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So, Friday, I went to The Flying Cupcake because it was National Donut Day and there weren’t any bakeries around that had gluten free donuts, so I substituted with a cupcake (don’t judge me). Anyhoo, I only go to The Flying Cupcake for my pastries because they remind me of the gluten filled pastries…you know, moist and delicious…not dry and tasteless. I’d gone to another bakery before and their cupcakes were a little dry and reminded me more of Jiffy Cornbread muffins than cupcakes. I mentioned to the lady that worked in the bakery how I frequent them because of the awesomeness of their cupcakes. She let me know that all their vegan and gluten free cupcakes are made by bakers that are actually vegan and/or gluten free. This ensures that the best ingredients are used and that they are made with love and care. The bakers know what a cupcake SHOULD taste like and they use whatever is needed to make them that way. This placed the thought in my mind that some places are just “accommodating”. They provide a certain item or service just for the sake of saying that the offer it, not necessarily because they take pride in it. I mean, who wants a cupcake that makes them think of cornbread??? NOBODY! Don’t miss my point though…this is not about the cupcake but rather about the consideration in offering the cupcake. Both bakeries offer a gluten free cupcake option, but only one of them actually takes the time to make it with themselves in mind. What I mean by “with themselves in mind” is, creating something that they would want. Nobody wants something you just give them to be able to say you gave. That’s like saying, “Yuck! That’s gross, here, you can have it.” Fast forward a day……..I was headed to visit some friends and I decided that maybe I should pick up lunch first. I had a Noodles & Company gift card and thought I’d use it. Well, instead of going to the restaurant nearest me, I (for some odd reason…at the time it seemed odd) thought it best to go to the one on the way to my friend’s house. This is something that I normally wouldn’t do because it is located downtown…I DO NOT frequent downtown (too many one way streets AND it was raining). I neared the restaurant, which was on the right side of the road, and there was no parking. The next street was a left only and I was ALL THE WAY in the right lane…I decided to just forget about it. Once I crossed over the next street, guess what was waiting on me….YEP! A parking spot. I got out to put money in the meter, only to realize that all I had was $.40 in dimes. I put my four dimes in the meter…that gave me 16 minutes…plenty of times. As I neared the end of the street to cross, I noticed a man (with a sign), and his dog sitting on the ground to my right. I whispered, “Bless him Jesus.” Now, when I see people that are homeless or standing out asking for money or anything like that, I ALWAYS pray for the Lord to bless them. God always gives me further instructions after that prayer; whether it be to continue praying for them or give them something. Well, this day, I didn’t have any cash or anything so I stuck with my prayer, as God didn’t further instruct me right away, and kept walking. Now, on the way to Noodles, I passed a Steak N Shake and another restaurant. I made it to the restaurant and ordered gluten free fusilli with sauteed shrimp. So, I was the ONLY customer in the restaurant and I watched them make EVERYTHING fresh so, it was piping hot when it was handed to me. They’d even given me my plastic-ware wrapped neatly in a napkin…y’all know how they do. Anyhoo…I thanked the cashier for my food and left the restaurant. As I walked back toward the man and his dog, a lady handed him something, I assume it was cash, and she began to pet his dog. Before I knew it, I asked the man, “excuse me sir, can you eat shrimp?” (not everyone can eat seafood and I refused to be the one that hurt the man). He replied happily, “Yes ma’am, I can!” I smiled, handed him my bag, and told him to have a very blessed day. I was filled with joy as I walked away but I knew God would speak to tell me the point of this opportunity or as I’d like to call it, “God-portunity.” He spoke and said, “If you would have had cash in your wallet, you would have probably given that man a couple dollars and kept walking. If you would have had extra money to spare, you would have gone into Steak N Shake and bought him a cheap meal and went about your day. But because you had nothing but a gift card and your heart set on lunch, you went in and ordered what YOU wanted the way that YOU wanted it. The meal you ordered was to your liking, and you are very particular. I wanted him to have the best, because he is mine as you are mine.” What’s my point today??? Well, often, we just “accommodate” others. We do stuff just so we can say that we “helped”. But that’s not good enough. When you help or serve another person, you are to serve them in a way that you would like to be served, yourself. What I learned is that sometimes we get it all wrong. Instead of giving others our best, we give them the least. The least favorite meal, clothing, etc. We give others what we don’t want. And that’s not always a bad thing, I mean just because you don’t want it, doesn’t mean it’s no good. But how does it feel to give away something that you REALLY DO WANT? That pair of shoes or that jacket that is your absolute favorite and you’ve only worn it one time? That meal that you know is fresh, hot, and smells really good? The Bible says in Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” This means when you give to someone who doesn’t have, you give to God. I asked the Lord to bless that man on the right side of the sidewalk, and He answered my prayer. He even allowed me to be the vessel that He used to do it. That, my friends, is a privilege. God also showed me, more clearly, how he strategically plans the events that occur in our daily lives. You remember me mentioning that I don’t frequent downtown? Well, God intended for me to go the the downtown location and find a perfectly placed parking spot, and ONLY have four dimes to spare, for parking; all so that I could bless a man that I’d never met with something that I WANTED. God blessed me to be a blessing! I can truly say that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (see Acts 20:35) The joy that God placed in my heart from being obedient to His will is unmatched. I’ll take that over noodles and shrimp ANYDAY…and if you know me, then you know how I feel about my food!!!

Well…gotta go…I have to be up for church in a few hours………………………………….

Love you all! Ms. A.M.White

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