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. 

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. 


Today.


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. 

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Saved

How many times does God speak to our hearts, and we simply don’t listen? We turn away. We ignore His nudging, the Spirit within’s guidance.

How many times have bad things happened, our house ransacked, and we thought … something told me not to do this or that … I just had a feeling … but I didn’t listen.


Since we had our one sheep killed a few weeks ago, we’ve finally been allowing our two sheep out into the back area a little more now, only giving them access to it during the light of day.












We are still fearful. Seeing something you hold precious eaten away is a mental picture that never leaves. The tears still come. The pain still pierces. I should have …

But even giving them access, our sheep, Sandy, and the newest necessity, Ginny, remain near the barn though because the baby sheep won’t venture far from it. She’s new here and still nervous. Though she is so loving and not fearful of human hands like our other sheep was as a baby. She actually lets me rub her chin, her tummy, and I can even pick her up without a squabble. She would let me kiss her forehead if I wanted, but of course, I wouldn’t do that. Wink.

 


This morning, I went to let them out of the barn. The morning light was awake, but a little foggy covering lingered. I just felt like I shouldn’t let them out. Fogginess … eeriness. I just couldn’t shake it. I made a decision to only let them go into the small pen off the barn that comes up near the house.


Couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Just got a strange feeling. Came back inside.

As I sat down at the computer, my oldest daughter woke up and came to me very distraught. She said, “Mom, I had a bad dream. Don’t let the sheep out today.”

“I won’t,” I said. “Did you dream the sheep got killed?”

“I dreamed Ginny, the baby, got killed.”

“I had a bad feeling this morning. I didn’t let them out.” My eyes widened like silver dollars, and I knew full well the Lord was speaking to me.

We hugged. Took a deep breath. Like we’d been saved within an inch of our lives.

This event was major. And I believe my eldest will always remember this. I told her, “You know … maybe we were just paranoid. And maybe absolutely nothing would have come to harm them this morning. But because we heeded the warning, we’ll never have to find out.

As of this moment, our sheep are safe and sound.


Oh, how thankful we are that Jesus came to this earth as the one and only God-man. Bitty baby. Born in a manger. Maybe a sheep even kissed and nibbled His precious, holy cheek.

He lived and died for us … and left us with an incredible gift … the Holy Spirit.

We haven’t been abandoned. We’ve been saved. Within an inch of our lives. Yeah, you’ve been saved, Ol’ Soul.

If we’ll simply yield, listen, quiet ourselves, wait … He’ll guide.

We are privileged to hear that still small saving voice within.

Happy Holy-Day, Beloved Friends.