hope & grace in a coffee pot

When someone tells you, you got this, it seems to add just a smidgen of confidence to your bucket.  Just being gently reminded, you can do this, oh sure, easy peasy……is a huge help.

The reverse is true, if someone tells you, “you have only 1 year to live”, “It’s going to be okay, you have 3 months to live”, ” you can’t do that”….once hearing,  we tend to believe.  Hope seems hidden behind a thin, just out of reach cloud.

I try very hard to be in the “lifting people up and offering hope” category.  It seems to be less crowded in that group.

It is a very tricky line.  Not always a straight path.  Not always popular.  However, once someone plants the seed, “you can heal” it takes root and off you go.

Words are extremely power filled.  They can bathe us in Grace or cut so deep we never recover.

I am stunned, shocked actually at the number of professionals  as well as the guy next door, that offer no hope.

I am hear to tell you, there is always hope.

You get to decide.  Isn’t that beautiful?  You get to believe or not.

If you hear something, it is completely up to you to choose what you want to take to heart.

As grown ups it is a bit more tricky.  We worry, fret, weigh the odds…. and on it goes.  Little kids, hope is crystal clear.  They just need to be reminded what they can do.


Years ago, the Army decided that Mr. Right would be skipping our family Christmas. Certainly enough fodder for an entire blog post, but not today.

Making sure the day was fun and yet did not drag on, I decided that we would wake up Christmas morning, Santa would have stopped by, open gifts, then get ready for the day.

We were signed up to volunteer at a Homeless Shelter to help serve the main meal.

We walked in and gave the lady dressed in a red sweater our names.  Clipboard in hand, she found us, alphabetically.

I was assigned pie duty.  Put on this apron and here is your knife.  Start cutting and plating.  Seemed easy enough.  I am hear to tell you 25 years later, I still remember thinking, I have never cut and plated so many pieces of pie in my entire life!  So many pies! It seemed never ending.  I took my job seriously.  I convinced myself that mine was the most important job of the day.  Who among us does not enjoy a lovely piece of pie after Christmas dinner?

Come to find out, “the most important job of the day” title went to a tall gentleman that causally gave my son the world. Right smack dab in the middle of serving a meal, he offered hope and encouragement to a 6 year old.

I was thinking they would put the boys to work moving chairs or folding napkins. Something helpful, but not too involved. Safe.

As I continued to cut pies, I looked up through the kitchen window opening, looking for the boys.  After all, along with my apron, I wore my mom hat, checking to see how they were doing.

An older, maybe 75 , black gentleman with more salt then pepper hair,  was standing near me.  He said, “you look worried, everything okay?”  I said, I was just checking on my boys,  making sure they were not in the way, yet being helpful.

My mouth dropped open and I fumbled my knife!  I spotted Gabe.  6 year old Gabriel pouring HOT COFFEE! (Toe headed, skinny as a rail, little Gabe pouring HOT COFFEE!!!!)  The man next to me said, “relax, I told him sure 6 year olds can pour coffee.  Hold the handle and with your other hand make sure the lid doesn’t fall out. I told him what was regular and which was decaffeinated.”)  …side note: who explains what decaffeinated coffee is to a little boy?  answer:   A wise man, who thought the little boy needed to know.

coffee potMy short, painfully shy, 6 year old kid, apron strings tied twice or maybe three times around him, the length just hitting him at the ankle………was pouring hot coffee and asking folks if they would like a warm up!

When we got into the car later that afternoon, I said, gee, I saw you pouring coffee, how was that?  He said, ” I told the man, I was only 6 and I didn’t think 6 year olds poured coffee.  The tall man said, sure they do.  I said, gee, I didn’t know that.  Okay.  So I did.”

Both boys more interested in me fulfilling my earlier promise.  I had promised to drive them to the college so they could practice, on the slight hills with new skateboards.

That day, I learned HUGE lessons.

Yes, we could manage Christmas without Mr. Right.  (It was not my first choice, but we did very well.)

If someone tells you, sure you can do that.  You actually can.  Sometimes, hope comes in coffee pots.

Even after working a 3 hour shift on your feet, pouring coffee, little boys still have energy to go skateboarding.

Please, today,  go out and offer a smidgen of hope to another human being.

In this together, folks.


















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