Last week I was tiredly standing in line for the bathroom at Trader Joes when I heard a man say cheerfully “We’re here for another free sample.”  I looked up from the floor and down the hallway to see a young Dad, dressed in a plain sweater, jeans, and a casual rumpled suit coat.  His hair was dark blond, long, and pulled back messily into a pony tail.  He had his little girl with him and she looked to be about four years old.  Her hair was cut in a bob with bangs across her forehead and her hair was charmingly windblown and messy.  Her face was clean, open, and happy and she was wearing a sweet feminine dress with a full skirt.  The free sample was for her, “I don’t know why but I just liked it so much I had to have another one,” she explained happily.

I was seeing with my heart.  Something about this little girl drew me out of my sad little world and into her pure and joyful one.

It was my turn for the bathroom and then I continued shopping.

As I paid for the groceries, the little girl and her Dad were just leaving their line at another register.  As she walked by me and my cashier, she flung a wilted dandelion on the counter for the cashier as a gift.  Not waiting or looking for a reaction, and with her Dad smiling at her, she continued to leave the store, flinging different flowers at each register, even the registers that weren’t open.  I had a distinct feeling this was all her idea, and my heart smiled to think of her busily picking flowers before going to Trader Joes with her Dad.  I also had the feeling that he had nothing to do with his daughter’s kind pursuits.  He was standing back and watching and keeping her in his sight with a proud smile.  It was like they were in their own quiet and beautiful little world.

I took my cart and left the store.  I was heart-worn and weary from days of crying and working through my own personal challenges.  I walked behind the two of them and headed toward my vehicle, leaving them behind me, my mind returning to it’s own gray thoughts again.

I heard the fast slapping of little running feet and before I knew what was happening, the little girl was at my side ……handing me a flower.  I looked down at her, seeing the innocence and happiness of a sweet angel child.  I bent down and asked her for a hug and she flung her arms around me and nuzzled her nose back and forth lovingly into my neck.  I’ve raised seven four-year-olds so I am an expert judge of their hugs and this one was as precious as any, and warmed my soul.

Rich was in the car waiting for me.  I put my head in his lap and cried as I told him what I had just experienced.  His heart melted too as he said, “Shanda, that little girl was you.  You are a giver and your loving and thoughtful personality is a gift to the world.  You and she are the same.”

The heart sees what it knows.  It recognizes.  It loves.

I’m almost positive the next time I go to Trader Joes I’ll be taking flowers, too.


“You have a place in my heart no one else ever could have.”  f. scott fitzgerald

10 thoughts on “flowers

  1. I love you, and this story. Rich is right, you are such a sweet giving woman, and bring much joy, like this little girl. Praying for you dear friend.

  2. I don’t know what your heart has been going through this week, but it makes me sad to know that you have been sad. I just want to say that you and your blog have been such a blessing to me, just like those beautiful flowers for many, many years. I’ve been following you since you were purpleamethyst. God bless you and may you know today what a blessing you are to me and to many others!

    • I read your words out loud to Rich while crying. Thank you so so much for reminding me of truth when I feel sad and less-than. God is good and He is faithful. God bless you as well and thank you again. Love, Shanda

  3. I totally echo Maria’s comment above – she said what I was thinking beautifully. I’m praying for you. Your blog is indeed a blessing to me, and I’m sure to many others… even to those who may not comment … I know because I don’t always comment 🙂 Honestly every day I look to see if you have posted something. I understand of course that you can’t post every day, but I’m always excited to see a new entry when you can make one 🙂 You seem a very warm and giving person, and I know many people must be blessed by knowing you. God bless. Pam

    • Pam, God uses you to encourage me as well. Mother Theresa said “if we have no peace it is bcause we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” and I love that thought, we are in this life together with good people by our side. Never alone. Love Shanda

  4. Tears!
    I agree with your husband, you too are that little girl bring joy to many!!
    Definately take flowers to Trader Joe’s next time!!

  5. Very sweet story through an eyes of a dear friend who sees the beauty all around her and can express it so wonderfully with words. God used that little girl to minister to your heart. 🙂

    Sorry to hear your experiencing trials. I know our loving Heavenly Father is taking care of you and is faithfully by your side.
    Much love to you my friend!❤️

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