extraordinary…

What qualifies something as extraordinary? The word is defined as “very unusual or remarkable.” Have you yourself witnessed something extraordinary? If so, what made it so rare or incredible?

Last night my husband and I were invited to an extraordinary gathering. Manheim is a small town in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. The second week of October is the annual farm show. A farm show queen is crowned, individual’s bring their handmade creations in hopes to receive a blue ribbon, young people show and sell their cattle, and churches and non- profits have food stands in hopes to generate funds for their cause. If you intend on getting a milkshake, you plan on standing in a line 200 feet deep. You may also want to check out the antique tractors on display. And we can’t forget the family fun nights. It’s one of those annual events that almost signifies the beginning and end of a season. For me, the Manheim Farm Show is the start of my favorite time of the year…AUTUMN! Sweatshirts, apple cider, pumpkins and campfires on chilly nights.

Mid-week, there is a parade. We used to take our boys every year. As they got older, they started to go with their friends. Now, as empty nesters, we were debating if we should venture out or not. A friend of mine had posted a photo of her homemade caramel corn on facebook with a message stating it was for snacking at the parade. It looked incredible and I simply asked her if she sells it. She said come to the parade and get some with the address of her location attached. Little did I know that what I was about to experience would be extraordinary.

We loaded up our chairs and grabbed some cash. We weren’t sure where we would sit along the parade route and we had planned to eat from the food stand area. I texted my friend to see if there was a place to set our chairs up and she said to bring them to the location where we were picking up the caramel corn. As we approached she waived us down and made extra room for the two of us. She then invited us to eat. What?

My girlfriend is one of 4 sisters and 3 brothers. She introduced me to all of them. Every year her sister and brother-in-law open their front yard to immediate and extended family as well as friends, AND friends of the family. I know there were at least 100 people. Her brother pays to rent lights so everyone, including the general public can see along what would be a very dark street. Her sister makes multiple roaster pans filled with chili for everyone. They also include all the plasticware, cups, plates, and drinks. All the siblings bring things to contribute to the cause. Anyone who knows me knows I NEVER come empty handed. We were told just to help ourselves and enjoy. It was a serious spread and they even had COFFEE!!! That’s pretty huge for an “almost addict” like me…

I asked my girlfriend how she and her siblings became such beautiful and generous people. She told me a story about her father. Growing up they didn’t have a lot. That didn’t matter. Many years ago when they all were little, her daddy had loaded she and her siblings up in the car during a dangerous hurricane. He went to a bakery and filled the vehicle with loads of bread for the people who lost their homes. She said they drove through incredibly high water to get to the shelter where the homeless were. He did this while his own basement was flooding. She said that was the kind of example they had. That was just one of many…

This family is extraordinary. They are serving the community by opening up their hearts and home (and bathroom..lol) to people they don’t know. They are blooming where they are planted.

I was interviewed the other evening by a bunch of college students concerning my career in real estate. Their hearts are to serve the Lord in their vocations.

My response to them…

“I will pray for you. I believe no matter what you do or where you go, God is going to use you…I believe God wants to you in BOTH your vocation and location.”

I believe the family we met the other evening did both things well… EXTRAORDINARY!!!!

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY..

  1. Strive more to be extraordinary.
  2. Our vocation and location are avenues to extraordinary opportunities!
  3. Choose JOY everyday!

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