulled up to help. I'm certain angels are watching over me quite often on the road.

    The start of your post, the bathroom routine you have reminded me of traveling with one of my sisters. We have a joke that there isn't a restroom floor that her purse hasn't seen. I think I even got her a vintage magnet with something like that on it.


  8. Melodie, that's so sweet. When my parents first divorced, we had no car. God used so many people to help us. A family from church gave us a car and taught my mom how to drive a standard … it was an old car and would constantly break down on the road … the people that pulled over to help us. It hurts to look back in so many ways … but then gratitude sweeps over you.

    And the bathroom routine … I chastised myself for adding that in … but once I hit publish, I figured I'd better let it go. Ha ha! And my girls can't say too much because I discovered every bathroom thanks to them when they were little … 😉


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