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Grateful for a Sleepless Morning

Never in a million years did I think that I would be grateful for a sleepless morning, but I am and I almost hope it happens to me again. In fact, I do.

Cooking in the kitchen

I had the most beautiful experience a few months ago and I’ve occasionally had it come back into my mind.

It’s always been a tradition in my family to go out and find opportunities to serve. It all started with my grandparents, they taught their kids to be mindful of those around them and would often serve without ever telling anyone. My grandpa had a gas station and he would often fill a tank for a family in need or make sure they had a little food. Grandma would find ways to help people as well.

My parents carried on the same tradition, often lifting another family in their hardest years; providing money or food on doorsteps without the family inside knowing who had done it. They’d ask us kids to help pick out gifts for kids they were worried wouldn’t be seeing any that Christmas and soon enough I was older and found myself wanting to teach my children the same things.

But then something happened, a ridiculously early morning brought a miracle.

I could retell the story, but I had originally shared my thoughts on instagram, so I thought I’d copy and paste it here to share all over again.

I’m sitting in the parking lot at the grocery store in tears. The kids are being so good to wait on me.

This morning I couldn’t sleep. I woke at 4:30 am. Try as I might, I could not go go back to sleep. Finally I got up and before leaving my room offered a prayer of gratitude, I don’t know why, but I poured my heart out for the blessings I’ve been given, then ended with one simple request, show me someone I can serve today.

I’m sad to say I forgot my request entirely.

We did laundry and soccer practice, took our daughter to the temple (a place of worship and service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and then daddy/daughter and mommy/daughter dates. (Actually, mine included our little guy too.)

I Felt the Distinct Impression, Pay for Her Groceries

On our way home I swung into the store for cream and milk and upon checking out felt the distinct impression to buy the groceries for the woman behind me.

Paying for the person in line has become a long family tradition for my little family, but usually I’m more prepared for the moment. Usually I’ve decided ahead of time to do it.

I turned around and saw two cute Hispanic ladies buying random things, lots of corn, toilet paper, chips, fried chicken etc. I almost thought, oh but it’s not even super important items. But I knew what I’d felt and asked if I could buy her groceries.

She was shocked.

Said, “thank you.”

Then she explained to the other woman in Spanish, and as we stood in silence the thought came, “you asked me who you could serve, and I provided.”

Suddenly the woman touched my arm and started to cry.

She said, “my husband just passed away yesterday, thank you, thank you so much!”

And then we all cried.

Does God know each of you, by name, by heart, by need?

I know he does. I’ll never deny it.

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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5 comments

  • I love getting you emails and in fact it moved me to buy your book.

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    • Thank you so much, Betsy! We appreciate your love and support so much and hope you enjoy our book!

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  • Weird how things like that happen isn’t it? A woman ahead of me was $3 short paying her bill at the store, looking to see what she could pull out I said I will cover it. I am living alone on a retirement budget BUT the urge to help was stronger than anyone could say no to, I gave her a $20 bill, my emergency cash, and said Keep the change, She paid and waited for me to check out, asking an I sure I don’t want my change, I said no keep it, With 3 kids I am sure it will be gone fast! She hugged me with tears telling me they just moved here and somehow the money they set aside was not enough for all the expenses they incurred, her gas tank was on empty and the leftover change would help her get home, A young man heard her talking to me and gave her a $20 as well and said add this to your gas tank as we were talking, and said welcome to our town, The woman was in tears, as I was, she said her husband was right to move here, what a wonderful place to raise their children, she cried happy tears and asked for our addresses to pay us back, funny as the young man and I said at same time, it’s OK pay it forward when you see someone in need, we all had a good laugh, cry and hugs, it was a beautiful day, so I understand and know what you mean!

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    • What a beautiful experience, Susan! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! The smallest act of service can make such a difference!

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  • Wow …

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