A week ago exactly today ( on 01/27/16 ) I was driving into work listening to my daily dose of Easton Corbin as I was awaiting confirmation of my meet and greet acceptance. For those of you familiar with our little ole town of Broxton, Georgia, I was on Highway 268 in front of the Unites States Post Office. Didn't have anything on my mind at all. Not worried about the day. Just nothing, which is weird for me I know!!!
Then I heard that still soft voice say "Oh, that You would bless me indeed and expand my territory," also known as The Prayer of Jabez.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
9 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore in pain.”
As I was turning under the red light on to 441, I began to thank God for everything He has blessed me with. My health. My family. My friends. My "Windi's Bridal Boutique". My "Carried Away Creations." My gifts. My talents. My passions. My purpose. My relationship with Him. The doors He has opened. The doors He has also shut. My almost 40 years of this life and everything about it. The person I am.
Then I got to thinking about the territory part of it all. Everyone knows I love a good road trip and love to burn up the roads when I get a chance. I thought about all the cities from where my customers are from who come buy dresses or rent tux. Then I thought about all the places I have been with my balloon decor and all the places in between:
* Hampton, Georgia
* Charlotte, N.C.
* Jacksonville, FL
* Fitzgerald, Georgia
* Alma, Georgia
* Valdosta, Georgia
* Blackshear, Georgia
* Tifton, Georgia
* Cordele, Georgia
Then you think about all the people I have worked with. Speedway Children's Charities, Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR Driver Kasey Kahne, Racing 2 Cure, Xfinity Driver Joey Gase, WQIK 99.1 with Dustin Lynch, Jimmy Wayne, Tri-County CASA, CCAGCC, etc.
When you sit down and look at it on a map, that is territory I thought I would never get a chance to expand to. Locations I would never dream of working at and organizations I never knew I could have dreamed of working with. God opened up some amazing doors for me in the past five years!!! I began to just pray and thank Him for all the things He has done in my life. I am blessed in so many ways. Like Mr. JD Lankford once commented on my post "you are blessed to be a blessing." I want to be able to bless others. To help others who have given up. To show them all they have to do is try. One small step at the time.
Then as I continue in on my way to work I am wearing out the CD scan button as I hit 9, 6 , 10, 9, 6, 10, and repeat. I listen to those songs in that order every morning.
I checked my email periodically throughout the day as I always do. When finally I got the news I was going to be meeting and greeting with Easton Corbin on Saturday night in Jacksonville!!! Woohooo!!!! This should be a breeze. I mean, I have met all kinds of folks and have finally gotten over the whole teenage girl giddy stage.... soooooo I thought... Yeah, I will keep you waiting on those details for a few.
Then Friday (01/29/16) I got the call from Mr. Scott Fillmore of Speedway Children's Charities at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I serve on the Associate Board and I volunteer up there as much as I can being I live three hours away. I have been volunteering since 2012 by going up and decorating for events with my balloon decor. Passing the red buckets during races. The call was to tell me I had been nominated as the 2015 BUSTER DICKERSON SERVICE AWARD as the Volunteer of the Year!!! I will be sharing more about that this week as I want it to have it's own little story too!!! But if you are watching the 02/28/16 race, watch the stage around 12:15 - 12:30 as I will be on the NASCAR stage receiving my award in front of NASCAR NATION... It may or may not be on TV, but DVR it just in case ;) See nation is all about a territory too, just saying...
Needless to say, Friday night was a night filled with so much excitement with the news and the anticipation of the concert I watched the popcorn ceiling until 3:00ish a.m. and was back up at 7:00 a.m. Started to get ready for the concert that afternoon at the shop and I started getting those nerves and butterflies in my stomach... You know the whole red faced flushed look. My red hair and fair skin always tells on me when I get overly excited!!! Then at 3:00 p.m. I was Jacksonville, Florida, bound.
Having skipped lunch, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to eat. Yes guys, even when us girls are alone, we are just as indecisive!!! I just knew I needed to eat something before I got to the concert so I wouldn't be drained. I could go to McDonald's, get chicken nuggets. I could go to Sonic for a cherry limeade. I could wait until I got to Folkston... Ahhh, wait, there is Chick-Fil-A!!! As I am pulling around the front of the restaurant, I see there is this young homeless guy with his dog underneath the umbrella covered tables out front. He had his backpack. His pup with a leash. A gallon of water. A milkshake. And a few other belongings. As I was driving around to the drive thru I had decided he would have a warm meal too!
