Last Saturday I took just Peyton on a Costco run. It had been a long time since Peyton and I had some one on one time so I decided to make it extra special and stop by Starbucks to get us both a treat. As we sat down at a table on the patio with a non-fat latte and a chocolate chip frappuccino Peyton began asking me to tell her about all the things we were going to do this summer. (by the way we are super, crazy, busy this summer with tons of traveling in fact we are only home about 4-5 days between each trip all summer) So I began to rattle off all that we had planned San Diego, Tahoe, Oregon, LA, Mexico. "Mexico!" Peyton said. "What are we going to do there?" With excitement in my voice I began to tell her about APU Mexico Outreach and that we were going on a mission trip. I told her, Mommy was going to be working on staff at the camp praying and encouraging people and I was hoping that maybe she could help me pray while we were there too. I could tell Peyton was trying hard to follow me but I could see in her face a little disappointment. I knew that she was remembering last summer when we took a family vacation to Mexico and stayed at a time share. We rode horses and dirt bikes and played on the beach everyday and I could see in her eyes that she realized this year was going to be a much different trip. I tried my best to tell her she was going to have a blast! The camp we are staying at is so fun and her cousins were going to be there, but I could see Peyton was still thinking about the horses. So I said "look Peyton, we are going to Mexico because God calls us to help people and there are a lot of people and kids that need our help that live in Mexico. They are poor and don't have all the things that we have and so we are going to go there and show them that we love them and God loves them too. At that moment this guy in a wheel chair came up to our table and just kind of sat there staring at us. We both nervously smiled and drank our drink but he just kept staring and inching even closer to our table. My first reaction was to grab Peyton and walk away but it was as if God convicted me in that moment and something inside of me said stay. Suddenly I realized that the man, obviously handicapped, was pointing to the tray table of his wheel chair. When I looked at his tray table I realized that he had a print out of a key pad on his table and was trying to spell something on it for me. "PRETTY" he spelled and then pointed to Peyton. I told Peyton "He thinks you are pretty" Peyton shyly smiled and said "thank you". Then the man began to spell something out again but this time a much longer phrase, I actually had to ask him to repeat it. "WILL YOU BUY ME A COOKIE". I told Peyton what he wrote and her face lit up and she said "Can we mom??!! PLEASE." I decided that maybe this would turn into some kind of teaching moment for my child so I agreed we told the man to wait for us and we went inside. Peyton picked out a cookie for the man and she walked back outside and handed it to him. He spelled on his board "Thank you. GOD BLESS YOU" and shook each of our hands.
As we were walking back to the car I could tell it was if a light bulb went off in Peyton's head and I could feel her excitement and she began to rattle off... "Mom! That was amazing!! I am so glad that we could help that man!! Wait until we tell Dad and Amber about this. I feel so happy right now! Is this what we are going to do in Mexico? Help People? because if it is I can't wait!!!!"
Giving..Serving... Loving...There is nothing that is more fulfilling than those things and my heart was so full witnessing my daughter realize this for maybe the first time. I know it was a simple gesture, who knows how many cookies that man gets bought for him in a week but to my 6 year old daughter it was a lesson of compassion and service that she will never forget and either will I.
"When you give to the least of these, you are giving to me"