You’ll never guess what happened to me today! As I was driving through downtown on my way home, I noticed several tents, grocery carts full of clothes, bags/luggage, blankets spread out on the ground, and people standing around underneath the overpass. As a naturally curious person, I turned at the next street and circled back around to see what was going on. I pulled into the only entrance to where they were and asked if they were alright and needed anything. I immediately knew why they were there! They were homeless! After talking with them for a few minutes, they told me that they needed shoes, coats, blankets, food, etc. I told them I would be back the next day.
While driving home, I felt very sad that people were sleeping outside on the ground with only cardboard and blankets to keep them warm during the night. I knew that somehow I had to do something. When I arrived home, I shared my experience with my husband and asked him if we could go back the next day and take some things. He was a bit hesitant with a response that made me feel that he thought it would not be safe. So, I didn’t say anymore, but I knew that was not the end of it.
The next day I asked my daughter if she would go with me, and she said, “Sure, mom, I’ll go with you.” She does this kind of thing sometimes, which concerns me a bit. She has no fear! So, we dashed out and bought sneakers, hats, and gloves, and stopped at the grocery store to buy food for sandwiches, drinks, chips, etc., and headed home. We immediately began to make bags for fifteen people and labeled them according to shoe sizes. It’s now around 4:30, and we put everything in the car and headed downtown so that we could give out everything before dark. They were waiting, and there were more people there than the previous day. We were concerned that there might not be enough for everyone. However, there was an abundance of everything, and we gave out the bags to all who came. They were grateful!
Webster’s Dictionary defines abundance as an overflow, riches, more than plentiful, wealth, and prosperity. Many people think of it as more than is needed or necessary. It is considered extra.
As I am maturing to the beautiful age of 70, the word abundance has taken on a slightly additional meaning for me in a few months. Today, I see it as a mindset that I am enough, and there is enough of everything to go around for everyone. I believe that I already have what I need to achieve my goals by feeling confident enough to take action and trust in myself. When I believe in myself, it creates emotions within me, which creates a behavior to act, and that action creates a result. That result, when positive, is what motivates me to repeat the action. The above is a prime example.
Another example is when I go to a fast-food drive-thru. I ask the person at the window if they are a student. If they say yes, I offer them a certain amount of money. If they say no, I still give them the money. The exchange gives me a goal (my belief), which causes an emotion (to help), which creates a behavior (to give), and the end result (happiness). I also like to pay-it-forward by paying for the car in line behind me. I’m finding that the more I participate in these exchanges, the more often they are occurring. These small acts-of-kindness are what keep me smiling and make my heart happy, knowing that I, in some small way, made a positive difference in someone’s life that uplifted their spirit or circumstance. A smile or an acknowledgment of a person can mean so much as we walk past them. I believe everyone wants to be accepted and to be a part of something good in this life. I wish that the world would partake more often in these small day-to-day exchanges. I wish the world Peace and Love!
I am so grateful for my life of family, friends, neighbors, the church, and knowing that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He has blessed me to be a blessing to others in so many ways. But most of all, He has allowed me to do it being my authentic self. An abundant life is one that leaves negative feelings of lack, dissatisfaction, and emptiness behind. In its place is an openness to light and love that comes from a more spiritual place. Abundance can show itself in so many different ways. These examples happen to be some ways in which it shows itself in my life. My prayer is that you will also have times in your life that motivate you to share your own experiences of abundance. Let us Live, Laugh and Love with each other more often!
My name is Cedar L. Evans-Lawrence. I grew up in the small town of Wagener, SC, and graduated from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC. It was there that I met and married my husband. Over the years, I have worked at several colleges and universities in the areas of Housing, Customer Service, and Enrollment. I have lived in 11 states over the 50 years that I have been married. I reside in Martinez, GA, and have five children and two beautiful granddaughters, Chloe and Elena, who warm my heart with love.