I thought the same things as I have always thought with my previous encounters with the other two homeless men. Does his family even know he is alive? Where is he from? How long has he been in this type of lifestyle? Why does he not think he deserves a roof over his head? (I will place the link to the other two blog posts at the bottom of this story so you can read those later.)
I could have talked myself out of buying him a meal for the two minutes it took me to get to the drive thru screen. I even thought to myself "I spent $7 on fake fingernails just to look all dressed up for the concert. I can surely spend more than that on a man's food." So I got to the window and placed the two orders even upsized his. When I got to the window, I told the clerk I needed a second bag. He looked at me kinda strangely. So I told him I was buying the meal for the guy out front as I choked back the tears and was glad I had on sunglasses to hide my eyes welling up. He smiled and said "that is so nice of you."
They wound up putting both orders in the same bag. So I asked for the bag. He was like you just told me and I already forgot as he apologized. I thanked him and pulled up a little so I could separate the food myself. Got it transferred complete with napkins and a straw. Moved just right in my seat and dumped his whole bag in my floorboard. Yup, the waffle fries were spilled everywhere. I took his sandwich out and cleaned them up by placing them back in the bag. Then I thought, what am I going to do now? Since I dumped his out, I could just give him the sandwich and the drink. But that was never an option. I simply pulled my nuggets out of the bag and put the rest of his meal in with my fries.
Then I pulled up to where he was at. When I stopped with the windows down, his dog started wagging his tail so I knew I was safe to approach. The guy looked to be in his twenties. Had his earphones in so he didn't really hear me when I spoke to him at first. So as my heart grew heavier and the tears were starting to get really big, I grabbed for the door handle and opened my door with his next meal. I walked up to him and he smiled. I told him I had gotten his supper for him and I told him God bless you, that was all I could say because I was about to cry a river right there. He had a tattoo on his neck. His eyes were the purest crystal blue. You could tell it had been a while since he had taken a bath or even gotten a hair cut. He thanked me politely with a soft spoken voice and told me I didn't have to this. Oh sir, but you don't know, yes I had to. I told him good bye as he was getting the food out of the bag and he told me "God bless you." I wanted to say "He did when I saw you sitting here." Got back in my truck. Got far enough away to snap a picture of my blessing that afternoon!!! I pretty much cried all the way to Jacksonville. I needed him to cross my path. He was my Matthew 25 blessing Saturday.... And one of my favorite scriptures....
I may not have thousands in the bank. I may not have a mansion on 100,000 acres. But I am blessed in so many other ways that are things money can't buy. I have a God that loves me and always takes care of me. I am simply thankful for where I am in my life at the moment.
So, I guess I need to say a special "thank you" to Easton Corbin and his management for my meet and greet approval. Had I not gotten the chance at the road trip, I would have never happened across this guy. He might not have gotten any supper that night. I would not have been able to pay it forward. Thank you Easton!!!!
Oh, and as far as the concert.... The Swon Brothers, Easton Corbin, and Carrie Underwood were AMAZING!!!!! As far as the meet and greet went, my mind was in a hundred places. I was as nervous as a 13 year old girl. All giddy and nervous. I kinda stumbled my way thru... So, I can officially say I think I ruined that meet and greet opportunity. I bombed it completely!!! I was so embarrassed afterwards. Mainly because I have some other big, crazy idea in the works, and I hope to get a second chance to not fall flat on my face again!!! ;) Stayyyy tuned!!!
You never know when God want to put someone in your path so you can bless them... Even if you're on a road trip heading to Jacksonville, Florida to go see @eastoncorbin @carrieunderwood @swonbrothers in #concert. If you look closely in my side view mirror you'll see the #homeless man and his dog. I didn't want to get a picture close up for fear of embarrassing him. When I gave him his food and told him God bless him he looked up and smiled. His eyes were the brightest blue. He thanked me very politely with a soft voice. So if any of my pictures tonight look as if I've been crying, that's my current situation at the moment. We are all blessed to be a blessing. And this guy was my blessing today! The right place at the right time !#eastoncorbin #carrieunderwood #country #countrymusic had it not been for the Easton Corbin meet and greet I would not have gotten this opportunity! (original Instagram post)
1st Encounter in 2011
2nd Encounter in 2013